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Options for Adding Interior Lighting to Enclosed Cargo Trailer  


I have a small enclosed cargo trailer to haul my sound system for when I play music. It has running lights and everything to make it street legal, but there are ZERO lights inside. I pull it with a Ford Explorer and the lighting connector is a 4 pin on both the vehicle and trailer. Id like to have a couple of lights inside the trailer and control them with a switch - what do I need to do?? Thanks in advance!


Expert Reply:

For your enclosed trailer application I have several suggestions for adding interior lighting that you can control directly via a switch.

Since your current 4-pole trailer wiring does NOT include a 12V auxiliary power feed that could power inside lights separate from the trailer's exterior lights, I suggest adding a separate 12V battery to the trailer interior and installing one or more LED-type lights that are bright yet highly efficient. In order to power interior trailer lights from the 4-pole harness you would have to leave the vehicle headlights and trailer running lights on - not something you really want to do when the Explorer is off. To do this you would tap into the brown wire on the trailer harness.

You can use a switched light such as Optronics LED RV Interior Light # RVILL33. This surface-mount light has 9 diodes that evenly distribute light. Hookup is simple: 2 wires, white for ground and black for 12V+. Current draw is a low 0.3-amps so you could easily wire multiple lights to one battery. Individual switching means you do not need to use more battery power than you need.

Another option is to install battery-powered self-contained lights such as the 30-diode Access LED Light Strip # A80312. This avoids the need to install a 12V battery since this compact light uses three AA batteries (not included). The peel-and-stick light strip is flexible, allowing you to conform it to the internal features in the trailer, and it includes a built-in timer to turn itself off after either 3- or 5-minutes, a great feature if your arms busy steering a hand truck or toting around speakers.

expert reply by:
Adam R

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