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2017 Ram 1500 trucks finally have factory built-in bed lights

The owner of an older truck noticed that the new Ram 1500s have a feature that he has always wanted. 2017 Ram 1500s have built-in lights to illuminate the truck bed. Owners weigh in on the lights' effectiveness.

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The owner of a 2013 Ram sport wants to know all the details about a new feature on the 2017 Ram 1500 trucks. Nike asks members of a popular truck forum, “I was at the dealership with my 13 ram this morning and noticed all the 17 rams had lights mounted to the back corners of the bed near the tailgate. This is something I've always wanted but could never figure out where to mount them or wire them up too. Can someone tell me what these are wired to? All the tailgates were locked so I couldn't investigate myself. Do they turn on when the tailgate opens?”

The lights are a great feature although some of the owners complain that they may not be bright enough. A driver who calls himself Airforce, from Michigan says, “Mine have a separate switch under the main light switch on the dash to turn them on.”

Chill, from Ontario, clarifies, “There is a switch under the headlight switch but they also turn on when you unlock the truck. It is with all the light switches. The bed lights are connected to the same switch as the cargo lights on the third brake light. The third brake cargo lights come on when the bed lights do.”

A Boston truck owner says that Ram is making the kits available on the aftermarket. “RAM sells a oem kit to install and wire them. Works with the doors and cargo light switch.”

Mineral, who is another Canadian Ram owner, says there are better kits available than the one from Ram. “Save yourself the hassle and money and buy aftermarket. My brother has those lights in his longhorn and they are not very bright plus you have to turn the switch on in the cab to use them.”

Umbra, from Missouri, says the lights work well. “I believe the lights are actually tied to the courtesy lights, i.e. when one of the forward most cab doors open, the lights come on regardless of the tailgate status (open or closed). Only if you need to use the light for an extended period with the cab door shut do you need to use the switch on the dash. I would also like to point that while they are not exactly the brightest in the world, they are plenty bright enough to see what you need. I also found them extremely useful in combination with the tonneau cover and the RAM box divider. We got home after dark but there was no need to remove the cover or grab a flashlight to remove our items.”

There must be different ways to program the lights because some of the 2017 Ram owners say that the bed lights come on when all of the other courtesy lights do, while others say they don’t. I’m betting that there is a menu somewhere that gives you the option to have the bed lights illuminate when you unlock the truck with or without the fob. It is a great option especially if you frequently have to unload your vehicle after dark. It is also a nice option for other Ram owners to have the ability to buy an OEM kit so that the bed lights are configured properly.

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