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Thread: back up light

  1. #1

    Default back up light

    i just ordered a 55 watt round light for my tahoe for use as a back up light. im just wondering is best way to wire it by splicing the trailer wiring back up light or is there another way.

    1996 Chevy Tahoe LT 5.7L V8 4X4 205,000+ miles. Built proudly at Janesville Assembly in Janesville, Wisconsin
    Basic mods: Lights all over, bunch of electrical work, and a couple cooling mods.

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  2. #2


    You can tap into the backup circuit, or run a seperate wire and switch.

    The easiest way is probably pulling out the taillight and figuring which wire goes to the backup light - I think it's the white one -then 'T' into it and run down to the new light. Whenever you put it in reverse, the new light comes on.

    Running a whole new wire and switch will be more work and material, but you can use the light whenever you want. (though, most state vehicle laws don't allow for this)

    Mount the light to an existing frame or bumper hole, and you're in business!

    Good luck,

    1999 Chevy K2500 Suburban 350
    K&N, reworked cai, Thrush cat-backs
    Vinyl, cranks, floor shift, and rear air!

  3. #3


    The wiring diagram for the tail lights say back up light wire is light green and I prob gonna attach It through trailer harness cuz it dedicated line to back up switch

  4. #4


    I would tap into the tail light backup wire as mentioned above, but the trailer harness will work too.
    04 ECSB Custom silver & grey, Soft 8's, BFG KO's, ReadyLift Leveling Kit, Hellwig front sway bar, K&N filter, DeeZee EZ-Down, Rhino liner, Alpine CDE103BT, Rockford 6.5's, 12" V.A.T. Hammer Pro in a Subthump box, Alpine PowerPack amp, Hifonics amp, BackRack w/ 55w 5000k HID KC Daylighters, KC light bar with 4 KC Slimlites, UWS toolbox, Shaved Antenna mod, Black Bowtie, LED backup, license plate, dome lights & 3rd brake light

  5. #5


    ok thanks ill post pics after i get the light mount it and wire it. of course the terminal connectors i ordered and heat shrink tubes arnt coming until a couple days after the lights come in.

  6. #6


    Quote Originally Posted by KidHauler View Post

    Running a whole new wire and switch will be more work and material, but you can use the light whenever you want. (though, most state vehicle laws don't allow for this)

    Good luck,
    Do you happen to know where this is illegal or know a website to check this out? I have 2 5in spot lights mounted under my rear bumper with a switch in the cab. I had never heard of this being illegal. I am currently stationed in Louisiana and about to move to Texas. I would just like to make sure I am not going to get hit for it. Thanks bud.
    2005 Chevy Silverado 1500 Z71 Crew Cab
    8in ProComp Suspension Lift, 4in Shackle Flip Kit, 3in Performance Products Body Lift, 17x9 Moto Metal wheels, 35x12.50x17 ProComp Xterrains, K&N cold air intake kit, Custom 3in exhaust, GoRhrino Black spring loaded steps, Truxedo Bed Cover, "SS" style Instrument Cluster with blue pointers and Trans Temp Gauge, JVC indash touchscreen DVD player, 2 MTX 10in subwoofers, Sony Xplode 1000watt amp, Radio Shack CB with dual black whips, Optima yellow top battery

  7. #7


    Most state governments' websites use the common abbrevation, plus ".gov". I tried ' ' and it was the first result.

    In MI, it's called the Michigan Vehicle Code; it'll probably be pretty close to that in your state. Find the search function and look for white light, rear lighting, reverse lights, auxiliary lighting, etc., and you'll find all sorts of stuff you didn't know. For example, in Michigan, any auxiliary light mounted above the center line of the manufacturers headlight must be covered whilst on any public roadway, blue lights anywhere are illegal, except for sworn law enforcement officers, hay wagons more than 6' wide must have at least one rearward facing red light, blah, blah, blah, etc., etc., etc....

    Being called away,
    Good luck,

    I'm back. I'm sure the reasoning behind having aux. backup lights tied into the reverse circuit is so you don't get tempted to flash the bonehead behind you with the hi-beams on. I'm sure, too, that there is a way to wire the lights in so you can have both functions; on when in reverse, plus the switch to use them as work lights. Someone here may know that diagram.

    Depending on the cops in your area, you probably won't have a problem with having the lights mounted out back - just be aware of this, and don't draw attention to yourself, ya know?
    Last edited by KidHauler; 03-06-2012 at 12:05 PM.

  8. #8


    What you need to do to do it "right" is to connect a RELAY to the reverse light in the tail light harness. Then run a heavier gauge wire from a higher amp rated fuse to actually power the light with... Otherwise, you can melt your taillight harness. It was not meant to provide the power needed for a 55 watt bulb.

    Otherwise, you might get undesired results...

    "I bought a new car once... and I got burned."
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  9. #9


    funny think is conneticut has laws about aux lights but they never say what the laws are anywhere on the site it was a pain to find i learned there's no rules on back up lights. and i was going to wire it to the trailer harness lead because when i had the shop install the 7 wire harness they didnt realize there was a prewired back up light lead and they didnt use it. so theres nothing hooked up to it im just wondering if the 55 watt light will be to much for the harness lead

  10. #10

    Enkeiavalanche's Avatar
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    Apr 2010
    Piermont,NY, back in Northern NJ now, But may be in IL soon....


    I have the Whitenight backup lights. Easy plug into a 4 pin harness. It comes with a 3 way switch that allows you to turn it on from behind it or on when backing up. It has a relay inside too...Click image for larger version. 

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    08 Z71 Avalanche Mods to date: K&N CAI,Hellwig Swaybars and End Links, Corsa Sport Exhaust, Superchips Programer,IPCW LOF & 3rd brake light and tails, AMI Gas door,Show Hooks and Door locks, Enkei Wheels, with Pirelli tires, StreetScene Bowties, Grant Steering wheel,Muth signal mirrors,SSBC Big Brake kit,Huskyliner Mug gards,Floor mats and Hood shield, McGard Lug nuts and locks, Bedrug, Cervini's Ram Air hood,35watt HID Fog lights, Sylvania bulbs all around ZXE's Highs and Lows, WhiteNight Back up lights,Sirius and HD Radio, SnugTop sitting on deck now Got a Softopper on now,Tempress Boat Hatches.... New Bilstein shocks are on... New Mods coming soon..... X

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