Ceiling Lights

At this point we’ve done some pretty significant modifications to Clifford the Big Red Van and the base Wayfarer Vans kit since we acquired him back in November of 2020. We are now zeroing in on the last few known projects.

Ceiling lights
The little orange lantern in the background wasn’t cutting it

The LED lights I used are pretty darn inexpensive at $27 for a set of four. They are very low profile and are easy to pull out should they ever need to be replaced.

Ceiling lights
Those springs keep tension in the ceiling

The other thing I stumbled upon in my internet research was Wago wire connectors. These are pretty brilliant. They allow a solid connection but you don’t need to cut the wires, like with a butt connector, should you need to replace one of the lights.

Thanks for the nifty tips
Ceiling lights
Zip tied for extra security

Just like in the video I also ran split loom along the ceiling panel, taped it down and taped the Wago wire connectors together to create a nice solid foundation for my wiring.

Ceiling lights
Dimmer switch

I don’t know what it is about the dimmer switch. Is it the Tron and/or Iron Man like blue light that just makes me smile? Whatever it is, this little sucker works like a charm.

I’ll state once again that I kind of wish I had run all my wiring before getting the van built out with the Wayfarer kit. It would have been a huge time saver. Running the wires from the house fuse box to the back of the dimmer switch required some contortionist like movements and the use of my Park Tools internal cable routing kit. Once that was done though getting the wires from the switch to the first LED light was kind of straight forward.

Ceiling lights
Wire runs up the wall panel (see background) and into the ceiling panel to light #1

I was trying to figure out how best to fit the lights and run the wires along the ceiling panels. I was really hoping to not pull down the whole ceiling. It is made up of three distinct sections and I ended up only having to pull down the front panel and then remove half the screws on the middle panel. I didn’t have to touch the rear ceiling panel at all.

Ceiling lights
Pulling down front panel was easy, putting it back up required two of us though.
Ceiling lights
removed front half of screws from 2nd ceiling panel
Ceiling lights
Drill holes with hole saw
Ceiling lights
Run wires between all four lights.

The best explanation/diagram on wiring the lights and switch I found (for how my mind works at least) was from the folks over at Explorist.life website. There are so many free resources out there that you should be able to find something that helps you with whatever your van project may be.

Ceiling lights
Let there be light!

After the sunset Mia and I went out to the van to test the brightness. Holy cow are they bright! On the highest settling the lights were only drawing 1.9amps total too.

The last project to complete sometime over the next twelve months (hopefully) will be to install a Webasto Air Top 2000 heater. I’m still a little apprehensive about cutting a 4″ hole in the van floor but I’m pretty sure I will get over it once we have functioning heat!

Thanks for reading,

-Pete

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