View Full Version : Tower Lights
12-02-2004, 10:12 PM
I've got a Mako tower light bar that I'm planning to install. It has 6-55 watt lights, two facing forward and four rear. Only one set will be on at any given time. I thought that I had all of my ducks in a row on this project but a Mastercraft mechanic has recently told me that the OEM tower lights are blowing switches because the lights are drawing too much amperage for the stock switch. He recommended that I wire the lights through a series of relays to eliminate this problem. I figure that I won't have more than 20 amps flowing at any given time through this switch. Has anyone experienced switch failure on their tower lighting? I was planning to wire it to my stock 3 position accessory switch.
12-03-2004, 03:29 AM
It's the turn on current that is killing the switches. The resistance of most lights is lower and the current draw much higher at turn on. At turn on you could be drawing 2-3 times current or more for several milliseconds. Relays are commonly used for headlights.
12-03-2004, 09:33 AM
I agree with Leroy, the initial in rush of current can be much higher and add to the demise of your switch. However, if you are running too much current through the switch continuosly it is possible to melt switch components over time. Relays are a good option or you may be able to find a switch that is capable of carrying the current.