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Flick a switch, and the lights in both the living room and hallway come on so you don't have to worry about finding your way to the bathroom in the dark. You can do this light switch wiring in one of two ways. The most common is to daisy-chain the light fixtures by connecting them to each other and hooking the first one up to the switch.

The other way to wire multiple lights to one switch is to connect all of them directly to the switch in a "home run" configuration. The second option allows you to easily disconnect fixtures you no longer want to use, but it becomes cumbersome when more than two fixtures are involved. Make sure to turn off the circuit breaker for the light circuit before doing any wiring. It's a good idea to double check by testing wires with a voltage tester before you touch them. Before you can wire multiple light fixtures to a switch, you have to know how to do just one.

Every volt circuit that powers lights in a typical home has two conducting wires and a ground. One of the conducting wires is black, and it's the hot one, meaning it carries the electricity on its outward path from the power source to the load.

The other conductor is white. It's the return wire that completes the circuit from the load back to the power source. A switch interrupts the hot leg of the circuit, so it has terminals only for black wires and ground.

The terminals are brass. You connect the black wire from the power source to one of these brass terminals — the line terminal — and the black wire going to the light fixture to the other, which is the load terminal.

That leaves two white wires and two ground wires in the box. What do you do with those? The return path from the load bypasses the switch, so the white wires simply get spliced — or joined together.

You do this by twisting the exposed ends together and screwing on a wire cap. The ground wires also get twisted together, but they also have to be connected to the green ground screw on the switch.

This is easy to do if you leave one wire longer so you can wrap it around the terminal. Daisy-chaining isn't the same as wiring lights in series. If you wire lights in series, they'll all go out when one of them fails. When you daisy-chain light fixtures, you're wiring them in parallel, and standard electrical color-coding makes this easy to do. If you're only connecting a single light fixture to a switch, you'll have one live cable with a black, white and bare ground wire in the fixture box.

Connect the black wire to the black wire on the light, the white wire to the white one on the light and the bare one to the ground wire or the ground screw. If you want to add a fixture, you'll need an extra cable in the box that goes to that fixture. You'll probably run that cable through the attic. Simply add the black wire to the two black wires that are already there, then do the same with the white and ground wires.

You may need larger wire caps because you're increasing the number of wires in each set from two to three. You can use the same procedure to connect another fixture to the one you just added, and you can keep adding fixtures until the total current draw of the circuit reaches the limit of the breaker rating.

There aren't many reasons to feed wires from multiple light fixtures directly to the same switch. One might be that the switch box is easier to access than any of the fixture boxes and another that the wiring is temporary and you want to be able to disconnect the new light easily.

In home run light switch wiring, each outgoing hot wire must be connected to the load terminal of the switch. The best way to do this is to make a pigtail, which means to twist all the black wires going to fixtures together with a 6-inch length of spare black wire. Screw a wire cap onto the spliced joint, then connect the short wire to the load terminal. Use the same technique to connect the ground wires to the ground terminal.

When you get to the white wires, you don't need a pigtail. Simply twist them all together and cap them.Having a relay switch is essential if you are wiring up a light bar that has a very large amp draw at all.

A relay is an electrical switch that lets a low current circuit control a high current circuit such as a large LED light bar. If your light has a very large amp draw at all, you will want to install a relay switch to keep from overheating an ordinary switch, burning up the wires, and thus reducing the amount of electricity getting to your light. If you are using a light pod that does not have a very large amp draw, you may not need a relay switch, but if you are using a larger LED light bar, they are a must have.

Here is our standard wiring harness :. To begin with, look at your relay switch and notice the four prongs on it marked 30, 87,85, and If you are using a wiring harness and switch, these four prongs may be plugged in already, However, if you are wanting use a different electrical current to activate your light bar, such as having it come on when you turn on your bright lights you will have to install the switch yourself.

To do this, simply match the numbers on the prongs according to these guidelines:. If you desire, the prongs marked 85 and 86 can be safely switched without any difference. If you are wanting to wire your light bar in such a way that is controlled with a separate switch on your dashboard, all you have to do is leave the wiring harness set up the way it is, cut the wire coming to the 30 prong, and wire it either to your high beam LED or backup light wire.

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Single Row. Led Pods. By Vehicle. Next Post. Previous Post. Recent Posts. January Giveaway Winner! Feb 05, August Giveaway Winner! Sep 17, July's Giveaway Winner! Jul 30, May's 20" Light Bar Winner! May 30, April 20" Light Bar Winner!Me either. This blog post is going to teach you how to wire 12v lights and any other 12v accessories you want to control by a switch or two.

Wiring Tips: Using Relays

Quick note before we get started. Also, we have interactive solar wiring diagrams that are a complete, A to Z solution for teaching you exactly what parts go where, what size wires to use, fuse size recommendations, wire lug sizes, and all kind of other stuff to help save you time and frustration.

This is the most basic switch. It simply has an on and off position:. On MOST 12v switches, it seems like most of them come with a little led indicator light on the actual switch.

If you want the little led indicator light to light up, you will wire the switch like this:. Just mirror that diagram down to the next fuse on your distribution block.

How to Wire Multiple Light Fixtures to One Switch?

The purpose of a 2 way switch is so that you can have a switch by your entry-way and another by, say, your bed so you can operate the lights. Hopefully, you now know how to wire 12v lights and switches into your DIY Camper.

how to wire a relay for lights

If you have any questions, leave them in the comments below and subscribe for future updates. Remember, this is just one part of a full camper van electrical educational series. Ideally I would like to have the front Light Bar with a dash switch, but my perimeter lights on switches in the back.

What would be the best way to approach this? Ours are powered off of the house batteries. We have all of our lights on switches under the dash. The switches activate a relay in the back that turns on the lights outside. If I were doing it over again. Those would all activate relays that would turn the lights on. Most of my appliances are V which i have planned on putting 5…3 standard outlets and 2 GFCI all V outlet, of course not use all the time. Blue Sea Safety Switch… …Type?

Busbar type?Fog lights are a great do-it-yourself add-on for a car or truck. Properly installed and wired, these lights make it much easier to drive in foggy conditions as they light the road much better than normal headlights.

While proper wiring for fog lights is not just adding a wire and a switch it's not difficult and is a task that a car owner can do himself in less than an hour. Mount the circuit breaker and relay the Signal Stat is easy to wire and has a mounting tab near the battery. Use a small self-tapping screw and mount to a metal part of the car. The radiator support generally works well for this.

Drive the screw with the electric drill and socket. Use a short piece of gauge wire with a solderless female spade connector on one end, and a solderless ring terminal on the other. Place the relay mounting screw through the ring terminal before mounting the relay to the body to ground the relay.

Connect the spade connector to terminal 87 on the relay. Connect a length of gauge wire from the positive terminal of the vehicle battery to one side of the circuit breaker. Make the connections using solderless ring connectors. Connect the other side of the circuit breaker to terminal 85 on the relay. Use a piece of gauge wire fitted with a ring terminal and a female spade connector to make the connections.

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Run a piece of gauge wire from terminal 30 to the toggle switch. Install the switch within easy, safe, reach of the driver. Connect a wire from a fused power source to the center terminal of the switch and the wire from terminal 30 to the other switch terminal. This article was written by the It Still Runs team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Runs, contact us.

How to Wire Fog Lights by K. Step 1 Mount the fog lights as low as possible on the front of the vehicle. Step 2 Mount the circuit breaker and relay the Signal Stat is easy to wire and has a mounting tab near the battery. Step 3 Use a short piece of gauge wire with a solderless female spade connector on one end, and a solderless ring terminal on the other. Step 4 Connect a length of gauge wire from the positive terminal of the vehicle battery to one side of the circuit breaker.

Step 5 Connect the other side of the circuit breaker to terminal 85 on the relay. Step 6 Connect the fog lights to terminal 86 using gauge wire. Items you will need Automotive relay Inline 10 amp circuit breaker Self tapping screws Electric drill and socket for self-tapping screw gauge primary wire 14 gauge primary wire Toggle switch Fog lights.

How-To Wire Lights & Switches in a DIY Camper Van Electrical System

About the Author This article was written by the It Still Runs team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information.A common question we get is, "What is the relay for and how do I wire it up?

A relay is an electrical switch. When you create a circuit a loop of electricity from the battery to your LED Light barif you just put a switch between the battery and the light, it will have to be rated for the full current amp draw of the light.

Many switches would be able to handle that As a result, you could end up overheating the switch, melting the wires, and reducing the current that is getting to your lights, making them not as bright. Another reason you may want a relay is for the creative ways you can use electrical currents from things other than a physical switch.

Read more about that below. Kind of cryptic isn't it. Well if you are just going to use our wiring harnessand switch, you don't need to know what any of this is, because it comes all pre-wired and plugged in together. But if you want to use some sort of electrical current to activate your LED lightbar, like make them come on when you turn your high beams on, or your reverse lights on if you are adding LED backup lightsthen you'll need to do a bit of rework.

First, let's explain the what these 30, 85, 86, 87 numbers are. Let's start with a picture:. Register Log in Wishlist 0 Shopping cart 0 You have no items in your shopping cart. Personal menu.

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LED Light Bars. Other Lights. Shop By Vehicle. Extreme LED Accessories. What is a Relay? Buy a Wiring Harness But if you want to use some sort of electrical current to activate your LED lightbar, like make them come on when you turn your high beams on, or your reverse lights on if you are adding LED backup lightsthen you'll need to do a bit of rework.

Let's start with a picture: 30 and 87 create the switch to your LED lights. By default this switch is open, so current cannot get from the battery to your lights.

Without this current, no magnetic force is created, so the 30 to 87 switch stays open, and your lights stay off. For example you could splice a wire off your high beam wire or off your backup light wire 86 - connect to a ground. Note: 85 and 86 can be reversed, but our harnesses have them setup this way. So you'd want another switch on your dash that you turn off and on. When it is off, and you put your high beams on, your LED light will still be off and vice versa.

In this case, you need to wire the dash switch in between the trigger current, i. Still Have Questions? No problem, we are here to help, send us an email or give us a call. You could even do this: Get an SPDT switch, with center off, and wire the common terminal center, usually - but check it first to the relay Now, wire one of the remaining switch terminals to your power source, and the other to your reverse wire.

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Now, when you set the switch to the middle off position, your reverse lights operate as normal and don't trigger your extra lighting. When you flip the switch one way, your reverse lights will operate the relay and your light setup. When you flip the switch the other way, your lights will turn on independent of the reverse lights.The replacement brake light switches sold today are extremely light duty and don't hold up to the 3 amps drawn by the brake lights for very long before the contacts burn again I have had them burn in just two weeks.

Adding a relay to the brake light circuit will remove the heavy current from the brake light switch. The relay to use is a general purpose 30 Amp automotive relay, sometimes known as a Bosch relay. They are available from Radio Shack and most auto parts stores. The relay can be mounted anywhere that is convenient. In the accompanying diagrams, I show a 0. These are optional parts and can be left out if you wish.

I added them as additional protection for the brake light switch. The capacitor is just soldered across the switch terminals. The diode can be soldered across terminals 85 and 86 of the relay. The advantage of the capacitor is that the capacitor acts as an arc suppressor and the diode collapses the field of the relay coil, eliminating any inductive surge across the brake light switch when it opens.

How to Make a Headlight Wiring Relay Kit

Send me an email to confirm current price, availability and shipping costs to your location. I also need to know the polarity of your car and if it has a hydraulically actuated switch or one that operates off of the brake pedal. Send a check or money order to:. I will ship the parts upon receipt of your check, or your money order.

Cheers, Dave. Note- this written inI don't know if Dave is still supplying the units. Contact him by clicking his name at the top of the article. Note: In the following two diagrams the only difference is the orientation of the diode.

Did you find this article useful? Do you have a question or comment about this article? Leave a rating or a comment below, and get instant reply notification via email If you have a long question, or a question not directly related to this article, please start a new topic in the Discussion Forums. Want to leave a comment or ask the owner a question?

Sign in or register a new account — it's free. Click any icon to bookmark this page with your choice of services.A relay is basically a switch but not like a switch that's on a wall. A wall switch relies on someone to flip it which will then control a light or some other type load.

A relay is switched by electrical power and not a human. This is done by energizing a coil which is internal to the relay and by energizing the coil, the relay changes state just like a wall switch would. Therefore when you energize a relay, you are switching circuits off and on.

how to wire a relay for lights

Relays have many purposes and are used in a variety of ways such as electronic circuit boards, machines, appliances, automobiles and the list can go on. The main purpose of a relay is to switch electrical circuits off and on at given times and allow circuits to be automated.

how to wire a relay for lights

A great advantage with relays is the ability to switch many different circuits of different voltage types all at once by using the same relay.

Wiring Relays Although relays come in a huge variety of designs, shapes and sizes, They all basically work with the same concept. I'm going to be covering some industrial relay logic and the images you see here are some of the most common types used for industrial controls also called machine controls. These images show a square 3-pole relay and it's socket on the left and a round 2-pole relay and it's socket on the right.

The socket is used to connect your wires to the relay. This particular relay with 3-poles means you have 3 separate switches or what we'll call contacts. And So On. The square relay pinout shows how the relay socket is configured for wiring. This pinout image is only a 2-pole diagram for room on the page purposes, but you can get the picture here with this one since a 3-pole will just have 1 more set of contacts.

As you can see, there is absolutely no difference between the square type and the round type other than the ratings on the relay. Otherwise they work exactly the same. See my Switch Terminology Page for more on contact arrangements if you need to. By looking at the diagram below we can go through the basic concept of a relay and how they operate.

how to wire a relay for lights

This diagram will show you how simple it is to control motors, lights, valves, other relays and any type load you want. In this example we are simply turning on a light. Just like basic house wiring, we always want to control switch the hot wire.

So as you can see below, L1 goes down into a normally closed switch. This means the current travels through that switch until it see's an open switch and cannot go any further. Now the 2 MCR contacts which are normally open as shown will now close. This allows current flow through the contacts and energizes the light.

Now to turn the light off, you simply depress the STOP button and this will open the circuit to the relay, de-energizing the coil.