Turning off Canadian TB headlights (not the same as DRL)

PatM

Original poster
Member
Jan 27, 2012
25
I'm an amateur astronomer and I'm trying to find a way to turn off my headlights while at observing sessions. White light kills night vision and unless you wait until the last person finishes viewing you draw a lot of ill will if you turn on headlights when leaving. My older vehicles either had manual lights or would turn off when I just barely set the emergency brake (not actually braking).

Does anyone know how I could override the headlights? I switch under the dash would be fine though it'd be cleaner if I could just use the center selection on the headlight switch and have perimeter lights and not headlights. The reds and oranges aren't a big problem as they're relatively dim and less harmful to night vision.

For driving I'm going to put red bulbs in the fog lamps and use those until I'm out of range (maybe some sort of paint on the lens if I can't find bright enough bulbs).

Thanks for any tips!
 

Matt

Member
Dec 2, 2011
4,024
Me007gold said:
Not exactly sure what your asking, but if you turn the headlight switch all the way to the left, it turns off the head lights.

Not on that model year it doesn't. The early ones don't have that feature...but you might be able to replace the switch with a later model one that allows you to do it.

The other thing you could to is just turn your switch to parking lights...would that work?
 

PatM

Original poster
Member
Jan 27, 2012
25
Nope, neither method turns off the lights. Basically if it's not in park, the lights are on :frown:
 

The_Roadie

Lifetime VIP Donor
Member
Nov 19, 2011
9,957
Portland, OR
You'd have to run wiring from the front fuse block back to the driver's area to do it, I believe. If that's not out of the question, just say the word and I can tell you what wire to cut and send to a switch near you. With the remote control relays in this vehicle, it isn't a question of cutting something at the headlight switch anymore. If you have remote entry, the headlights might also flash when you hit the key fob if you don't suppress them at the headlight power path.
 

DJones

Member
Jan 21, 2012
701
St. Petersburg, Florida
Matt said:
Not on that model year it doesn't. The early ones don't have that feature...

My 2003 does. I'm not sure why it wouldn't work for the OP. I've never have a problem execpt when I turn on the wipers.

1. Bypass the light sensor on the dash.
2. Disable DRL's by using a switch, whether it is a relay or SPST switch.

This would allow for more complete control.
 

PatM

Original poster
Member
Jan 27, 2012
25
Probably because DRL are mandatory in Canada ( New Daytime Running Lights Legislation Comes into Effect | novascotia.ca ) Any car without headlights on in the daytime is subject to ticketing (except pre-1991 vehicles).

I have no problem running a wire and switch to the inside of the vehicle so please yes tell me which wire to cut!

I've already disabled the remote feedback (why supply a thief that found your keys with visual feedback? Now they have to actually listen for the click in that crowded parking lot when clicking the remote to see which vehicle it is).
 

jailfood

Member
Dec 7, 2011
34
Ummm, My owners manual says, set the parking brake and start the truck with the switch in auto position and the light stay off. Something like that, works for me. Not sure how "on" the brake has to be though.

Give it a try.
 

The_Roadie

Lifetime VIP Donor
Member
Nov 19, 2011
9,957
Portland, OR
Easy way with more wiring:
Cut the low beam headlight power wires near the headlights, and run four wires back to a DPST switch you can reach. Yellow for the driver's side, and Tan/white stripe for the passenger's side.

Tougher way with less wiring:
Cut the low beam relay control wire under the fuse block. Connector C2, pin B3, Pink/white. Run both sides to a SPST switch in your reach.

frontfuseblock1.jpg


fuseblockc2.jpg
 

Matt

Member
Dec 2, 2011
4,024
DJones said:
My 2003 does. I'm not sure why it wouldn't work for the OP. I've never have a problem execpt when I turn on the wipers.

There you go, my 02 doesn't have it.

Someone above mentioned the park brake, as far as how on it has to be, just 1 or 2 clicks should be sufficent...enough for the indicator light on the dash to come on.

That's if you don't want to cut wires etc with Bill's method.
 

RayVoy

Member
Nov 20, 2011
939
Me007gold said:
Not exactly sure what your asking, but if you turn the headlight switch all the way to the left, it turns off the head lights.
The problem with this, is that the Canadian trucks do not have this position. You can not turn off the headlights in a built for Canada truck.

You can trick them though, a small LED flashlight aimed at the light sensor (mid of dash top, near the windshield) would turn them off (tricking the BCM into thinking it was daylight); however, this would turn on the DRLs. But, good news is, that in park with parking brake applied, the DRLs will not light.

A second option (and my choice), would be to buy a US truck headlight switch, with the off position (probably have to order from US)
 

Mark20

Member
Dec 6, 2011
1,630
Would it be as simple as dropping the new switch in?

Sent from my Xoom using Tapatalk
 

RayVoy

Member
Nov 20, 2011
939
Mark20 said:
Would it be as simple as dropping the new switch in?
I think so, the wiring is probably the same, but, you just gave me a thought; if all the US switch has, is a momentary twist to the left and release position, all we need to do is duplicate the condition that the twist creates.

Let me look it up.........brb.

It appears to be nothing more than a momentary open on the gray/black BCM signal lead. Opening this wire near the switch and inserting (in series) a momentary push to open switch (which could be mounted under the dash) would work.
 

PatM

Original poster
Member
Jan 27, 2012
25
that should be easy to test - pull the connector off the switch then stick it back on. If that works then I'll see if I can get a US lighting switch. don't know when I'll be able to tackle this though as I'm assuming I'll probably have to pull the panel off to access the switch wires.
 

Matt

Member
Dec 2, 2011
4,024
Pat,

You should be able to gently pry the switch out without having to remove panels.
 

RayVoy

Member
Nov 20, 2011
939
sLAsh said:
Would love to have a workaround for this with my wifes voy.




Any of the following will give you a "work-around"



RayVoy said:
The problem with this, is that the Canadian trucks do not have this position. You can not turn off the headlights in a built for Canada truck.

You can trick them though, a small LED flashlight aimed at the light sensor (mid of dash top, near the windshield) would turn them off (tricking the BCM into thinking it was daylight); however, this would turn on the DRLs. But, good news is, that in park with parking brake applied, the DRLs will not light.

A second option (and my choice), would be to buy a US truck headlight switch, with the off position (probably have to order from US)

RayVoy said:
I think so, the wiring is probably the same, but, you just gave me a thought; if all the US switch has, is a momentary twist to the left and release position, all we need to do is duplicate the condition that the twist creates.

It appears to be nothing more than a momentary open on the gray/black BCM signal lead. Opening this wire near the switch and inserting (in series) a momentary push to open switch (which could be mounted under the dash) would work.


sLAsh, where are you in Burlington?
 

RayVoy

Member
Nov 20, 2011
939
I visit N of QEW once, or twice, a year. Walking distance to the Tim's on Brant.
 

smitty5150

Member
Nov 18, 2011
1,069
Does the CA headlight switch have the courtesy light disabling switch? It is the lower left switch under the headlight dial in my TB. Pushing that off and on twice(4 pushes total) in a steady and swift progression disables my headlights at night. Doing that again turns them back on. I know it seems way too simple, and I hope I do not sound like an idiot, but nobody has mentioned it yet.
 

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Matt

Member
Dec 2, 2011
4,024
1000 points to smitty. I forgot about that too.
 

RayVoy

Member
Nov 20, 2011
939
smitty5150 said:
Does the CA headlight switch have the courtesy light disabling switch? It is the lower left switch under the headlight dial in my TB. Pushing that off and on twice(4 pushes total) in a steady and swift progression disables my headlights at night. Doing that again turns them back on.
Hmmm, yep, we have the switch. I, for one, did not know about that feature, I don't recall reading about it in the owners manual and I no longer have the truck to check it out. I will be trying it in the Avalanche in a couple of minutes. :thumbsup:
 

Canadian Mike

Member
Dec 3, 2011
738
smitty5150 said:
Does the CA headlight switch have the courtesy light disabling switch? It is the lower left switch under the headlight dial in my TB. Pushing that off and on twice(4 pushes total) in a steady and swift progression disables my headlights at night. Doing that again turns them back on

From the 2004 GMC Envoy Manual:
6797485563_953b8dc5b6_o_d.jpg


That last sentence bugs many Canadians. I tried the "courtesy light disabling switch" trick when I first got the Voy, without any success.
 

sawicksted

Member
Dec 7, 2011
366
I would love to be able to shut them off from time to time. Does the vehicle have to be in park for the interior light disable button to work for the headlights? What position does the headlight dial have to be in for that to work? I've tried the parking break thing too but it didn't work. If the interior light thing doesn't work then the led thing over the sensor might be my next best cheap easy solution. Dollar store here I come....cheap LED flashlights.....gotta love it!!
 

sawicksted

Member
Dec 7, 2011
366
smitty5150 said:
Does the CA headlight switch have the courtesy light disabling switch? It is the lower left switch under the headlight dial in my TB. Pushing that off and on twice(4 pushes total) in a steady and swift progression disables my headlights at night. Doing that again turns them back on. I know it seems way too simple, and I hope I do not sound like an idiot, but nobody has mentioned it yet.

Thanks for the tip - hope it works - but it seems way toooooooo easy!:undecided:
 

RayVoy

Member
Nov 20, 2011
939
RayVoy said:
I will be trying it in the Avalanche in a couple of minutes. :thumbsup:
That trick may work on the TB/Envoy trucks, but it does not work on the Avalanche


sawicksted said:
DRL shut off issue
I would love to be able to shut them off from time to time. !!
Just so we are all on the same page here, we are talking about turning the headlights off, not the DRLs
 

NewfieEnvoy

Member
Jan 25, 2012
525
I have an '07 Canadian Envoy and that dome light disable trick didn't work.
 

sawicksted

Member
Dec 7, 2011
366
Yeah didn't work for the TB last night. I am thinking about a really really cheap fix for our Canadian issues!!!!!! I have heard about putting the e brake on a couple of clicks but it didn't work for that either. I am really leaning towards the LED fix.

Anyone know if the "American" switch from the dash can replace a "Canadian" one? If so will it solve the DRL issue? Seems to me that replacing the switches might be an easy fix.
 

sawicksted

Member
Dec 7, 2011
366
RayVoy said:
That trick may work on the TB/Envoy trucks, but it does not work on the Avalanche


Just so we are all on the same page here, we are talking about turning the headlights off, not the DRLs

Here's what I want to be able to do - sit down at my cottage or at the Harbor or over looking the beach and be able to leave the vehicle running without the headlights turning on. I leave the switch in the parking lights position but basically the Headlights come on no matter what position the switch is in when it is dark outside.

Soooo...... Any ideas?
 

RayVoy

Member
Nov 20, 2011
939
sawicksted said:
Soooo...... Any ideas?
Hmmm, yeah, read post 11, 13 and 17, or, go the switch way in post #5 and 9
 

sawicksted

Member
Dec 7, 2011
366
RayVoy said:
Hmmm, yeah, read post 11, 13 and 17, or, go the switch way in post #5 and 9

Yeap gonna look for an "american" switch ant try that for now.

Thanks again
 

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