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Old 06-26-2014, 04:30 PM   #1
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Wiring up LED strips

Have this in another area, but thought I would throw it up here as well:

I just ordered some flexible LED light strip to use as rock lights and some other small things. Figured if it ends up not working out, it was less than $10
Amazon.com - LED Strip light, Waterproof LED Flexible Light Strip 12V with 300 SMD LED, 3258 16.4 Foot / 5 Meter - String Lights

I'm good on soldering the wires to it where I cut the strip and the heat shrink, but my main question is the wiring of it. I'm pretty sure I need a relay and fuse (or is it not enough draw for those?), and I will run it to a KC switch I have lying around. I have seen the diagrams, but would really like some explanation on how to do this. I know it needs to run to the batter, there needs to be a ground, and then a wire to the switch correct? But the lights only come with two wires...
I have the relay from a kit of KC fogs that was not used, can I use that?
I'm definitely still learning about wiring so I'm a little confused. Any help on how to do this would be appreciated. Thanks!

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Old 06-26-2014, 06:25 PM   #2
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What is the total wattage of the lights? I really doubt that it is high enough to warrant a relay, but it would work either way.

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Old 06-26-2014, 08:11 PM   #3
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If it was me I would put plus to park lights plus and minus on led to ground via a switch in cab that way only come if switch is in on position and park or head lights are on and go off whenever you turn switch off or turn off park / headlights so you cannot accidentally leave the led strips on and run down the battery
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Old 06-26-2014, 09:32 PM   #4
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Quote:
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If it was me I would put plus to park lights plus and minus on led to ground via a switch in cab that way only come if switch is in on position and park or head lights are on and go off whenever you turn switch off or turn off park / headlights so you cannot accidentally leave the led strips on and run down the battery
I prefer to not cut the wire factory harness. I used an extend a fuse on one of the acc fuses and ran that to my switch and from the switch to a relay. The switch only turns the relay on. Power was pulled for the lights from the battery through the relay. I would use a relay no matter what lights you install. Easy to do.
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Old 06-26-2014, 11:51 PM   #5
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What is the total wattage of the lights? I really doubt that it is high enough to warrant a relay, but it would work either way.
The description says 4W/m... seems pretty low

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I prefer to not cut the wire factory harness. I used an extend a fuse on one of the acc fuses and ran that to my switch and from the switch to a relay. The switch only turns the relay on. Power was pulled for the lights from the battery through the relay. I would use a relay no matter what lights you install. Easy to do.
So both of the wires on the light would go to the relay, one comes off the battery into the relay, a ground comes of the relay and then one comes off the relay going to the rocker switch? Do I have that right?
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Old 06-26-2014, 11:56 PM   #6
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No need for a relay. I did the same thing with my rock lights, but I used the brighter 5050 style leds

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Old 06-26-2014, 11:57 PM   #7
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You don't need a relay for LED's. You'll have three wires going to the switch if you're going to use a lighted switch. Make sure you shrink wrap and everything is waterproof! And you could leave those LEDs on for days without running the battery down.
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Old 06-27-2014, 12:20 AM   #8
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Usually you'll find an amp/foot rating on strips. On high powered ones I've installed for cabinet lighting it's about 300 milliamps per foot. 12 feet (seems reasonable for what you'd need for the Jeep) your looking at about 3.6 amps. I'd grab an aux wire at the interior fuse box, fuse it at 5 amps, run it to a switch, then to the lights.
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Old 06-27-2014, 12:33 AM   #9
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No need for a relay! let me know how it goes
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Old 06-27-2014, 12:45 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freeskier View Post
Usually you'll find an amp/foot rating on strips. On high powered ones I've installed for cabinet lighting it's about 300 milliamps per foot. 12 feet (seems reasonable for what you'd need for the Jeep) your looking at about 3.6 amps. I'd grab an aux wire at the interior fuse box, fuse it at 5 amps, run it to a switch, then to the lights.
300ma is .03 amps/foot. .03x12=.36 amps. One decimal back

ma is thousandths of an amp, not hundredths.


For the OP as a comparison, the stock headlights alone use about 9.2 amps together. You can run the LED lights for a longgg time.
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Old 06-27-2014, 08:03 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by jeepwayoflife View Post
No need for a relay. I did the same thing with my rock lights, but I used the brighter 5050 style leds
Those look nice.

So no relay, got! Thanks guys!!!
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Old 06-27-2014, 08:47 AM   #12
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Ever been to a motorcycle event, half of the bikes parked have LED accent lights on and they will leave them on for hours and hours and that is on a small motorcycle battery. I don't know why you would need a relay. LED's just don't pull much current.
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Old 06-27-2014, 11:21 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepwayoflife View Post
300ma is .03 amps/foot. .03x12=.36 amps. One decimal back ma is thousandths of an amp, not hundredths. For the OP as a comparison, the stock headlights alone use about 9.2 amps together. You can run the LED lights for a longgg time.
Whip out your calculator and divide 300 by 1000.
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Old 06-27-2014, 12:56 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepwayoflife View Post

300ma is .03 amps/foot. .03x12=.36 amps. One decimal back

ma is thousandths of an amp, not hundredths.

For the OP as a comparison, the stock headlights alone use about 9.2 amps together. You can run the LED lights for a longgg time.
Nevermind I did that for 30ma not 300. Freeskier is right, 3.6 amps


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Those look nice.
Thanks, I used a total of 8 feet or so.
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Old 06-27-2014, 01:25 PM   #15
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Nevermind I did that for 30ma not 300. Freeskier is right, 3.6 amps




Thanks, I used a total of 8 feet or so.
So quite a bit less with 8 feet. I was thinking about 6 feet per side. I forget how frickin' bright those things are. The 5050 strips we have in the kitchen are on a dimmer and always dimmed down they're so bright.

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