We have all done it. Gotten a new set of lights, a new winch or solar panel and been so excited to install it and use it that we just end up throwing something together that resembles wiring and makes the new gadget works, but the result ends up looking like this:
Now granted when I took this picture I was tearing out old factory wiring out of my YJ when I was doing an engine swap last fall, but you get the point.
I have looked at the cool digital controllers out on the market and have loved what I have seen, but I am kinda old school. I like something I can work on, something that I can make work if I am out in the backcountry and it stops working. So over the weekend, I started wiring up a couple of sets of Extreme LED light PODs we had from our July Overlander box on our JKUR. While I was at it I went ahead and preemptively ran wiring for future accessories. Here is the basic diagram of what I did:
So now I will go over the long winded written version, hold on. First, we will start with running a main "feeder" wire to the rear of the jeep with 4 signal wires for relays. I used a 10Ga wire for the feeder and the smallest Ga I could find at the local auto parts store, 18Ga, for the signal wires. Since it is a main feeder for the rear, I installed a 30 amp 12V breaker on the side of the battery tray to protect the wiring.
When I ran the signal wires a went ahead and twisted them all together to make putting them into the wire loom all the easier. I accomplished this by clamping one end of all four wire in my vise, then clamped the other end of the wires in my cordless drill and then went to town, this creates a nice and neat twist. After twisting the wires I inserted them plus my feeder wire into the loom remembering to tape the loom every couple of feet to help keep the wires in, all in all, I had 10ft of loomed wire and an additional 10ft of10GA and 20ft of the twisted 18GA wires.
Once the loomed wire was ready I dropped it down beside the battery box and pulled the whole length of the loomed section through. This allowed me to take the end and run it up the cavity behind the tail lights. Instead of drilling a new hole to access the rear of the cabin, I utilized the existing hole and grommet for the tail light.
I then worked my way back toward the battery zip-tying the loom into place.
From there I ran a feeder wire from a 30AMP fuse across the engine compartment to the driver's side of the jeep, this ran the relay for the front lights as well as the power for the switches in the cabin. While running that wire I combined it with my 4 signal wires from the back, in some oversized loom, I am sure I will need the extra loom space for future wiring projects.
Once in the cabin, I used some universal rocker switches to control the front lights and the rear lights I plan on installing in the very near future.
As you can see I have room for at least two or three more switches, and since the signal wires are already run to the back all I need to do is run a power wire from my new relay/fuse panel in the rear.
The blue wire runs back into the engine bay to a relay that then powers the front two PODs. Since grounding problems are at the root of most electrical gremlins I ran the POD's ground wire back into the engine bay and utilized a factory grounding point to ensure reliability. I combined the power wire and the ground into some 1/4" loom and dropped it down to the frame rail. I ran it under the front clip across the top of the bumper and using zip-ties ran it along the back of the bull bar to the lights. At the lights, I used insulated spade connectors so, if need be, I can disconnect the lights easily.
I have had these on now for a couple of months and I love them! The floods are fantastic for fog lights, as a matter of fact, I am going to replace my factory fog lights with a set of these. They are super bright and the quality is great! The only complaint I would have is the nuts for the stands do not catch the housing to keep them from spinning so I had to wedge a flat head screwdriver on one side to hold the nut while tightening up the stand. Other than that, I have been extremly happy with Extreme LED.
This is a basic overview of how I wired up the Extreme LED PODs. Let me stress, I AM NOT A PROFESSIONAL. If you are not comfortable with 12V wiring please get a professional to do it for you.