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Discussion Starter #1
Hey, long time lurker, first time posting.
I've been following a few posts on aftermarket lighting on here and decided to try my hand at installing some lights.

I've got all my wiring hooked up and was running a few small light bars directly off my battery and relays but am worried about draining the battery in winter months, so I am wanting to have my rockers and power for the lights run off relays that trigger from the parking lights.

Ive seen a lot of posts about newer models but mine is a 2000 (1st gen) and am wondering the best place to run my trigger wire to the parking lights. I've read a few people concerned about running off of a fuse and suggesting to splice a wire for the illumination lights?

Does anyone have experience in a good location for this?

I am going to be running a relay from the battery power and have daisy-chained it to my other relays powering my lights. So, if all goes well, the rockers and relays to power the switches/lights won't get power until the parking lights are on.

Any suggestions and feedback would be appreciated on a good place to connect the trigger wire to the parking lights.


2001 Xterra 4WD Auto 3.3L V6
218 Posts
If your light bars consume enough power, you'll want to run a separate wire for each bar. The fuse for any large power wire needs to be as close to the battery as possible. This will allow the entire length of the wire to be protected. Alternately, you can use a resettable circuit breaker, like they do for audio. Just make sure it isn't rated too high for the job. Protect each wire separately, not all of them on a single massive breaker or fuse.
  1. Tap into your parking lights and run a 2A fuse to the coil of a separate relay. This relay will have its own battery power (fused properly as mentioned above) to run the relays for the light bars.
  2. Provide the relay-controlled power in #1 to all of the switches.
  3. Run a wire from each switch to each relay coil.
  4. Wire the other side of each relay coil to a good ground.
  5. Battery power will go to a NO contact on each relay, then the other contact will go to each light bar. Protect each supply wire as above.
With the above set-up, turning the parking lights off will ensure that the light bars are off, no matter what position the switches are in, because their power is derived from a relay that is controlled by the parking lights.

I'd put all of the relays under the hood. Doing so means that all of the wiring takes place under the hood, except for the switches. Easy!

Also, see about putting the relays in a protected box that you can access by pulling or unsnapping a cover. There are a number of good options for relay and fuse centers. A marine-grade one is a good idea. Try looking on DelCity (link). I've bought stuff from them and it has been quite satisfactory.

If I were doing light bars on mine, I'd use the RUN position of the key instead of the parking lights, but that's just preference and doesn't really matter.
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