Relay Trigger to High Beam

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K5-Z71

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For the purpose of installing a lightbar which comes on with the high beams I've always used a trigger relay tapping into the high beam power where is most accessible - pretty easy task. However it appears GM simplified wiring on their end by having the Lighting Control Module send PWM voltage signals to the Headlamp assembly where it will internally switch on/off the various functions. There is no longer an easy 12v trigger externally available.

2021 Headlight WD.png

Does anyone have an idea how to get a trigger to activate a light bar?

If not it looks like ill be doing some experimenting with a Current Sensing Switch. The idea would be to route the GND side of the headlamp through the switch and adjust the current sensing to only activate when it sees the additional current that the high beams draw.

I would appreciate it if someone had a better idea than mine...
 

WalleyeMikeIII

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Put an oscilloscope on the three PCM lines…trigger the various lighting positions…observe the signals, then calculate the average DC voltage and build a trigger on that voltage?
 

jgraves

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No ideas of the top of my head but I'll likely be tackling the same issue. On my old truck, I tapped the high beam fuse to trigger the aux lights. I haven't looked to see if the same would be applicable with the LED headlights in the new trucks.
 
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K5-Z71

K5-Z71

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I think I'm onto something here. Headlights with DRL draw 1.41 amps while the high beam draws 2.08 amps.turn signals consume same current as DRL.

I did get the current sensing switch in the mail and verified it's operation within these values.

My tuck hasn't gotten the software update that dimms the DRL when the high beams come on so that may require some adjusting.

A few more loops of the power wire passing through the switch will double it's indicated power draw so I'll do that on the final install to give it better resolution between high beam and low beam.

Who knows when I'll get time to rip off the bumper and fabricate brackets but when it's finished I'll post up!
 
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K5-Z71

K5-Z71

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20230406_115202.jpg

Here's the plan. The switch with an astric is the current sensing switch which can be adjusted to trigger at whatever amperage value is needed. I also purchased the Rigid Industries DRL light bars which have a high and low setting.

The tuck's side marker light activates the first relay to deliver power through the NC side of the second relay to power the AUX Light Low setting.

The current sensing switch monitors the Truck's headlight power draw to determine whether the high or low beams are active.

When the switch sees over ~ 2amp it triggers a relay to remove power from AUX Low and provides power to AUX High.

I'll also have to wire in a three way switch to provide a system shutoff, normal operation and manual activation of AUX high.
 
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K5-Z71

K5-Z71

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Just to update this thread... progress has stalled. I wanted to install lights as member StevenLynaugh however I found that in the Z71 grill there is not enough space for the lights he used to be installed flush to the bumper. I did a test fit and found the light bar would actually be mounted about two inches behind the bumper face which leaves a large gap and would cut down on the total light which can make it out of the lightbar. Later in that thread Brade315 successfully installed the lights into a standard bumper which has more space between the headlight housing and edge of the bumper than the Z71 headlight to bumper has. So I gave those Rigid Industry DRL lights to my father in law to install on the ex-cop car for cutting through traffic while I search for another slimmer light bar or explore the idea of mounting a light behind the grill.

The power sensing relay purchased for this project which is the weak link, is currently under stress testing. Installed to some cheap amazon outdoor solar lights to run yet another cheap amazon strip light. When the solar lights sense sundown to light up the garden the Current Sensing Switch activates strip lighting around the patio. I did protect the Current Sensing Switch from direct water exposure but it is exposed to TX heat, dust, bugs, etc. Even if this relay does not fail testing, I would still recommend installing this in a serviceable position or wiring a work around.

After facing failure I realized that the stock headlights are actually pretty good at shooting a great high beam further out than any vehicle I've owned. Its a flat beam with a good horizontal spread which is great for long distance viewing. That being said, we still need an integrated light bar / fog light option to improve total light output.
 

Mean_Green

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For the purpose of installing a lightbar which comes on with the high beams
That sounds like a REALLY bad idea that could lead to all sorts of citations and possible legal liability if you blind someone. Lightbars aren't even supposed to be used on roads, off road only.


Best to just use a separate switch.
 

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