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Back up light Relay question

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Pearcelawn, Nov 19, 2006.

  1. Pearcelawn

    Pearcelawn Senior Member
    Messages: 368

    I want to put a set of driving lights on the truck for better visibility backing up since my windows are tinted. Is it necessary to use a relay or can I use self grounding lights and just tap into the power lead for the stock reverse lights and have them activate that way?

    I am fairly new to the sight but have gotten a lot of great info from here. Everyone seems very knowledgeable so I have confidence in the advice I will get.

    Thanks in advance to all!!

  2. 84deisel

    84deisel Senior Member
    Messages: 697

    I have always just tapped into the wires at the rear for reverse lights and usaully just use the old rubber mount tractor light.
  3. Pearcelawn

    Pearcelawn Senior Member
    Messages: 368


    Thanks very much. I have read some of the stuff here on the subject but had seen guys doing it both ways. I appreciate you clearing that up.
  4. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,993

    Do a search under back up lights or reverse lights. This as been covered many times and in many ways.:waving:
  5. DaySpring Services

    DaySpring Services PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,065

    Use a Relay!!!
  6. c.schulz

    c.schulz Senior Member
    Messages: 202

    I highly suggest using a relay. Dont ever over load a circut. Build one of your own with this .......

  7. Pearcelawn

    Pearcelawn Senior Member
    Messages: 368

    Basher, as I mentioned ,I HAD seen the posts of guys doing it both ways. I was just hoping for clarification.

    Thanks for the diagram to c.shultz and for the input ridehardny.

    I wasn't thinking about overloading the circuit. I will be sure to check the numbers before I do anything. Guess I was hoping for the easy way out after a hell of a mowing season.

    Have the new plow and just want to do it right. My old truck/plow was kind of a bad rigging job for everything.Bought it that way. Nothing went right with it. Want to have a decent season.

    Will be checking hard.
  8. fernalddude

    fernalddude PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,106

    The correct way is with the relay. You get the best of both worlds on in reverse or always on or not on at all. It can be done with just wire and a switch. Both will work its just your ability to install and cost. Myself iam a e&i tech and still use just the standard switch method my theory is less possible failing points KISS method
  9. DaySpring Services

    DaySpring Services PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,065

    I originally tried hooking mine up without a relay on my other truck. It actually made the light worse. The reverse lights hardly came on. You can use a fog light relay. They cost less than $5 and are easy to hook up. I have the KC reverse light kit. Worth every penny. Come with the light (very good quality) relay, conduit and all wiring necessary.
  10. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    Think about what the circuit you want to tap is designed to feed- no matter what circuit you are talking about. Back up lights are usually 1056 or 1157 bulbs.
    The 1056 bulb is 23 watts, while the 1157 is 4 watts on low filament, and 27 watts on high.
    A tractor light is 35 watts....usually, sometimes higher.
    So, figure 23 Watts per bulb for 46 watts on the circuit before you add the tractor light.
    Volts times amp gives you watts, so (not showing the math...) the tractor light plus the 2 stock 1056 bulbs draws 6.75 amps. If you have a trailer tow setup you're set up for 4 1056 bulbs on a low duty cycle, meaning it's capable of 8 amps on the circuit.
    2 tractor lights with the stock back up bulbs will draw over 9.5 amps through that 8 amp fuses circuit.

    Most trucks can feed 1 tractor light with the stock bulbs (no trailer towing with it tho) but the seperate circuit with the relay is the safest way to go, especially since most of us end up with 2 tractor lights.
    I wonder how replacing the 1056's with LED bulbs would work.....
  11. Pearcelawn

    Pearcelawn Senior Member
    Messages: 368


    O.K. I am convinced and will definately will be going with the relay because I want to run two lights on the rear.

    I knew I would get the right advice from the folks here and I thank you all!!
  12. DaySpring Services

    DaySpring Services PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,065

    If you havent bought anything yet spend a few extra bucks and get the KC kit. Well worth the money.
  13. Pearcelawn

    Pearcelawn Senior Member
    Messages: 368

    KC kit

    Thanks Ridehardny. I will be checking the store today and will look for the kit. It would be good to do it right the first time with the kit. Easier installation is a plus too!!
  14. BushHogBoy

    BushHogBoy Senior Member
    Messages: 665

    I highly agree... overloading your circuit is simply asking for major headaches... you can blow fuses, relays and burn up wiring, plus your factory lights as well as your auxillary lights will be very dim... relays aren't hard to do, just use that diagram Chris provided, go to any auto parts store and get a "driving light relay" for a few bucks (in the light section of course) or they also have them at Radio Shack... a few dollars and a few extra minutes WELL spent... I put relays on everything even if it probably doesn't need it... never hurts... i keep a couple extra relays in the toolbox too... Oh, and I'd throw an inline fuse somewhere in that circuit too, probably before the relay (if they get overloaded they CAN heat up too much and stick)

    off topic slightly but since we're talking about relays, always make sure you keep an extra relay/solenoid for your snowplow pump in the toolbox as well (maybe even 2 of them)... they're hard little boogers to find at 3 am when all the parts stores are closed LOL... several auto parts stores can order snowplow parts (ask them if they have a snowplow parts catalog like S.A.M. parts catalog) if you don't have a dealer close by. Or J-Thomas, etc... in a pinch you CAN use a Ford fender mounted starter solenoid but they won't last as long (not made for continuous duty they will burn out after a while but they'll get you by)... I LEARNED THIS ONE BY EXPERIENCE!!! TIME IS MONEY WHEN YOUR PLOWING, DON'T WASTE EITHER!!!!

    Happy plowing...
  15. jgsxr750

    jgsxr750 Member
    Messages: 84

    here are the before and after pic's of my back up lights. i took out my factory bulbs and wire in piaa driving light with a relay. cut lense to fit driving lights. they are bright as sh*t and have a nice clean look
  16. Pearcelawn

    Pearcelawn Senior Member
    Messages: 368

    Great idea. Pics?
  17. jgsxr750

    jgsxr750 Member
    Messages: 84

    pic's soon to follow. having trouble cropping them down so the site will except them.i can e-mail them to you if you like
  18. Pearcelawn

    Pearcelawn Senior Member
    Messages: 368

  19. spittincobra01

    spittincobra01 Senior Member
    Messages: 193

    not only did I use a relay, but I also switched the back up feed wire for the relay so I can have them not go on every time I back up unless I want them to. It only required one extra wire and maybe an extra 15 mins to do... just food for thought
  20. fernalddude

    fernalddude PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,106

    If your using xp go to power tools and get Image Resizer
    This PowerToy enables you to resize one or many image files with a right-click. at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/d...powertoys.mspx
    its easy download the update and right click on the pic and in the dropdown window resize pops up click on the size you need and poof its done let me get some screen capture for ya....
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2006