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  #1  
Old 02-22-2011, 10:39 AM
stevebutt16 stevebutt16 is offline
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Default Utility Light Wiring Question

Hi Everyone,

Im new to the forums and seeking some advice that i couldnt find alot of input on while searching online.

Basicly here is my question. I just picked up two utility lights with 100 watt bulbs that i plan to mount on my headache rack for loading and unloading the truck at night etc. These will NOT be driving lights by no means and will only be used for 10 mins at a time and very seldom used.

What is your opinion on running the two lights to a switch i picked up at the auto store, and running the switch to the battery. Of course the lights will be grounded. I did not plan to use a relay or an inline fuse and know people who have done this with no issues. The switch is rated for 35 amps so if my ohms law math is correct it should be ok to do it this way. Just want some opionions, has anyone done this? Without a relay with this draw power at all times and drain my battery overnight? I didnt think it would as long as the switch is off. As you can tell im not an electrician but have been told this should be fine. Im guessing all an inline fuse would do is blow before the switch fries assuming the fuse is a lower amp rating than the switch? All opinions welcomed.
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  #2  
Old 02-22-2011, 10:48 AM
FireRanger FireRanger is offline
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Default Re: Utility Light Wiring Question

As long as your wiring, switch, and connectors are all rated to handle 20 amps and you put an inline 20 amp fuse at the battery, you are perfectly fine. I would recomend nothing smaller than 12 gauge wire for this. Fuse at the battery. 12 gauge wire to the switch. 12 gauge wire to the lights. Crimp and seal your connectors good and tight.

And no, it will not drain the battery with the switch off.
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How to: Aux light wiring, relays, & fuses
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  #3  
Old 02-22-2011, 10:56 AM
stevebutt16 stevebutt16 is offline
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Default Re: Utility Light Wiring Question

Excellent. Thanks for your quick response. Nice to know i was on the right path but second opionions always help.
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  #4  
Old 02-22-2011, 11:00 AM
turbo turbo is offline
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Default Re: Utility Light Wiring Question

as far as electrical circuits go, yes... it will work.

with the gauge wiring that Matt recommends and the fuse, there shouldn't be an issue...

but from a safety standpoint, even with the fuse, I would not recommend running that kind of current through the firewall (twice!)... it just doesn't make sense, given that wiring the circuit with a relay would only cost $5.00 more... a jolt of only 1A is more than sufficient to kill a person, and you're talking about running in excess of 15A from the battery, into the cab, through a toggle switch, and back out the cab to the lights.

you can do whatever you want to do, but I would definitely never wire up aux lighting in the manner you suggest...
__________________
2001 Ranger XLT 4.0L SOHC
Silver Frost w/ Dark Graphite interior


Modifications
Summit 3" Body Lift
31x10.50 A/T tires
Explorer overhead console
Explorer auto-dim mirror
Explorer auto-headlights
Aux1 & Aux2 inputs on factory AM/FM/CD/Cassette
Door-dinger silencer button
Seamless retractable roof and passenger-side ejection seat with steering wheel mounted controls and safety interlock
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  #5  
Old 02-22-2011, 11:12 AM
FireRanger FireRanger is offline
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Default Re: Utility Light Wiring Question

I think you're confusing automotive wiring with home wiring. There is no health hazard associated with 12v automotive wiring. You can touch the exposed wire all day while your other hand is grounded and nothing will happen. It doesn't have that kind of potential. Also, amps are DRAWN, not pushed or received. So the fact that the lights will draw 16 amps has no bearing on how much current something else touching the or connected to the circuit will draw. If you had a 5,000 amp light hooked up, it would still do nothing when you touch the wire. And furthermore, if something faulted the circuit, it would be a short to ground and immediately pop the fuse. Shorting the wire out on the chassis or firewall doesn't energize the body of the truck. And since the wiring and fuse are designed to handle that, it is ok. Bottom line, there is absolutely nothing wrong with his setup and wiring it up with a relay is really a lot of unneccessary work and wiring.

Now, if we were talking about 120vac home electrical wiring, you would be correct and I have the "holy shit you should be dead" incident behind me to prove that one.
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2003 Edge 4.0 4wd

How to: Aux light wiring, relays, & fuses
Info: 300+ intake threads here on FRF
Info: HID Projectors
How To: NO HEAT Troubleshooting Guide
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  #6  
Old 02-22-2011, 12:01 PM
stevebutt16 stevebutt16 is offline
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Default Re: Utility Light Wiring Question

Quote:
wiring it up with a relay is really a lot of unneccessary work and wiring.
That was basicly my thought as well, and as i said they arent driving lights they will be used on the rare occasion for 5 to 10 mins. At first i wasnt even going to get the fuse, however i think i will go ahead and get the fuse though. I picked up 14 gauge wire based on an AWG chart i was looking at in the store which is based on wire length and amperage. Is there any need to run through the firewall? a friend of mine just has it ran along the side of the engine compartment and down throgh the door near the windshield. I know this can cause a grounding issue if the wire becomes knicked correct?
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  #7  
Old 02-22-2011, 12:24 PM
GGlighting GGlighting is offline
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by FireRanger View Post
As long as your wiring, switch, and connectors are all rated to handle 20 amps and you put an inline 20 amp fuse at the battery, you are perfectly fine. I would recomend nothing smaller than 12 gauge wire for this. Fuse at the battery. 12 gauge wire to the switch. 12 gauge wire to the lights. Crimp and seal your connectors good and tight.

And no, it will not drain the battery with the switch off.
Took the words right outta my mouth

I personally hate relays, especially for the fact that all my lights on my truck are for off-road. Relays will just fail, as an online fuse - if it blows you simply replace it and turn your lights back on. All wiring I have done for the last 2 years has just used inline fuses and I've never had a problem
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  #8  
Old 02-22-2011, 12:33 PM
FireRanger FireRanger is offline
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Default Re: Utility Light Wiring Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevebutt16 View Post
At first i wasnt even going to get the fuse, however i think i will go ahead and get the fuse though. I picked up 14 gauge wire based on an AWG chart i was looking at in the store which is based on wire length and amperage. Is there any need to run through the firewall? a friend of mine just has it ran along the side of the engine compartment and down throgh the door near the windshield. I know this can cause a grounding issue if the wire becomes knicked correct?
No, it is not alright to run the wire in the door Unless you don't mind your wire being pinched, the insulation worn off, and your fuse blowing from it shorting out on the body. Through the firewall to the switch, then back out the firewall or under the seat and up to the lights.

The fuse is a required protection device. Without it, if something shorts the wiring to ground, it will just keep flowing an unlimted number of amps totally uninterupted and catch the wiring and connectors on fire.
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2003 Edge 4.0 4wd

How to: Aux light wiring, relays, & fuses
Info: 300+ intake threads here on FRF
Info: HID Projectors
How To: NO HEAT Troubleshooting Guide
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  #9  
Old 02-22-2011, 12:40 PM
stevebutt16 stevebutt16 is offline
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Default Re: Utility Light Wiring Question

hahaha i didnt mean shutting the door on the wire, you can easily run a wire up along the side of the engine compartment and down through the gap NEXT to the door without the door pinching it, thats what i meant sorry for the confusion.
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  #10  
Old 02-22-2011, 12:58 PM
FireRanger FireRanger is offline
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Default Re: Utility Light Wiring Question

I'm not picturing the location you're describing where it won't be closed or pinched by the door. But none the less, if you can do without the door opening and closing on the wire, it is probably fine.
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2003 Edge 4.0 4wd

How to: Aux light wiring, relays, & fuses
Info: 300+ intake threads here on FRF
Info: HID Projectors
How To: NO HEAT Troubleshooting Guide
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  #11  
Old 02-22-2011, 01:05 PM
stevebutt16 stevebutt16 is offline
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Default Re: Utility Light Wiring Question

haha thats ok. Again, thanks for your help. Also blinded by the light is now stuck in my head, thanks for that too haha
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  #12  
Old 02-22-2011, 01:39 PM
turbo turbo is offline
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Default Re: Utility Light Wiring Question

Matt, you're an idiot.

I have degrees and significant experience in electronics engineering; I have designed, built, engineered, installed, upgraded, and repaired electronics in fixed and mobile applications, terrestrial and marine. I'm very well aware of how electricity works, in AC and in DC circuits. You needn't continuously try to teach me what you learned about Ohm's law.

Further, I have public safety (police, fire, ems) training and certification; I'm a certified first responder with ALS/BLS experience. I know very well what voltage (AC or DC) can do to the human body.

Apart from this topic, let me say that I am growing significantly weary of you continuously "stalking" my posts on this forum, just so you can try to trump everything I say with your (apparently, misguided) opinion of what I have to say.

"There is no health hazard associated with 12v automotive wiring." -- please detail your professional background training and experience in electronics/electricity and/or your medical training upon which you base this ridiculous statement. I've already detailed (above) my professional background and experience against which I repudiate your ridiculous claim.



Quote:
Originally Posted by FireRanger View Post
I think you're confusing automotive wiring with home wiring. You can touch the exposed wire all day while your other hand is grounded and nothing will happen. It doesn't have that kind of potential. Also, amps are DRAWN, not pushed or received. So the fact that the lights will draw 16 amps has no bearing on how much current something else touching the or connected to the circuit will draw. If you had a 5,000 amp light hooked up, it would still do nothing when you touch the wire. And furthermore, if something faulted the circuit, it would be a short to ground and immediately pop the fuse. Shorting the wire out on the chassis or firewall doesn't energize the body of the truck. And since the wiring and fuse are designed to handle that, it is ok. Bottom line, there is absolutely nothing wrong with his setup and wiring it up with a relay is really a lot of unneccessary work and wiring.

Now, if we were talking about 120vac home electrical wiring, you would be correct and I have the "holy shit you should be dead" incident behind me to prove that one.
__________________
2001 Ranger XLT 4.0L SOHC
Silver Frost w/ Dark Graphite interior


Modifications
Summit 3" Body Lift
31x10.50 A/T tires
Explorer overhead console
Explorer auto-dim mirror
Explorer auto-headlights
Aux1 & Aux2 inputs on factory AM/FM/CD/Cassette
Door-dinger silencer button
Seamless retractable roof and passenger-side ejection seat with steering wheel mounted controls and safety interlock
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  #13  
Old 02-22-2011, 02:30 PM
FireRanger FireRanger is offline
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Default Re: Utility Light Wiring Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevebutt16 View Post
haha thats ok. Again, thanks for your help. Also blinded by the light is now stuck in my head, thanks for that too haha
No problem, anytime. And don't mind the other uncalled for ranting in this thread. Its way off base.

Quote:
Originally Posted by turbo View Post
Matt, you're an idiot.

I have degrees and significant experience in electronics engineering; I have designed, built, engineered, installed, upgraded, and repaired electronics in fixed and mobile applications, terrestrial and marine. I'm very well aware of how electricity works, in AC and in DC circuits. You needn't continuously try to teach me what you learned about Ohm's law.

Further, I have public safety (police, fire, ems) training and certification; I'm a certified first responder with ALS/BLS experience. I know very well what voltage (AC or DC) can do to the human body.

Apart from this topic, let me say that I am growing significantly weary of you continuously "stalking" my posts on this forum, just so you can try to trump everything I say with your (apparently, misguided) opinion of what I have to say.

What kind of crack are you on??? I replied to this thread first way before you did. So you have a lot of balls accusing me of "stalking you" when you got here after I did. Laughable though. I don't even know who you are (and at this point, I think I'm glad I don't know you...). I posted what I did for everyone's benefit reading the thread. Not for you and not to attack or apparently provoke you. This isn't a competition.

Second, you can blab about your alleged education and certifications all you want. You're still wrong about what you posted and I am still 100% right in what I posted. I don't care if you throw a stack of masters degrees at it. It's basic high school auto shop level work we're talking about here and you are absolutely wrong about there being some electrical and health hazard in what he is doing. Your own original statement is self-defeating to begin with, which I chose not to say anything about because its not necessary or worth it. And this latest blabber is just out in orbit around some other planet.

As for your self-proclaimed superior intellect and comparing it with my own knowledge, I doubt anyone gives a crap and I certainly do not. Nor will I engage in that debate here in this thread. I posted correct information. I don't need a detailed resume and thesis to back it up because it is already basic understood fact. By apparently everyone else but you. Sorry. If you want to continue that debate / penis size competition, it is for another time and place, not here in this thread.
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FireRanger
2003 Edge 4.0 4wd

How to: Aux light wiring, relays, & fuses
Info: 300+ intake threads here on FRF
Info: HID Projectors
How To: NO HEAT Troubleshooting Guide

Last edited by FireRanger; 02-22-2011 at 02:33 PM.
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  #14  
Old 02-22-2011, 04:03 PM
turbo turbo is offline
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Default Re: Utility Light Wiring Question

you admit in your latest diatribe, that you have no verifiable education -- I just don't understand why you continue to try to prove it here on this forum. I'm sorry to hear you feel your penis is inadequately sized; perhaps that is the basis of your poor attitude.

in any case, you're wrong. people who follow your advice will sooner or later suffer injury (or worse) to themselves or their property. hope you can sleep well with that.
__________________
2001 Ranger XLT 4.0L SOHC
Silver Frost w/ Dark Graphite interior


Modifications
Summit 3" Body Lift
31x10.50 A/T tires
Explorer overhead console
Explorer auto-dim mirror
Explorer auto-headlights
Aux1 & Aux2 inputs on factory AM/FM/CD/Cassette
Door-dinger silencer button
Seamless retractable roof and passenger-side ejection seat with steering wheel mounted controls and safety interlock
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  #15  
Old 02-22-2011, 04:07 PM
01_ranger_4x4 01_ranger_4x4 is offline
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Default Re: Utility Light Wiring Question

lets get back on topic guys, take the pissing match to PM's
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-4:56 gears
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-Headers
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2005 F-150 Lariat 4x4
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