We have all been there before.
It’s dark, there is a ticking noise under the hood. You see some wisp of smoke or steam, so you pull over. You pop the hood, get out and raise the hood to notice you can’t see anything. Sure, you can use your cellphone light or maybe a flashlight, but unless you know exactly what you are looking for, how are you going to be able to see it? This happened to me and I decided to do something about it.
After the ordeal of trying to troubleshoot an issue in the dark, by the side of the road, I decided to figure out a solution for this problem. My research led me to Amazon.com and these lights by PartsAm. I paid $19.99 for a set of these truck bed lights, they come as 2 sets, with 4 lights per run. They are waterproof and come with 3M mounting tape already applied to the back of each light pod. The reviews were positive and all remarked how bright they were, so I pulled the trigger and they arrived in 2 days (thanks to my Prime account).
When they arrived I was surprised to see that mounting screws and a rocker switch was included in the package. That saved me a trip to the parts store.
The amount of wire was plentiful, I was able to arrange the lights in a somewhat equidistant location to each other and I had more than enough wire left in order to run to the fuse block in the engine compartment.
I ran a hot 12V lead from my underhood fuse block to the rocker switch. The lead from the wire for the lights went to the middle pole of the rocker switch, with the switch and lights both run to a ground on the chassis. I soldered all connections and wrapped everything in electrical tape, and ran the line from the lights into a wire loom. I didn’t think the wires may get trapped in the hood hinges, but I would rather be safe than sorry.
I was able to find a spot to place the rocker switch on an existing bolt on the firewall. This keep my wiring short, the switch out-of-the-way and unlikely to be turned on by accident.
After I double checked all connections, I reconnected the battery, flipped the switch and was impressed. These lights are BRIGHT. Now that I have done it, four may even be overkill for this application. At night, the engine compartment is not only brightly lit, the area around the front end of the truck gets lit as well. The LED’s are a bright white light, pictures does not do them justice. Since I had the other set of lights, I decided to install them to the rear storage area of my Trailblazer, so now if I need to perform a nighttime repair, not only is my underhood area well-lit, the storage area in back where my tools are is fully lit too.
I would definitely say this is one of the best $20 purchases I have made!