To run multiple wires to power or tap into a single wire, that is the question! Luckily, the answer is pretty straight forward.
Think about it like this, is one LED light ever enough? Nope, didn’t think so. However, if you were to run multiple wires to a power source, as you would with a single LED, that cable traffic is bound to add up, look messy and possibly even become a bit a bit of a hazard in the long term.
So, if you’re looking to install several LEDs, there are only a few things you need to remember:
- You always need to fuse your lights
- Connect a single wire to your power source
- Split that single wire into switches and lights (as many as you need)
Phil from Oznium
You are installing 4 LEDs in your car. You have a ground and a power source. Do you need to run a wire from each LED to the power source and ground? Do you need to run 4 wires to your switch?
You’ve got a basic setup with just 1 LED. Run 1 wire from your power source to the positive lead on the LED, and another wire from the ground of the LED to the ground/chassis of the car.
Quite simple. Like this diagram:
Now, you want more than just 1 LED. You copy what you did with 1 LED, but apply it to 4 LEDs.
It looks something like this:
That’s a lot of wires! And if you’re installing the LEDs in the very back of your car, things get messy quite fast. Wouldn’t it be better to run a SINGLE wire from your power source to the location of your LEDs? Once that wire is at the location you want, you can “tap into it”, “split it off”, “tee it off”, etc… As long as the metal connects, an electrical connection is made, and you can pretend it is a single wire.
This is better! Especially if the LEDs are a long distance from your power source.
Suppose you have a water spigot on the side of your house. You’ve got a brand new lawn and 4 brand new gophers. You want to give each gopher its own “gopher drinking fountain”. You get a 4-way garden hose Y splitter and 4 100 foot garden hoses. You run them 100 feet away to your lawn.
Lots of hose
Is this really the best way spend your saturday? Running 400 feet of garden hose? Instead you would probably get a single 100 foot hose, and a few 5 or 10 foot hoses like this!
Less hose. Happy gophers.
Electricity is the same way!
Remember: you always need to fuse your lights.
You can run a wire from the battery (and put a fuse as close as possible – maybe 12 inches). Run the wire into your car, split it off to a few switches, and split off some lights to the other ends of those switches.