|Author: Jim Brink - Toyota Technical Editor August 2000||
|Mounted on dashboard|
Auxiliary lighting is at the top of list of modifications for many in the four wheeling community. Having enough light to illuminate the trail is more than a simple convenience or luxury -- it can even be considered a safety item. Having taken the time to improve exterior lighting, many have overlooked INTERIOR lighting.
|A complete kit|
Having adequate interior lighting can be thought of along the same lines mentioned above. Not only is being able to see safety-related, but the convenience of reading maps without the hassle of holding flashlight is almost a luxury.
My truck, a 1986 Toyota Standard Bed 4x4, came with one dim dome light in the interior. Over the years I experimented with different types of bulbs in the standard dome light. A few of the halogen varieties worked, but not well. These bulbs did not last as long as the standard, dim, and yellow stock replacement bulbs. I even toyed with the idea of adapting an SR-5 (sports model, upgraded interior trim in Toyota-speak) integral map light that replaced the stock dome. I went so far as to purchase the (expensive) light assembly but after numerous trips to the dealer to sort out wiring and mounting issues, I gave up. Still without a decent map light, I continued my search.
|Everything needed to install is included||10cm long flexible arm|
A friend of mine, who owns 4x4Wires Mammoth Project, had the solution. He had mounted two 12-volt map lights on either B posts, right above the driver and passengers left and right ears, respectively. These map lights, made by Osram of Germany, were mounted on an extended arm and fixed base. Not only are these lights versatile, but bright -- so bright that they will illuminate objects outside the vehicle.
I set out to get a pair of these lamps for my truck and wound up with two of the Copilot K models. These feature a 10cm long flexible arm, a tungsten halogen lamp, and a complete installation kit including hardware, crimp connectors, instructions, and a drilling template.
|The lamp head rotates 360 degrees|
It only took me about 30 minutes to install one of the Osram lights onto my dashboard, near the glovebox. I figured this would be the best location for use by both the driver and passenger. The instructions provided were clear and easy to follow. For my power source, I spliced into the electrical wiring for my stock 12v outlet.
Operating the Copilot K lights is a one handed operation. The lamp switch is on the head of the lamp itself and only requires 1/8th of turn. To replace the bulb, simply rotate the head/cap the opposite direction and lift the cap off.
I have been very pleased with the operation of these lights. They are easy to use, quite bright, and economical, as compared to other options. Also, when installed, these lights almost look as if they came with the vehicle, as the mounting template allows the wiring to be concealed.
I was so happy with the install of the one Copilot map light, that I opted to install the other inside my campershell, for pre-bedtime reading when I'm out on the trail.