Gauge of wire needed to run added auxiliary lights?


Old 08-31-14, 07:28 AM
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Gauge of wire needed to run added auxiliary lights?

Hey guys, I am adding auxiliary driving lights to my jeep, and have a question regarding wiring gauge to/from the individual lamps I'll need to consider.

I'm adding 3 PIAA 520 ATPs at 85w each - I know I'll need to run them through a 30A fuse, which I'll do through my sPod. This unit is an after-market pre-wired relay and switch box that's prepared for adding up to 6 accessories (google "spod" and "jeep" and you'll get the details, if interested).

The question I have is, given the amperage, and the overall (round-trip) length of circuit at about 16' will the stock wiring of the PIAA lamps (no harness, no relay, no switch, as I'm using the sPod for this) be able to handle the draw? I measure wires coming off the stock lamps at 16awg, but this seems insufficient given the charts I've consulted. The charts indicate I'd need a 10awg to carry the amperage over the 16' distance.

I cannot find any discussions regarding having to swap out the lamp wiring. Is this really an issue? Will I have issues if I run the 3 lamps serially, lamp-to-lamp, and ultimately to/from the sPod?

The other idea I had, as an alternative should I have to re-wire the lamps to 10awg, was to simply run all three 16awg wires and tap a single sPod relay switch, but this just sounds way wrong!

thanks for the help!

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Old 08-31-14, 08:03 AM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
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Welcome to the forums!

Each lamp will draw about 7 amps. So, 16ga wire would be OK if you ran a separate wire for each lamp. However you should not use a single 30 amp fuse for all three if you are running 16 ga wire. You should install a separate 10 amp fuse for each lamp to protect each wire. A simple inline fuse would be fine for this. This might be a better option as you won't lose all three lamps if the fuse goes due to a short.

If you want to run a single wire for all three lamps, you should use 10ga wire and the 30 amp fuse. You could use 12ga wire if you use a 25 amp fuse as your 3 lamps will draw about 21 amps total.
Old 08-31-14, 08:14 AM
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Thanks Tolyn - you've confirmed what I've been suspecting....much appreciated! Have a good weekend - J97

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