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Old 04-07-2012, 11:04 PM   #1
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Off Road Lights Wiring

Hello YJs,

I know this offroad lights topic has been discussed probably a million times, but I need some very detailed advice because I'm putting up a lot of lights and I'm not familiar with electrical.

I'm going to put:
- (4) 100W lights on overhead lightbar, all 4 lights controlled by a single switch.
- (2) 100W windshield lights, controlled by a separate single switch
- (2) 55W foglights on front bumper, controlled by another single switch

Questions
a. Can someone draw a very detail wiring diagram?
b. Some very detailed step-by-step instructions
c. Type/grade of relays, fuses, wire, alternator do I need?
c. The best way to get the wiring into the cab to hook up the switch?

Thanks,
Ben

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Old 04-08-2012, 12:38 AM   #2
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also interested...

I am getting ready to wire up a similar set up with six on the top light bar and thats it. I am wiring them in pairs, each pair to one relay. So three relays and three switches in the cab.

your sounds like a bright set up too! lets see pics when your done!

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Old 04-08-2012, 01:32 AM   #3
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Easy!!

First of all, you need to figure out what kind of voltage ranges you are looking at. 100 watt halogen lamps at 12 volts will draw ~8.4 amps a piece. That's 100 watts / 12 volts = 8.4 amps (watts / volts = amps). I would run each pair of 2 lights on one 30 amp relay to create a more redundant system that's easier to diagnose.

However I would run one relay for every 2 lights:



For your roof lights you can wire both relays int one switch.

Total, you're looking at about 60 amps of current draw, so you are definitely going to need to upgrade to a 140+ amp alternator to safely keep your system topped off and charging properly. As for wire gauge, I would run 14 gauge on the lights. Believe it or not, WalMart has some high quality 14awg wire for speakers, but it's perfectly capable of handling the current. Will look a bit off, but that's what wire loom is for.
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Old 04-08-2012, 01:44 PM   #4
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Xpress, thanks for the clear diagram and detail description!!!!

Sorry, just 2 more Qs:
a. what fuse gauge for the (4) 100W roof lights?
b. where would be a good spot to drill a hole on the firewall to wire into the cab?

screech1, sounds like a good plan following Xpress' instructions. I thought I'm putting up a lot of lights, but you're putting up 6 overhead.... Nice.
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Old 04-08-2012, 03:09 PM   #5
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A. Using the math. 8.4a x 4 = 33.6a. So if your running both relays off of one fuse a 40A-50a fuse would get it. You could also run a 60 a cause your relays are 30a each but its overkill a bit.

Your wire feeding your fuse and realys needs to be 10ga at least. Just keep in mind the longer they are running the more heat is gonna be built up decrasing the efficency of the fuse/wireing. Not much but some.

B. I drilled my hole close to the batter tray mount . If you look under the dash you can see the mount stud. Make sure you grommet that hole as well.

You can run your relay triggers with 16-18 gauge wire and just tie them together at the realy. For multiple lights on 1 switch with multiple relays.
And yes 14 ga to each light should be enough for 100watt bulbs.

I ran 12ga (which is overkill) to mine but only have 2 on the windshield. I had them on for 4 hours the other night in a night run and they performed great. I also ran 12v constant fused to my switch becuse I wanted to be able to turn mine on with the engine off.

Also like xpress said 60amps is gonna kill your alternator if your turn them all on at once.

Also use dialectric grease on all of your connections. You'll thank me later.
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Old 04-09-2012, 06:39 AM   #6
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I've been going through offroad light wiring ideas myself. I'm going to end up with 6 switches for 13 lights. It's not ideal but that should give me both more control over what lights are on and off and put less strain on any one relay.
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Old 05-03-2012, 11:34 PM   #7
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My Offroad Light Plan

Thanks to Xpress and 95YamJam for the wiring input, finally I think I'm ready to put up the overhead light bar with (4) 100W offroad lights. I've put up a wiring map here hoping someone can tell me if I'm on the right track? Thanks.
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Old 05-04-2012, 12:17 AM   #8
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Looks good to me. 50 amps is overkill, too much headroom to allow your wiring to fry. Consider this:

Your alternator is charging the system at ~14.5 amps with the lights off, lights on it drops to around 13.8 volts. 13.8 volts divided by 100 watts gives you 7.2 amps. 7.2 amps multiplied by 2 lights gives you 14.4 amps.

14.4 amps for 2, 100 watt lights. You're using a fuse that's almost 4x what's required, you will be perfectly fine using a 20 amp fuse for each pair of 100 watt lights.
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Old 05-04-2012, 08:58 AM   #9
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If were me I would use 8gauge as the B+ feed, and 14gauge for the light feed. The length of the wire and the heat soak will have a direct affect on longevity of the system.
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Old 05-04-2012, 04:46 PM   #10
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No sense in running a 50a fuse to a 30a relay IMHO. You could run 1 50 amp fuse to both realys though.

Your only pulling around 15-16amps per set.

I ran 12 gauge to my lights and it was overkill but I had a ton of it and no 14ga so....
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Old 05-04-2012, 08:03 PM   #11
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If were me I would use 8gauge as the B+ feed, and 14gauge for the light feed. The length of the wire and the heat soak will have a direct affect on longevity of the system.
14 gauge wire is more than plenty enough, there's no sense in using such massive wires unless your current draw is very high.
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Old 05-04-2012, 09:33 PM   #12
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Fur what? You have to have big stuff feeding the relays.
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Old 05-05-2012, 08:59 AM   #13
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Not really, I've even used 14awg speaker wire before to feed a relay powering a couple of 100w lights. 14awg is perfectly fine.
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Old 05-05-2012, 09:11 AM   #14
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Ok then why have the relay? Why not just run the wire from a toggle switch directly to the light? The reason any relay is in play in this case is to handle what the toggle cannot and therefore requires a heavier wire for power. The trigger wire can be as small as 22 gauge since the load isn't on the switch. If you don't use at least a 10 gauge to power the relay your risking meltdown.
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Old 05-05-2012, 10:55 AM   #15
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14 gauge is rated for up to15amps, 12 is rated for 20amps, 10 gauge is rated for 30amps, 8 gauge is rated for 50amps.
Overkill leaves room for expansion when it comes to wiring. just my .02
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Old 05-05-2012, 07:43 PM   #16
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But what could be the consquence if the wire gauges are overkilled? I just want to play safe instead of regret later....
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Old 05-05-2012, 07:59 PM   #17
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The point of running a relay is to isolate as much current draw from the switch as possible as well as eliminating any power loss through such circuitry. It's sending directly voltage to the lights rather than running the power through a switch.
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Old 05-05-2012, 08:08 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YJrenegade View Post
But what could be the consquence if the wire gauges are overkilled? I just want to play safe instead of regret later....
Nothing except price and a bigger wire to run. I would rather have more than I need than just enough and maybe have to add to it.
But what do I know I ran mine directly to a 60 amp switch with an in-line 20 Amp fuse. I used 10 Gauge stranded wire for each light (+ and -). I am running 2- KC daylighters. I think they are 100 Watts each
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Old 05-05-2012, 08:15 PM   #19
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Keep in mind KC only uses 14awg wire for their lights, except for one power lead which is 10awg. Even then it's still not entirely needed.
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Old 05-05-2012, 08:16 PM   #20
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The point of running a relay is to isolate as much current draw from the switch as possible as well as eliminating any power loss through such circuitry. It's sending directly voltage to the lights rather than running the power through a switch.
Sorda....a relay is used in conjuction with a switch to handle the full load of current, not isolate it. And for clarification, it passes current rather than voltage.
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Old 05-05-2012, 08:20 PM   #21
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Technically current needs voltage in order to flow.. Just saying
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Old 05-05-2012, 08:25 PM   #22
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Technically I dont need a lesson, this is what I do for a living....just sayin
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Old 05-05-2012, 08:27 PM   #23
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Who said I was talking directly to you? There are plenty of people out there who might not know
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Old 05-05-2012, 08:29 PM   #24
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But they probably dont care either....not everyone wants a disertation on electronic theory. They just wanna know what to do so their jeep isn't on the side of the road waiting on the blue lighters to put it out ROFL
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Old 05-06-2012, 05:51 AM   #25
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But they probably dont care either....not everyone wants a disertation on electronic theory. They just wanna know what to do so their jeep isn't on the side of the road waiting on the blue lighters to put it out ROFL

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Old 05-06-2012, 07:30 PM   #26
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Is there a way that u can have extra lights on a switch and still be able 2 turn them all off with ur dimmer switch?
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Old 05-06-2012, 09:30 PM   #27
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Well you can always run redundant power switches, granted you paralleled the leads together, but a dimmer switch will not work with a basic relay as relays are on/off only.
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Old 05-06-2012, 09:52 PM   #28
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Is there a way that u can have extra lights on a switch and still be able 2 turn them all off with ur dimmer switch?
What are you trying to do? Add more interior lights?
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Old 05-07-2012, 06:03 AM   #29
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The dimmer switch for the headlights

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