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Wire sizing / light bar amp draw question

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by ScottyR, Aug 11, 2018.

  1. Aug 11, 2018 at 8:19 PM
    #1
    ScottyR

    ScottyR [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Hey folks. I’m looking to get my caliraised light bar wired up and I want to go ahead and use this wire 14 AWG 10 ft OZ-USA 2 Wire 12v 24v cable car truck marine boat light led bar electrical wiring industrial https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0764TSZNG/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_Cw6BBbRW8V5MD . The website states that the light bar has a 200 watt draw. I know that these numbers are usually inflated and may not be that high. With 14awg wire I am on the fence in wether or not I can use it. Does any one know where I could find that wire in 12 awg or is 14 awg good enough?
     
  2. Aug 13, 2018 at 7:22 PM
    #2
    destin_meeks

    destin_meeks I used to fix people's crappy stereos

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    14awg is plenty for the caliraised bar in my opinion

    I might opt for 12awg if it was something like the 40” Baja designs that is BLASTING some light output, but the Cali probably isn’t (given its price)

    I have Cali ditch pods and love them! I think I’m using 16awg for them because I have a 500ft spool of it in the shop
     
  3. Aug 13, 2018 at 7:26 PM
    #3
    destin_meeks

    destin_meeks I used to fix people's crappy stereos

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    I always use the Blue Seas chart, and most aux electrical items on our trucks fall on the “non-critical” side 0521BD81-FDBD-42B6-97C5-6AA3B684C205.jpg
     
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  4. Aug 13, 2018 at 7:35 PM
    #4
    ScottyR

    ScottyR [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for your input. My meter only did up to 10 amps DC and it pinned the analog gauge. I have decided to go with 14 awg just because it’s a super short run.
     
  5. Aug 13, 2018 at 7:59 PM
    #5
    Sandman614

    Sandman614 Snarky TWSS elf, Travis #hotsavannahdotcom, LRGRNR

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    An important note.. The wire length is the total run, positive and negative.

    Quoted because this should be in every electrical wire size thread! Ampacity, voltage drop, and proper connectors are super important!

    I had an issue with spade quick connectors loosening up from heat cycles, which increased resistance. Resistance = more heat. The wiring and fuse are sized appropriately.. I'm glad I caught this when i did..

    IMG_20180808_153903.jpg
    IMG_20180808_160218.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2018
  6. Aug 13, 2018 at 8:01 PM
    #6
    Sandman614

    Sandman614 Snarky TWSS elf, Travis #hotsavannahdotcom, LRGRNR

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    Testing amperage that's out of range for your meter is a good way to fry your meter.

    [​IMG]

    Screenshot_20180813-230035.jpg
     
  7. Aug 14, 2018 at 7:35 AM
    #7
    ScottyR

    ScottyR [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. The only reason I tested it is because most manufacturers lie about their light bars output. I honestly didn’t think that my light bar would pull more then 10 amps.
     
  8. Aug 14, 2018 at 7:37 AM
    #8
    ScottyR

    ScottyR [OP] Well-Known Member

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    So if the light bar is 6 ft away from your battery it would be a total of a 12ft run?

    Btw that is shocking that your fuse did not blow.
     
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  9. Aug 14, 2018 at 7:38 AM
    #9
    Sandman614

    Sandman614 Snarky TWSS elf, Travis #hotsavannahdotcom, LRGRNR

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    It's better to be safe than blindly test. Power ratings when referring to wattage of a 12v system are generally posted a little high so there is room for margin. Power(wattage) is not to be confused with light output lumens. Here is the meter I just recently picked up, it's inexpensive and can handle up to 100A AC and DC.
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B077ZVQY9G/
     
  10. Aug 14, 2018 at 7:39 AM
    #10
    Sandman614

    Sandman614 Snarky TWSS elf, Travis #hotsavannahdotcom, LRGRNR

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    Yep 12ft. Haha yea, the circuit is only pulling 23amps at it's highest so that's the reason it didn't blow. It just got too hot for it's own good.
     
  11. Aug 14, 2018 at 7:41 AM
    #11
    ScottyR

    ScottyR [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Will deffiently be picking up a meter that reads DC amps for future diagnosis. I didn’t care that my meter only read up to 10 amps because it had a 10 amp fuse built in that could easily be replaced if necessary.
     
  12. Aug 14, 2018 at 7:42 AM
    #12
    ScottyR

    ScottyR [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Makes you want to check your aftermarket electrical often. Mind you I have never had good luck with spade connectors
     
  13. Aug 14, 2018 at 7:43 AM
    #13
    Sandman614

    Sandman614 Snarky TWSS elf, Travis #hotsavannahdotcom, LRGRNR

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    These have worked fine for the last 3 years but with the many heat cycles they have loosened up. The new Anderson connectors I installed are rated for 45amps.
     
  14. Aug 18, 2018 at 6:17 AM
    #14
    n0rlf

    n0rlf Living the good life

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    Best rulle of thumb in wiring: Think you have the right size wire? Go up two steps! Better to spend a little more now than risk disaster later.

    I am anal about these things so I always over engineer. Then again i almost never have issues so I guess it pays off in the end. Make it right and make it neat the first time as you will most likely not ever get time to make it right or neat.
     
  15. Aug 19, 2018 at 11:45 AM
    #15
    Sandman614

    Sandman614 Snarky TWSS elf, Travis #hotsavannahdotcom, LRGRNR

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    o_O :anonymous:
    Yo I want to run an indicator led, what size wire do I need....

    [​IMG]
     
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  16. Aug 24, 2018 at 11:43 AM
    #16
    n0rlf

    n0rlf Living the good life

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    I said over engineer not get ridiculous. On the other hand it would never fail! LOL
     
  17. Sep 21, 2018 at 7:57 AM
    #17
    MoonKnight

    MoonKnight Well-Known Member

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    Have a question with wiring lights

    I want to buy pods for mine and I wanted to wire the pods into my fog light switch is it possible? Or could I tap into the already existing Wires
     
  18. Sep 21, 2018 at 8:01 AM
    #18
    lanceputnam

    lanceputnam Well-Known Member

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    You can run the factory switch without issue as long as you use it to "activate" the relay on the trigger pin. The full current and load of the lamps will go through the relay, not the switch. Essentially you will be running a wire parallel (spliced into) to the current "trigger" wire for your factory fogs and then connecting that splice to the switch leg on your relay for your pods. The factory switch will only be handling enough current to trigger both of the "accessory" relays that run your factory fogs and your pods. Both of these combined will not be anywhere close to enough to hit the limit of the switch.
     
  19. Sep 21, 2018 at 8:04 AM
    #19
    MoonKnight

    MoonKnight Well-Known Member

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    So I guess it would just be easier to get another switch
     
  20. Sep 21, 2018 at 8:13 AM
    #20
    lanceputnam

    lanceputnam Well-Known Member

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    Yes and no. If you have space for another switch, then go for it. I personally like having all of my light switches on independent circuits for diagnostic and performance reasons. But, switches are $20. All you need to do is find out which wire coming out of the back of your factory fog switch is the "trigger" wire. IE: When you push the switch, which wire sends current to the factory relays located under the hood in order to power the relay coil inside the tiny black box of a relay and activate the switch inside of the tiny black box which allows the switch gate to close and power to pass through to the lights.
     
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