How to install aftermarket lighting.
Installing aftermarket lighting is very simple. The following setup is safe up
to a pair of 150W lights.
What you need:
What to do:
- Enough 12 AWG (or larger) wire to go from the battery, to the relay, to the lights and to ground. (More than 6', use 10 AWG).
- Enough 16 AWG (or larger) wire to go from the switch to the relay (which should be around the battery somewhere) and to ground.
- A standard 12V 30A relay (or larger).
- A 30A fuse and fuse holder.
- A switch (can also be activated off stock vehicle components instead.)
Here is an electronic schema to give you a visual picture:
- Remove the ground wire from the battery.
- Figure out where the lights are going and the safest but shortest path to wire from the battery to those lights.
- Figure out where along that line (closer to the battery) the relay can reside. A small movement for a much better relay location is always possible also. Relay should be close to the battery, in the engine compartment.
- Wire in the fuse within the first 18" of the wire at the battery between the battery and relay pin 30.
- Finish the 12 AWG wire run from pin 87 of the relay to the lights, and ground the lights to the chassis.
- Find a 12V source you want to use for the switch. This can be any 12V signal wire. Minimal current is needed so you can tap off of headlight output, keyed signal wired, etc.
- Run a small wire from there to an external switch (Unless using an already existing factory switch, it should already have power. Skip to the next step.)
- Run wire from the switch output to pin 85 of the relay and ground pin 86 of the relay.
- Reconnect the ground wire at the battery and test the lights.
- If you're wire runs are unnaturally long (For example, you're running to the rear of the vehicle or
you're running from a battery at the rear to the front), you may want to step up a wire size (I.E. 10
AWG) for main power if you're close to the 30A usage of the wire. Longer wire can't take as much safe
- Not all aftermarket pre-wired harnesses that come with lights are done correctly. Many of them just
run the power to a switch and back out without a relay. To be safe, I never use those unless they
include a relay.
All Content Copywright © 2003-2006 Christopher Stiefel. All Rights Reserved.
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