What to Consider When Purchasing New Cab Lights
Add style to your truck while making it safer to drive especially at night-outfit it with high-quality, dazzling cab lights. Usually installed on the truck's roof, this additional set of lights makes your rig more noticeable especially when you're driving off the beaten track or on winding roads. However, you can't install just about any type of light on your roof. Here are some important things you have to consider when buying a cab light for your vehicle:
DOT and SAE certification
This should be your first consideration when purchasing replacement or additional lights for your ride. An item with such certification complies with the Department of Transportation's and Society of Automotive Engineers' standards on material composition, tolerances, measurements, performance characteristics, and many other aspects. Though the DOT/SAE certification is administered by auto part manufacturers themselves, participating brands have to register and present test results indicating the compliance of their offered components.
A good-quality cab light features a durable base and protective lens, so no matter how bumpy the ride gets or how harsh the weather is, you can be sure that the bulb won't break nor get dislodged. If you want your lights to stay attractive even after years in service, go for those with lenses that are resistant to fading and are UV treated. Also pay attention to how the lights will be installed; units that come with sealing pads are great because you're assured that there will be no leakage on the mounting holes.
Type of bulb used
Most cab lights nowadays come with a LED lighting system; this makes them last almost 50 times longer than ordinary incandescent bulbs. Compared to other bulbs, LED lights also consume much less electricity; they don't produce too much heat, and they are vibration and shock resistant. Also, LED lights don't give off infrared or UV rays, and they work well even in cold environments.
Local light regulations
Before you decide to outfit your truck with cab lights, find out first if they're legal in your state and know the laws governing this type of automotive lighting so that you won't go wrong with your purchase.
Steps in Installing a Cab Light on your Vehicle's Roof
Cab lights add style and character to your vehicle. But how they are installed spells the difference between improving and ruining your ride's looks. Do-it-yourselfers like you will surely find the cab lights easy to install. As long as you know how to use a drill and a screwdriver, and you're familiar with the automotive electrical system, you can get the task done well without the help of a pro.
Difficulty level: Moderate
Things you'll need:
- Cab lights
- Star screwdriver
- Straight screwdriver
- Masking tape
- 7/64-inch drill bit
- Silicone sealer
Step 1: With a star screwdriver, take off the screws that hold the sun visors in place to detach them from the cab's roof. Other things attached to the headliner inside the cab must be removed. In case your vehicle comes with a sunroof, carefully take off the trim piece surrounding the sunroof and peel the headliner from the sunroof's seal.
Step 2: Loosen the cover and lock mechanism of the grab handle in the passenger side. Pull the handle without taking it out of the headliner.
Step 3: Pry both the driver and passenger side pillar covers free using a straight screwdriver.
Step 4: Unbolt the front screw in the overhead console. Since there's a clamp at the back, you can free the console from the overhead by pulling down on the back. If your ride has OnStar, unplug the speaker and the map light first before removing the console.
Step 5: Put the lights in their proper location. Go in front of your truck to see if the lights are positioned correctly.
Step 6: Place a masking tape in the installation spot, so the paint won't chip when you start drilling. Place the lights back in their locations and mark the screw holes onto the cab.
Step 7: With a 7/64-inch drill bit, make the holes. Protect the wires from shorting out against the metal by slotting rubber grommets in the holes.
Step 8: Hook up the wires to the lights, feeding them through the holes in the cab. Apply some silicone sealer on the screws before installing the lights. In the cab's interior, run the driver, center, and passenger side wires and feed them down to the fuse box through the passenger side pillar.
Step 9: Connect the fused lead to the wires coming from the lights and install a female connector on the ground wire. Hook up the power and the ground wires and test your newly installed lights. If they work well, put back the overhead console.
Remember: always detach the negative battery cable before you start working with your ride's electrical system.