How To: Install An LED Lightbar

How To: Install An LED Lightbar

Hey everybody, Chris here for O’Reilly Auto
Parts to teach you how to install an aftermarket light bar on your vehicle. Before I get into that, let me give you the
opportunity to subscribe to our channel if you haven’t already, so you don’t miss
out on any of our new content. Light bars are a staple of the off-roading
community. They can help you see on trails, in the woods,
or wherever your off-road adventure takes you. Keep in mind, the use of a light bar on public
roads may not be legal in your state, so check your local laws regarding the use of off-road
lighting. Today I’ll be installing a light bar on
this 2013 Ford F150. It’s an NVision 20” triple row combo light
bar. To simplify the installation, we’ll be using
a 2-Light Quick Connect Wire Harness, also from NVision. But it is possible to build your own wiring
harness, which we’ll discuss in a moment. One important choice you’ll have to make
is where to mount the light bar. In this case, we’ll be bolting it to the
frame under the grille. You may choose to mount it on the roof, cowl,
or other location. Just keep in mind, moving the light too far
away from the battery may require modifications to your wiring harness. So let’s talk about building your own wiring
harness. To do this, you will need 16 gauge wire in
two different colors… an in-line fuse holder and fuse mounted no more than 12 inches from
the battery… and a toggle switch to turn the light on and off. Make sure the fuse and toggle switch are rated
for the current draw of the light, otherwise they may fail frequently. I won’t be showing you how to build the
wiring harness in this video, but the rest of this will pertain to the installation of
a wiring harness. If you’ve got a pre-made wiring harness,
it will already include the toggle switch, fuse and fuse holder, and a relay, all with
quick connectors to simplify the installation. Once you’ve got all your parts together,
here’s what you’ll do. Begin by measuring for your light bar mounts. This information is usually printed on the
box or in the supplied instructions. Once you’ve got your measurements, use a
chalk marker or something similar to mark where you’ll drill your holes. In the case of a plastic bumper, you may have
to find part of the frame underneath to bolt it to so that it’s secure. Metal bumpers are easier, and keep the light
bar secure in any position. Before drilling, you’ll need to make absolutely
sure there aren’t any airbag sensors or other parts that could be damaged by drilling
in the specific area you’ve chosen to mount the light. Once you’ve made the marks for your light
bar brackets, drill the holes… and test fit your light bar and mounts. If you’re satisfied with your placement,
bolt the light bar mounts in place using the supplied bolts, which are tamper-proof. Now that the light bar is mounted, you can
run the wiring harness. This supplied wiring harness includes the
toggle switch… relay and fuse holder needed for installation… as well as the ring terminals
to connect to the battery terminals. We’ll start by unhooking the battery, so
that we don’t short anything out. Then, disconnect the toggle switch quick connector…
and pass it through the rubber grommet in the firewall. On most vehicles, there will be a bundle of
wires passing through a rubber grommet near the base of the steering column in the engine
compartment. Once we have the quick connector through the
firewall, we can find the end in the vehicle’s cabin. At this point, we need to mount the toggle
switch. This can be done by drilling a hole slightly
smaller than the diameter of the switch in the area on the lower dash. The toggle switch has ears that won’t allow
it to slip back through once it is installed. Once you’ve drilled your hole, press your
toggle switch into place… and plug it in to the quick connector that you passed through
the firewall. You may need to tuck the wire or use wire
ties to secure it out of the way of your brake or clutch pedals. Now we can move back to the engine compartment. First, you’ll want to ensure that the positive
ring terminal of the wiring harness can reach the battery. If not, you may need to splice an extension
wire and new ring clip in place. From here, route your wires where you can
ensure they won’t touch anything that could melt or puncture the insulation. Wire ties may also be necessary during this
step to secure the wiring. Mount your relay to a metal surface under
the hood using a self-tapping screw. You can also wire your ground cable to a metal
surface or directly to the battery using the ring terminal. Now we can pass our lighting wires through
to the front of the vehicle. Our wiring harness includes wiring for two
lights, but since we’re only wiring one, we’ll want to cap or tape the ends of the
extra connection to ensure it does not ground out. We’ll route the wire we’re using through
the grill of the vehicle near the light bar, ensuring we’re not touching the radiator
or any other potentially hot parts. At this point, we’ll use a butt connector
to attach the supplied wiring harness to the light bar. You can heat-shrink the attachment… or use
electrical tape. Now plug in the harness quick-connector. Now that everything is hooked up, check to
ensure all of your wires are secured away from other parts… and connect the positive
wire. You can also reconnect your battery. Time to test the light bar. Flip the switch and make sure it lights up! And that’s it! For all of the parts, tools and accessories
you need to complete this job, check out the exterior lighting options at your local O’Reilly
Auto Parts store or Our DIY videos are designed to help answer
questions we get in our stores every day. If you found this one helpful, subscribe to
our channel to get all the latest. We’ll see you again soon.

About the Author: Michael Flood

1 Comment

  1. You guys should make a point of stocking DOT approved light bars, they are the only road-legal ones. And not easy to find.

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