LED Light Bar Wiring Harness Tech - What You Need To Know To Install Your Spotlights
Lightbars and spotlights are some of the most popular accessories for 4wd vehicles, but a lot of people come unstuck with installing them. If you like working on your vehicle installing lights yourself is easy enough to do and satisfying when it all goes right, but at the end of the day you’re working with some pretty powerful electrical appliances and it’s important to know what you’re doing. Getting the wiring right is the hardest part of the job, so if you’re thinking of fitting your new lights yourself and haven’t done it before here’s a quick guide.
Get the right tools
You could probably manage all the wiring with your trusty Leatherman, but we really don’t recommend it. Doing a neat job doesn’t just look good; it also makes for safety and reliability. You’ll get on much better with the proper tools. Usually this means a good pair of snips, a wire stripper and a sharp knife, as well as an assortment of screwdrivers.
Check the harness
We recommend you use the wiring harness supplied (or recommended) by the light’s manufacturer. That way you know everything’s going to work properly. Before starting work read the instructions carefully and make sure you know exactly what to do at each step.
Know the law
Nobody cares about a light that’s sitting in a box on your shelf, but as soon as it’s installed it becomes vehicle equipment and has to comply with roadworthiness laws. The laws about spotlights and lightbars are strict; they have to be wired to the vehicle’s high beams, so that they can only be switched on when the high beams are operating. It must be impossible for the spotlights to operate when you’re running on dipped headlights.
Be safe with electricity
Before doing anything to your vehicle’s wiring disconnect the battery. Make sure and disconnect the negative terminal first. This is a good time to make sure you know the security code for the sound system.
Check before drilling
If you need to drill any holes to run the wiring, carefully check that you won’t be hitting any cables or other essential components. Also try to avoid areas where water could collect. That’s bad for the vehicle and potentially dangerous for the wiring.
Keep it tidy
Route all wiring out of the way of anything that gets hot or moves; that way it won’t get damaged. Use clips or cable ties to secure everything. That will keep it safe and make it easy to locate faults if you have to. Cut off any surplus lengths. Make sure earth cables are securely attached and have a good connection.
Check your work
Once you’ve got everything connected use a multimeter to check that you have a good circuit.
Wiring up your own lights really isn’t difficult, but it’s a lot easier if you prepare properly and work out exactly what you’re going to do before you start. If you have any doubts just contact the supplier of your lights; they’ll be happy to give you advice.