As our selection of high quality LED light bars and pods continue to grow, we wanted to provide a few more details on purchasing.
A common question we get is, "What is the relay for and how do I wire it up?" So here is an overview of what a relay is, why you likely need it, and how to wire it up.
A relay is an electrical switch. It allows a low current "switch" circuit to control the electricity flow of a high-current circuit load, like your LED Light bar for example.
When you create a circuit (a loop of electricity from the battery to your LED Light bar), if 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. Our lowest amp draw LED light pod has an amp draw of about 1.4 amps. Many switches would be able to handle that...but if you are using, say our 50" LED Light bar, that has an amp draw of about 17.2 amps, which may be too much for that little switch to handle. 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.
Check our our selection of LED Light Bars
Another reason you may want a relay is for the creative ways you can use electrical currents from things other than a physical switch. Let's say you want have your LED Light Bar come on with your high beams, or reverse lights, for example. Read more about that below.
The relay will have 4 prongs on it, marked 30, 87, 85 and 86. Kind of cryptic isn't it. Well if you are just going to use our wiring harness, and 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 lights), then 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: