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Adding additional backup lights


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I want to add some additional, bright lights that activate with the reverse lights. Can I just splice into the existing reverse light wiring, right near the rear of the truck. . .that way I don't have to run any wires up to an additional power source? Or would that draw too much power out of the existing lines?

 

And if that is okay. . .would connecting the new + wire to existing + wire and - to - wires work - without effecting the stock reverse lights? (I'm a little new to electrical wiring)

 

THANKS, I appreciate any help!

 

:chevy:

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There used to be an outfit that made an off road light that had a bracket mounted on a trailer hitch that went into the receiver and plugged into the factory 7 pin plug. If I can remember where I saw it I'll post it.

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I added a cheap set of 55w lamps to the rear of my Suburban within days of buying it. Stock lights are terrible and way too high. The extra lamps are mounted to the trailer hitch so I can see things at ground level as well as fill in the light spread.

 

Relays are the preferred way to hook these up so you don't overload the stock circuit.

 

But, hey I'm lazy :D and spliced them directly to the existing lights. Seems to work fine. Take out one of the rear taillights and scrape a patch of insulation of each wire going to the reverse bulb. Then wrap the new wires around the exposed conductors. Wrap with electrical tape and secure everything. Bingo - cheap, rigged lighting to go! :chevy:

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If you are hooking up some small lights you won't have a problem. Try to install Stadium lighting and you gotta do some wiring.

 

It would be easier to use the trailer feed wire than to run wires to the back of the taillights.

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I also added a set of some reasonably cheap lights. However, I did run some wires all the way up front because I did add a relay control so I could turn them on/off at will, but in normal mode, be activated by the backup lights. Now, I have extra backup light, but manually controlled light if I need it to hitch up the trailer at night and not have to use a flashlight! :chevy:

 

Just for your reference, the backup lights are on a 10a fuse. Lets say you want to use one of those inexpensive 55w aux lights. Using ohm's law W=V*A gives us 55W=12*A or 55/12=A. That's roughly 4.5A The stock bulbs are fairly low wattage, so the total draw isnt going to be too bad. If you use only 1, then tapping into the stock wiring should not exceed the fuse capacity. Going with 2 lamps would be higher, but this is also limited duration use too. Obviously, people have hooked up the lights and not seen (yet) adverse affects. I used the relay, not because I was paranoid, but because I had an extra function in mind.

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Personally I'd prefer the relay method - less chance of an overload. Especially on my 2003 truck as GM seems to have lowered all the circuits 1 wire gauge.

Also - not sure if this is true of the 99 model, but on mine the key fob turns on the reverse lights when you lock/unlock the truck. So I have an additional relay that only allows my KC's to light up if the truck's running - prevents extra drain on the battery. Don't do enough trailering and the lights I wired to the top of my toolbox will cover me if I need to hitch a trailer at night.

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I was looking at using white PIAA LED fog/driving lights. . .they're inexpensive and don't use up that much power. Can someone explain to me what the "relay method" of hooking them up is?

 

Thanks for all the help guys!

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I was looking at using white PIAA LED fog/driving lights. . .they're inexpensive and don't use up that much power.  Can someone explain to me what the "relay method" of hooking them up is?

 

Thanks for all the help guys!

 

 

 

 

Here is a LINK TO RELAYS it has good info and explanations.

I have a set of 55w halogen work lights that I use for back-up/work lights, and have them wired thru relays so that I dont fry the Back-up Lamp switch or wiring.

I used the +12v POWER lead off of my trailer harness to power the lights....

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I'm still a little confused. . .it looks like relays are a fancy fuse to me; is that correct? Looking at automotive relays themselves, I see a block with contacts and about 4 wires leading off the back of it - where do the 4 wires go?? Something's not clicking and I don't know why.

 

Thanks for trying to help guys

 

 

:D

:cheers:

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I'm still a little confused. . .it looks like relays are a fancy fuse to me; is that correct? Looking at automotive relays themselves, I see a block with contacts and about 4 wires leading off the back of it - where do the 4 wires go?? Something's not clicking and I don't know why.

 

Thanks for trying to help guys

 

 

:D

:cheers:

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. . .let me if this is correct. So I'm adding additional reverse lights - do two of the wires go to an always hot (+) and (-) hookup and the other two connecting with the (+) and (-) of the existing reverse lights?

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The relay isn't a fuse at all and should be fused seperately.

The purpose of the relay is so you can control high load circuits with a smaller circiut and not put a strain on it.

 

Wire the poles like this:

30 ------ fused constant 12v+ or switched by ignition whichever you prefer

87 ------ this lead will power your lights as the +

87a----- not used in this app

85----- wire this to a lead that is hot when the back-up lights are on

86------ ground

 

You will need to ground your lights also. That should get you going.

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