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2018 Colorado CCLB Z71 3.6 LGZ
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There wss a big problem with the 2018s with the backup screen being blinding bright in low light. There are numerous posts on it. This was eventually fixed with a software update.
It appears the current program is to make it too dark.
Genius.
I would try to get a program flash.
or, there is a thread from a guy who pulled the light sensor signal wire from the radio that helped with the bright issue.
Maybe it will help with your dark issue.
 

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I just had this same issue. Lightly pressing on the brakes to get the lights to come on helped me, but I'm looking for a permanent fix and I think that is going to be flush mounting some LED pod lights in the rear bumper as others on here have done. I will be triggering mine with my switch pros, but I believe others have triggered theirs by tapping into the reverse lights themselves.
Curt makes a harness that plugs into the back of the trailer harness and adds a 4pin connector. Makes it super easy to add reverse lights without touching the factory taillight harness.

 

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2017 AT 4x4 LWN CCLB Dark Slate Metallic
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This seems to be mostly a Colorado problem, because the Canyon tail lights have a bigger reverse lamp reflector so I think the GMC design is more efficient at lighting up the area behind the truck.

And with the addition of LED bulbs mine are bright enough to the point that the backup camera does not always go into night mode either. So perhaps that would also help to replace or add brighter LED's in the back.

But it could also be the issue that @Iamscotticus mentioned where the radio is simply darkening the screen, overcompensating for nighttime glare that a lot of folks complained about in the past.

Edit: In the second case, no amount of add-on LED lights will resolve the problem. That will require some setting adjustments or perhaps a trip to the dealer.
 

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I wonder if a set of Canyon taillights would fix the problem. Granted, mine was a 2015 but was lit up nicely.

I see @rotaryenginepete had same idea I had. Just types faster.
 
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Curt makes a harness that plugs into the back of the trailer harness and adds a 4pin connector. Makes it super easy to add reverse lights without touching the factory taillight harness.

This is what I did. I use a VLED mini bar above the license plate with this set-up.
 

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If the mirrors are not useful backing up, then it is a lighting issue as opposed to a camera issue.
 

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This seems to be mostly a Colorado problem, because the Canyon tail lights have a bigger reverse lamp reflector so I think the GMC design is more efficient at lighting up the area behind the truck.

And with the addition of LED bulbs mine are bright enough to the point that the backup camera does not always go into night mode either. So perhaps that would also help to replace or add brighter LED's in the back.

But it could also be the issue that @Iamscotticus mentioned where the radio is simply darkening the screen, overcompensating for nighttime glare that a lot of folks complained about in the past.

Edit: In the second case, no amount of add-on LED lights will resolve the problem. That will require some setting adjustments or perhaps a trip to the dealer.
Might be I have no issues and I have a Canyon.

I know I saw the numbers on a Canyon headlight vs Colorado and while small the GMC did have more light due to the shape and design.
 

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You know there was a time where people used mirrors to back up. I bet that still works. Lol!
There's a reason cameras are required. Mirrors suck at seeing things behind you relative to a good camera angle and view. That's particularly true in pickup trucks with high rear ends.
 

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With an IR capable camera you wouldn't even need the lights--although they would still signal other drivers what you're about to do.
I know my Silverado HD camera is much better than my Canyon was, and the rear view camera I installed on my travel trailer has IR capabilties - it is pretty good even after dark.

I found my Canyon lights to be pretty good, both headlight and backup lights. Not sure if anything has changed with them since 2015. Headlights on my Canyon were probably better than my Silverado, but some of that might have been the fog lights on the Canyon, Silverado does not have fog lights.
 

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Are you talking about LED backup lights? Would they really make a difference?
I did this mod. It helps a little...but the reverse lights are mounted very high so not so not a ton.

One of those hitch-mounted lights might be more helpful. I've seen them where they tie into trailer wiring and go on when reverse is selected.
 

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Sold 2019 zr2 gas crew cab, Current 2017 GMC Canyon SLT and 2021 Ford Ranger Tremor XLT
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When I was testing my theory on the placement of the light pods under the rear bumper, I used a mag light led flashlight adjusted for flood light and temporarily attached near spare tire. (Duct tape helps) Found best results by keeping light underneath bumper tucked back a bit. If the light lense was past the bottom edge of bumper, it washed out the image on the camera.

Testing it the way I did, I would turn on the flashlight, the get in truck and start engine and put in reverse in dark location without street lights. Firmly set parking brake so that you can see results both with and without light from brake lights.

This gives you a free way to see if this Light pod mod would get you results you are looking for.
 

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There's a reason cameras are required. Mirrors suck at seeing things behind you relative to a good camera angle and view. That's particularly true in pickup trucks with high rear ends.
Well that is partially true. The main factor is people suck at driving today and just lack a lot of the driving skills most mastered in the first 100 years.

Society progressed with out all the nanny features for years. Granted they are a good thing to have but people still need to learn to use mirrors and vehicle awareness.

I used to service trucks for a company when I was in high school. To back the trucks in to grease the tailgates I had about 3” on the bed width to back them in. Never needed cameras or a seat vibrating to tell e where I was.

As for self parking this is just a case where if you can’t park you should not be on the road. It is a sad comment on today’s driver skills. Hell my mom could back a farmall and wagon into a barn with no mirrors.
 
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