LED trailer taillights (a simple project)

   / LED trailer taillights (a simple project) #1  


Elite Member
Apr 21, 2012
Cascade Mtns of WA state
Kubota B-series & Mini Excavator
I like LED trailer lights because they take so little power to operate, and they are bright. Thus even if your trailer plug is corroded the lights are still bright. I am hoping that HF have figured out (by now) how to build a LED circuitboard that will withstand vehicle vibration.

I used Harbor freight "insert" lights and discarded the black rubber ring, and siliconed the light housing directly to the 5-inch steel channel bracket. Next I will cover the channel with a protective screen.

4" Submersible LED Stop/Turn Trailer Tail Light

Heres some pics and dimensions of the lights I bought at Harbor Freight. These same lights are all over the web for about the same price ($15 each). 4 5/16" is the actual (accurate) diameter of the light housing.


Original talillight, all busted up (as expected). (This is an LED taillight)

Taillight removed from 5" channel bracket.

1 1/2" holesaw for new taillight plug.

To set a 4 5/16" round taillight into the 5" channel I had to grind a "relief" in the draft of the channel.

Taillight glued onto 5" channel bracket with silicone.

Here's the 'frontside' with the plug. I've siliconed everything, sealed it all up with the notion that I will never have to replace it or disassemble (to change a bulb) ----> Fingers crossed that this turns out!

Next project is to weld a grating over the taillight to protect it.

The HF taillights are BRIGHT! Hope this helps someone plan a trailer lighting upgrade.
   / LED trailer taillights (a simple project) #2  
Looks good. Two things I would like to mention from personal experience:1 if you haven't already, put a large dab of dielectric grease on the light pins then squish the plug in (some use the corrosion preventive stuff they sell for that but with many miles of salt and vibration on our trucks we have found that it's well worth paying more for the dielectric grease) 2 I would put some sort of a guard on the front side of that light to protect the plug and wire from sand and gravel blasting. Maybe just a piece of flat bar tacked in across the corner.
   / LED trailer taillights (a simple project)
  • Thread Starter
Light came from HF with receptacle packed with Dielectric grease. I don't normally expect HF to be that thoughtful. Good call on protecting from gravel blast.