1. Welcome to PlowSite. Notice a fresh look and new features? It’s now easier to share photos and videos, find popular topics fast, and enjoy expanded user profiles. If you have any questions, click HELP at the top or bottom of any page, or send an email to help@plowsite.com. We welcome your feedback.

    Dismiss Notice

Truck Aux Lighting-Is Wiring hard

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by ProEnterprises, Oct 7, 2004.

  1. ProEnterprises

    ProEnterprises Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 379

    I am looking to install some aux lights on my Nissam (fog lights). Is the lighting very easy, will I be able to do it by myself easily?

    If you have any insight, please share it.
  2. ratlover

    ratlover PlowSite.com Addict
    from IL
    Messages: 1,325

    Easy enough. When doing wiring in a vehical always use much bigger wire than you think necissary and always use relays. Dont run your foglights power though a switch in the dash or off your hedlight wiring or the like. With relays you can have things come on or turn off when any thing electrical is turned on or off. You know much about relays or how those dudes work?
  3. ProEnterprises

    ProEnterprises Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 379

    ratlover-i have no idea how relays work. this is my first try at it, thats why i asked. i was planning on running them off the switch that comes with the kit (problem?)
  4. wfd44

    wfd44 Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 369

    Any high amperage load (fog lights, light bar, off road lights) should be switched through a relay. This does a couple of things. It keeps the high amp run as short as possible. It keeps you from overloading the under dash fuse block. And, it allows you to run smaller gauge wire under the dash to the switch. Automotive electrical wiring is not too complicated but it isn't for just anyone either. If done incorrectly it could lead to a phenomenon we in the fire service refer to as "job security". In some ways it is more complex than household wiring. So, if you wouldn't attempt to add a simple circuit to your house or if any of the terms I have used sound like a foreign language then I would advise you not to do your own automotive wiring.
  5. festerw

    festerw Senior Member
    Messages: 986

    Alot of the better (ie, ones that cost more than $15 at Wal-Mart) fog light kits you can buy in the store come with a relay and clear directions on how to wire them. The Hella 500's I had on my truck were great in the install instructions, came with a diagram and everything.
  6. glenspot

    glenspot Senior Member
    Messages: 255

    pretend like i'm stupid.....ok, no need to pretend.

    I've wired automotive stuff in my own cars for years (fog lamps, aux lights, extra outlets, etc.)

    But i've always done it direct.....12v out of fuse box, 12v into switch, 12v into the equipment.

    I've never really looked into relays...but I have so much extra lighting on my truck now, i think i should. Can someone explain how it works in a little detail?

    I found this at radio shack.

    Is this what I should be looking for?

    Thanks for the help on this.

  7. ZamboniHDB

    ZamboniHDB Senior Member
    Messages: 338

    glenspot -
    I use those relays on all of my trucks for my auxiliary lighting. They are simple to use and a wiring schematic is on the back of the package. The terminals on the relay are numbered to correspond with the schematic.

    wfd44 basically spelled it out for you in terms of operation. It's safer to run high amperage items that way and you'd be surprised on how much a set of auxiliary lamps draw.

    Just my .02¢
  8. Guy

    Guy Member
    from Alaska
    Messages: 46

  9. snoluvr

    snoluvr Senior Member
    from RI
    Messages: 266

    a realy works like a heavy duty switch, but is designed to handle a load..unlike a $2.00 switch.. Your switch will still be the on/off, but rather than run the load to your accessories, it turns the relay on/off which handles the amps better..always use one.for every accessory.
    When I first bought a set of Hella 550's, i mounted them on a backrack.a firend wired them and said a relay was not worth it..well...after a little while of having current in the wire, the switch smoked right up.had to rip the wires off the back.I always spend the few dollars to protect my investment.
  10. ratlover

    ratlover PlowSite.com Addict
    from IL
    Messages: 1,325

    Think of a relay as a switch witch is exactly what it is. The only difference between a switch that you flip on or off is that a relay uses electricity to let the juice flow or stop the flow. There are tons of different kinds of relays but you generaly have ones that either are NC(normally closed) or NO(normally open) Meaning the relay is eaiterh normaly letting juice flow through it or its normally not letting juice flow through it. Some relays have posts so that it can function as either depending how you hook it up. First you got your in and out, this is just like on a switch, the juice comes in and when you flip the switch on the juice can flow out. Then you have your coil and your ground for the relay. When you energize the coil this is what is "flipping the switch" and you need to ground the relay so the "switch flipping juice" can flow through the relay. You dont need much juice and very little amperage to "flip the switch" so your wire going to your coil can be very small and your ground can be small too. You want to put your relay fairly close to your power source and what ever you are powering. Thick wire(how thick depending on what you are powering) in and thick out.

    You can have a relay on the ground side and just wire it up remebering that you need juice flowing across the coil to get it to do its thing and once it does its thing it will let juice flow back. Using relays can help you keep from "back feeding" things too. Or you can use a diaode.

    With enough relays and diodes and other fun stuff you can pretty much turn on or turn off any thing using the signal from something else. Use your imagination and if you run into a problem ask away and we can point you in the right direction. They have relays that turn on and off and stay latched with pulses of electricity too.

    Relays have #'s of what is what but i can ussually never remember, lucky though they ussually have a diagram on em somewere.

    All that make sense? After rereading it I'm not sure if i was clear? :confused: