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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Am kinda disappointed I did not get a reply on this post. Am revisiting the lighting issue again.
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1. Just curious. Say if I drop someone somewhere and shut the engine, to wait for the person, I will have to open and shut the door in order for the headlight to turn off. What's up with that?

2. The switch is left here for regular commuting, especially in Anchorage when fall starts through winter. If left in this position, when you stop, turn off the engine, and exit the van, the headlight turn off after the set time. That's okay.
Light Switch 01.jpg

3. If in the car, I turn the switch off and back on again, the headlight will not turn off even if the door is opened and closed. The only way to enable the timer is turning on the ignition to the ON position and off, then the headlight with turn off at the set time. Is this normal?

Thanks and stay safe!
 

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Am kinda disappointed I did not get a reply on this post. Am revisiting the lighting issue again.
Previous Post

1. Just curious. Say if I drop someone somewhere and shut the engine, to wait for the person, I will have to open and shut the door in order for the headlight to turn off. What's up with that?

2. The switch is left here for regular commuting, especially in Anchorage when fall starts through winter. If left in this position, when you stop, turn off the engine, and exit the van, the headlight turn off after the set time. That's okay.
View attachment 47541
3. If in the car, I turn the switch off and back on again, the headlight will not turn off even if the door is opened and closed. The only way to enable the timer is turning on the ignition to the ON position and off, then the headlight with turn off at the set time. Is this normal?

Thanks and stay safe!
I think what you're trying to take advantage of is a differently designed feature which eventually evolved into the feature you want. Most cars now have the "A" switch position. The headlights are on as daytime running lights (DRL) when it's light out and at night as headlights. Some cars use the high beams as DRL with a photo sensor to determine if it's day or night, but the function is basically the same. The feature on our vans was designed to keep you from running down your battery if you forgot to turn off the headlights. You get out, leaving your headlights on and they are safely turned off after a period of time.

If you are waiting for a person, the obvious alternative to opening the door and closing it is to turn the switch off. I think the premise behind turning the headlights on without the delay is that there are countless times when you might need the headlights to see without the operation of the car or the timer getting in the way (i.e. jump starting another car; setting up a tent at a dark campground in the rain; Looking for something that fell out of your full arms when you got out of the car; Yes, I've done all three of these examples!).

I'm not sure about re-engineering the headlights to function differently. If it were a "dumb" system, you would just have the headlight switch wire spliced into a relay with the ignition switch controlling the on-off state. If you wanted to get fancy, you would need a few more switched component inputs, a variable timer plus a logic control circuit to have it all function exactly the way you want it to work.
 

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I think it's all part of a circuit that doesn't cut full power until you open the doors. For example, after you shut off the car, you can still close the power windows for ~40 seconds, I think (at least that's what it is on my Camry). Once you open the door, the car is fully off and the headlights will shut off and the windows won't work anymore. Or, the headlights will also shut off after the ~40 seconds if you stay inside the car.
 
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