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The dash lighting on the '05 Tacoma's were a real improvement over the past generation Tacoma's, with intense orange color supplied by new LED backlighting. Toyota unfortunately stopped there, leaving the door panels pitch dark at night with the only illumination being the "AUTO" text lighted on the drivers door power window switch. Not being able to leave well enough alone, I set out to add some backlighting to the inside of the door handle pockets on all four doors.
I found a site that sells small LED lights (www.radlites.com) that come in different colors and size. For my project, I choose radlites #6994 which is a diffused orange panel lamp, 5/32" in diameter.
Pictures below show the installation which involved removing the door panels, drilling a 5/32" dia. hole above the door handle, crazy glueing the lamp in place, then tapping into the power window wiring to get a hot and ground source. The lights will then come on only when the key is energized.
The picture does not do the lighting justice. At night, all the door handle pockets glow a cool orange. And since the power is tied into the power window wiring, the lights will stay lit until someone opens a door. Real helpfull in the dark.
Total installation time for all four doors with lunch break and two Bud lights was about three hours. After the first one was completed, the rest went much quicker.
Drop me a line if you have any questions.
Bill.
 

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blanz said:
The dash lighting on the '05 Tacoma's were a real improvement over the past generation Tacoma's, with intense orange color supplied by new LED backlighting. Toyota unfortunately stopped there, leaving the door panels pitch dark at night with the only illumination being the "AUTO" text lighted on the drivers door power window switch. Not being able to leave well enough alone, I set out to add some backlighting to the inside of the door handle pockets on all four doors.
I found a site that sells small LED lights (www.radlites.com) that come in different colors and size. For my project, I choose radlites #6994 which is a diffused orange panel lamp, 5/32" in diameter.
Pictures below show the installation which involved removing the door panels, drilling a 5/32" dia. hole above the door handle, crazy glueing the lamp in place, then tapping into the power window wiring to get a hot and ground source. The lights will then come on only when the key is energized.
The picture does not do the lighting justice. At night, all the door handle pockets glow a cool orange. And since the power is tied into the power window wiring, the lights will stay lit until someone opens a door. Real helpfull in the dark.
Total installation time for all four doors with lunch break and two Bud lights was about three hours. After the first one was completed, the rest went much quicker.
Drop me a line if you have any questions.
Bill.
Nice work. Check out my cardomain site for my 2005 taco. http://www.cardomain.com/memberpage/776831
 

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I have done this with my 97 4runner, but there are a lot more lights than yours. (all of the footwells are completely lit up and the rear seats have a lot of shine on them) It really is incredible at night. I have 8 blue led bars, and many individual leds throughout the car. I was trying to think of another place to put more lights, and this is a great idea.

A good place to buy them is on ebay, you can get 50 leds for 5 bucks or so. Then you solder on a resistor ( I think its 400 ohm, 1/4 watt, .5% tolerance) from either ebay or radio shack, but radio shack is much more expensive. Then heat shrink it all, and connect it to a 12v power source, I run a wire from the battery then all over the place, with each light having its own ground.

I love these lights, because you can have them in places that other drivers cannot easily see, which is real nice.
 
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