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Wiring for extra reverse light

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Old 12-19-2007, 07:47 AM   #1
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Default Wiring for extra reverse light

Right now during winter, when I leave for work in the morning, I almost reverse out blind. My area is so dark that I basically can't see. We have no street lights due to city rules. Yes, there are joggers, kids, or people walking their dog early in the morning (same with night too). And some people just don't give a &^^%$% even if you are backing out of your driveway.

Question - I was thinking of mounting ONE after market fog/driving light under the rear bumper, out of straight sight, pointing down. So when I go into reverse, it would light up the ground, which would give me about a nice 5 feet radius of light.

How should I go about it in terms of wiring. Splice into the reverse light wires? I don't know about the electric load, etc, etc. Will I have enough power? I'm just starting out. I welcome your ideas. This is not car specific. I assume I can do this to any car.

Or are they higher watt reverse bulbs?

TIA

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Old 12-19-2007, 12:04 PM   #2
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Default Re: Wiring for extra reverse light (GoLowDrew)

The best way to do this would be to run a relay drawing power from the battery that is then triggered by the reverse lights. It's essentially just like wiring up any aftermarket auxiliary lights, except you won't have a switch, and will instead be triggering the relay directly from the reverse lights. You can also purchase higher-wattage reverse bulbs, but these run the risk of damaging the taillights due to excessive heat.
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Old 12-19-2007, 12:49 PM   #3
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Default Re: Wiring for extra reverse light (Padawan)

Wow, that much work...... I though I could just splice into the wire. Thanks for the info.
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Old 12-19-2007, 05:57 PM   #4
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Default Re: Wiring for extra reverse light (GoLowDrew)

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Originally Posted by GoLowDrew
Wow, that much work...... I though I could just splice into the wire. Thanks for the info.
Well, you might be able to get away with that, especially if you're only using one extra lamp. I'd feel better about having it relayed, but worst case scenario is only that you overload and melt your stock wiring.

In all honestly, the wiring would likely support the added draw for the brief usage that a reverse light would see. I just normally like to err on the side of caution, plus I like lighting and wiring projects.
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Old 12-20-2007, 05:34 AM   #5
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Default Re: Wiring for extra reverse light (Padawan)

For my FYI, when I had my Civic, I had a amp in the trunk, which get it's power from the battery. If that was the case, I could tap into that one. Correct? So when I bump, the light would flicker, they'll really noticed me backing up.
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Old 12-20-2007, 05:38 AM   #6
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Default Re: Wiring for extra reverse light (GoLowDrew)

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Originally Posted by GoLowDrew
For my FYI, when I had my Civic, I had a amp in the trunk, which get it's power from the battery. If that was the case, I could tap into that one. Correct? So when I bump, the light would flicker, they'll really noticed me backing up.
haha no, the light would still draw constant power from the battery through the amp power wire if you wired it up like that. It wouldn't come on and off with the beat.

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Originally Posted by Padawan

Well, you might be able to get away with that, especially if you're only using one extra lamp. I'd feel better about having it relayed, but worst case scenario is only that you overload and melt your stock wiring.
naw man, that's what the fuses are for

Yeah I agree with using a relay also. And if I were going to the trouble of using a relay, I would probably go ahead and wire up 2 auxiliary lights pointing backwards.

You could also add in an override switch so you could flick them on when people tailgate your car.
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Old 12-20-2007, 06:29 AM   #7
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Default Re: Wiring for extra reverse light (PatrickGSR94)

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naw man, that's what the fuses are for
The fuses won't always break before some of the wire casing begins to deteriorate. It happens relatively often with over-wattage headlight bulbs, which are indeed plugged in to a fused circuit, but can nevertheless still damage the stock wiring and connectors.
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