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Big Lights... Wire Gauge?


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14 replies to this topic

#1 Andyjo

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Posted 10 June 2006 - 12:35 AM

So i'm looking to buy some Lightforces... 170 Strikers, Just been thinking about how to wire them... of course i'll use a relay, and make it all nice & stuff... just a question about wire gauging.... They're 100watt lamps, each, so 200watts, at 12v, so that's like.. 16 amps.
So what would you use for that sort of power draw? 8 gauge? something around that size?
I have access to some really nice wire, with the heavy duty rubber coating... i think it's about 8 gauge... the wires create a diameter of about 1/8"...
Any electricians want to help me out here? :)
Also, do you know where i could get a good relay for there?

#2 scrap487

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Posted 10 June 2006 - 01:06 AM

well I dont know a whole lot about it but I googled up a chart, 8 gauge sounds like a good size although you could probably get away with 9 or 10 gauge... according to http://www.powerstre...m/Wire_Size.htm

#3 soobmater

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Posted 10 June 2006 - 03:09 AM

I would say 10 gauge should be fine. I have 14 running to my 100 watt KC's,and it is fine. The KC's came with some 16 gauge, but i wanted to up the size up a little bit.If you run 10, you shouldnt have to wory about anything frying..

#4 keltik

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Posted 10 June 2006 - 04:26 AM

My rear amp draws a 12-15amp load going flat out, i ran 8gauge wire as per the auto sparky's advice. No problems yet.

KELTIK

#5 subestyle18

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Posted 10 June 2006 - 04:05 PM

the chart i use is at ancorproducts.com under technical information, then technical data, and then conductor size. the lenght of your run is just as big a factor as amp draw. your run lenght is for the whole loop too, there and back.
David

#6 TheSubaruJunkie

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Posted 10 June 2006 - 04:31 PM

Hey andy what relays are you going with? I Just ordered up some new off-road lights but they dont come with wiring kits. I was thinking i could get relays cheaper than a complete wiring kit.

-Brian

#7 Andyjo

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Posted 10 June 2006 - 04:34 PM

I was actually sort of wondering what relays everyone else uses... i've never used relays w/ my lights.. and would like to.. i usually just wire them straight to the battery, with a switch inline... for the light forces i'm going to use a relay.. as to not fry them.
But yeah... don't buy a 'wiring kit' just get some wire, and relays, and do it all yourself, don't get ripped off ;)
I've been looking for good relays.. i think PIAA has some, or maybe hella... they're pricy, but i think they'll take the abuse.
maybe this one?
http://www.partsexpr...tnumber=330-070
hmmm

#8 TheSubaruJunkie

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Posted 10 June 2006 - 04:36 PM

Yeah i used to just hard wire my lights too. I did that to my old 100watt spotties and the switch got REAL warm and the insulation on the backside started to bubble. The new lights i bought are 130watt so I know i'll wanna be using a relay for those. I got some other 55watt lights I think will be safe.

Maybe i'll look around on ebay and see what comes up.

-Brian

#9 scrap487

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Posted 10 June 2006 - 06:17 PM

theres no risk using a toggle switch over a relay, just gotta make sure they are able to handle the load but even still you will burn out the switches eventually... wont harm your lights in any way.

#10 Mike W

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Posted 10 June 2006 - 11:55 PM

Relays: I've had good luck with Bosch and Hella brands. I scavenge them off Volvo and other Euro cars at the bone yard.
Wire: I've been having good luck using a heavy duty extension cord that I cut one end off with a skil saw. Think it started out as a 100' 12 guage cord. I've now wired lights and stuff on at least three cars and there's still plenty of cord left. Sounds funky I know, but hey it has tough solvent resistant insulation and you can run three switch to relay circuits through one chunk of wire so there's less mess under the dash.

#11 Mike W

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Posted 11 June 2006 - 12:02 AM

theres no risk using a toggle switch over a relay, just gotta make sure they are able to handle the load but even still you will burn out the switches eventually... wont harm your lights in any way.


I've seen residential light switches used successfully in cars...just looks a little different.

#12 TheSubaruJunkie

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Posted 11 June 2006 - 10:38 PM

Mike thats a great idea. The extension cords Ive been workin with at work have 3 wires in them... +/- & ground. That would be perfect for wiring that way the insulation will keep the wiring all neet and tidy. I think i may do that, there just happens to be a 50' extension cord at work we are no longer able to use :brow:

And there are 4 rows of volvo's in the junkyard. Do you have a location where I can find these relays?

-Brian

#13 Mike W

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Posted 12 June 2006 - 01:30 PM

Well it's been a few years since I scavenged relays. I think it was volvos I robbed them from, but it could have been Saab or Benz too. In any case the relays were in the fuse box area under the hood and they were the same style you'd get from the local auto part store, just better quality.

#14 subiemech85

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Posted 12 June 2006 - 01:54 PM

your best bet for cheap relays is to look in vw, audi, porsche, and other vag products, they fit nicely in pockets
also a good source of fuses :brow:

#15 VaporTrail

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Posted 12 June 2006 - 02:25 PM

I've always had good luck with the relays from the chain parts stores....
maybe only 1 gone bad in the last 7 years....

I've got a bunch of metal casing relays scavenged from soobs :) but haven't used 'em yet....




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