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Tail light upgrades


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My new deck is being built and I am moving to all LED lights and have several questions.  

My truck is a 2014 VNL 630, with a 265" wheel base.  The deck is 8' x 15'.  

1. I have read that switching to LED lights can make the ECU think bulbs are "out" due to a different resistance.  I did a search for this and can not find where I read that.  Does anyone know if this is an issue?

2. Grounding.  Chassis vs wired.  For the new lights I have to add to the deck, it appears the light pig tails are set up for chassis ground.  I am debating if I should just include a ground wire in the run and ground back to a common point.  If chassis ground works fine, it will save me $$ in wiring.  Is there a "best" way or a reason to choose one over the other?

3. Side marker lights.  On the side of the deck, toward the rear I plan on putting an ambler light on each side that will include turn signal.  I am debating where to put the other set of marker lights.  I do have amber lights that work with the turn signal on the cab behind the door.  I am thinking about putting another set of lights roughly 1/2 down the deck which would be just roughly between the fuel tank and front tandem axle.  Is this a good place to put this light?  Should this light include turn signal?

4. Can I tie directly into the existing non-led lighting to run the new LED lights?  Do I need to find a different power source to run the lights?  It looks like the new lights draw 0.25 amps/light.  I would be going from 1 traditional tail light to 4 LED's on side.  I know the Jackalopee has a power out for deck lighting if needed but I would still need to run a line for turn signal function.  

5. Is there anything else I should consider before I get to work?

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DOT lighting requirements

1. Your 2014 may be new enough to have come factory with LED lights. If not, it's a simple laptop touch to reprogram the body light control module.

2. I'd use chassis ground from the lights to the deck, and add in a jumper from the frame to the deck.

3. Click the link up there.

4. Use the existing wiring pigtail. Add a connecting pigtail, so you can pull the deck someday.

5. Probably.

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If your deck lights are connected to the trailer circuit, the truck does not monitor the load and will not care. If the deck lights are hooked to the chassis circuits, the LCU may get unhappy. The dealer computer can fix that. (Note: connecting to the trailer circuit may affect shifting. The truck senses the trailer lights and starts to shift from 1st gear and doesn’t skip. This too can be changed.)

If your bed is wider than the cab, you need amber light visible from the front and side on the front corners of 5he bed, and red visible from side and back at the rear. You can pretty well put whatever amber lights you want in between.

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I had to get new fenders this year and they had the round lights in them. The photo of the new fenders showed the round and of course we "ASSUMED" they would be the same size. OF COURSE NOT. The new holes were not deep enough to reuse the old lights so new ones needed to be ordered and installed. Haven't seen them in the dark yet or even in the light for that matter. The mechanic followed me from the shop to my spot even though I told him to not wait for me to suit up and put on my helmet to ride home. Will see them soon as I prepare to move the first week of March. 

Off topic and no I didn't keep the old lights. 


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The fab shop is making all of deck and bumper parts.  They cut the "standard" 6" oval holes that use rubber grommets to keep the lights in.  One set of my lights showed up so they used that as a template. 

I ended up going to 2 of the 6" oval lights with the sequential arrows on each side of the bumper and a single centered LED tail light.  The 4 amber lights will also be turn signals.  

Yesterday I pulled the rear lighting wiring off of the truck (single plug) and then spliced in all of the new wires.   

Mid week the deck should be done and I will be able to connect all the lights and see if they work. 

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