It’s no secret that LED light bars can drain your battery, but with a few simple tips, you can keep your battery from dying prematurely. We’ll discuss How to Keep a Light Bar From Draining Your Battery in this post. Read on to learn more!
If you’ve ever been stuck late at night because your battery died, you understand how important it is to keep your battery healthy and charged. Whether driving a motorcycle or an RV, having functional lights is critical to safety and equipment durability. That’s why we recommend LED light bars for every vehicle on the road–they’re bright and durable, and they don’t drain your battery.
How to Keep a Light Bar from Draining Your Battery Step by Step
Step 1: Use a Relay Over a Simple Switch
Some people like to have lights on their cars or trailers that look nice, but they might not realize that using a poor quality system for these lights can be dangerous.
Some people are replacing the lights that came with their car for ones that they can buy separately. These new lights, called LED light bars, can be very hard on a car’s battery. That’s because they use very little power when they are turned off, but almost no power when they are turned on. So, each time you turn them off, there is still some power being used and it drains the battery.
Step 2: Choose a Fuse
You need to choose the right size fuse for your LED lights. If you choose a fuse that is too small, your LED lights could burn out early. If you choose a fuse that is too large, you will waste energy. A good rule of thumb is to choose a fuse that is three times the size of your wire.
Step 3: Make Sure Your Grounds Are Good
Most light bars have a series of cables originating from the back. These cables will run to any number of lights within the bar, depending on how your vehicle was designed. For these lights to work correctly, it is very important that all cables are running when you turn on your headlights. Your ground wire must be attached to a suitable location on your vehicle. The most common ground location is the frame, but sometimes appearance and modifications require you to run a cable to an alternate grounding point.
Step 4: Connect Your Cables
When connecting cables for your LED light bar, use as few connections as possible. This reduces how much you have to worry about those connections causing issues. Also, don’t make components run along the exterior of your vehicle. If possible, create a way for them to be safely routed inside of your car or truck where you can easily access and maintain them.
Step 5: Use a Relay (Yes, Again)
Before connecting your lights to power, we recommend having everything connected how it would be when you turn the lights on, then creating a way to turn them all simultaneously. The easiest way to do this is by purchasing a simple light switch that uses relays built-in. This will ensure that you can quickly turn your lights on and off without having to worry about how you are turning them on.
If you are an experienced installation technician or have experience making your cables, you may not want to follow these steps. However, most people looking to keep their light bars from draining batteries will find it difficult if they do not take the time to create a proper circuit.
Step 6: Decide on an Auxiliary Switch or Factory Accessory
Step 7: Keep It Clean
Keep your wiring as clean as possible. Use wiring looms or electrical tape to keep your connections safe and secure. Look for any nearby heat sources that may be dangerous (like exhaust pipes), and make sure nothing touches them. If you are using zip ties, make sure they are the right length; if too long, they can cut into insulation and cause a short, and if not long enough, they may come undone.
Remember that being safe is always better than being sorry when you’re wiring (how to wire in) your LED light bars. This plan will get your lights on without draining your battery or creating a fire hazard, but it takes common sense and care to ensure everything stays that way. If you want to avoid how to wire LED light bars and fuses for your lights, we recommend getting a pre-wired setup of lights and accessories.
Tips and Warning
- If you are looking for how to stop a light bar from draining your battery, there is an easy and effective way. You can purchase a diode that will prevent the current from going to the battery’s positive pole when it is not running.
- Another option is to wire your LED lights so that they do not go directly to the positive pole of the car’s battery. For example, you can wire them to go through a switch. Also, if your car lights automatically turn off when the vehicle is turned off, use that so that there will be no current going through the LED light bar at all times.
- If you can have two batteries hooked up in parallel with each other, you can do that to give your car even more power.
- If you want to keep a light bar from draining your battery, the best thing for you to do is add a capacitor. A capacitor will store up electricity or energy and not drain it from the battery by the LED lights bar.
- Be careful how you wire your LED lights, and keep a light bar from draining your battery if you are unsure how.
- Also, make sure that the wiring is done safely and correctly. Otherwise, You can keep a light bar from draining your battery could be jeopardized.
- If you are going to add a capacitor, keeping a light bar from draining your battery can be dangerous if not done correctly.
You Can Check It Out to: Fix a Blown Light Bar
Frequently Asked Question
Which Is Better: Light Bars With a Removable Battery or Lights With Built-in Batteries?
Both options have their pros and cons. Lightbars with removable batteries can be swapped out and replaced, and rechargeable batteries offer the best of both worlds: a long run time and low cost for routine replacement. But if you forget to unplug the battery or let it discharge completely, you could be stuck in the dark. With lights that use a built-in battery, the charger keeps a trickle charge going at all times.
Unfortunately, if you don’t use your lights frequently, you may have to replace the entire light bar more regularly due to poor performance from a dead battery.
Is Your Light Bar Draining Your Battery?
A light bar on a law enforcement vehicle is an absolute necessity. Unfortunately, these lights can’t do their job without a charged battery. If your battery isn’t staying charged, you might be tempted to blame the alternator or even replace it when all that’s needed is a simple repair. To prevent this situation from occurring, have your mechanic check how securely your light bar is mounted.
When properly mounted, a light bar won’t bounce around and cause the battery connections to vibrate loose. Have it checked immediately if you already suspect a loose or poor connection between the battery and terminals.
Why Is This Draining My Battery With Lights Off?
When your vehicle is running, your alternator supplies power to the entire electrical system, including your light bar. The voltage from the alternator keeps a charge going in the battery. When you turn off your car and lights, part of this power turns off with it. But because the battery still has some power left in it, anything connected through the battery terminals continues to get power. So your light bar remains illuminated for an extended period of time after you shut your engine off.
You Can Check It Out to: Charge Everstart Maxx Light
Please keep it simple. This is one of the best ways you can keep your car’s battery from draining too quickly. Avoid running unnecessary power-draining accessories like heated seats, navigation systems, and radios while driving around town or on long trips. When possible, park in a shady spot to minimize solar loading on the vehicle, which will also help save some juice for that next road trip! Thanks for reading our post on how to keep a light bar from draining your battery.