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Old 05-08-2021, 09:34   #1
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Wiring diagram for piggy back courtesy lights

Iím looking to run a brand new line of 6 courtesy lights from an empty switch on my panel. Ideally I will use 16 gauge and piggyback the courtesy lights that use 22 gauge. I am having trouble finding a proper diagram, any help will be greatly appreciated
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Old 05-08-2021, 09:37   #2
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Re: Wiring diagram for piggy back courtesy lights

they are just all wired in parallel
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Old 05-08-2021, 11:06   #3
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Re: Wiring diagram for piggy back courtesy lights

Yes, parallel connection of each LED back to the panel switch (+) and ground (-)

The next question is the physicality of the wiring, some sort of daisy chain or discrete wires back to busbars back to the panel switch and ground.

A question to the group: what is the preferred method? Soldering versus connectors?

https://www.ecolocityled.com/categor...ubleshoot_wire
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Old 05-08-2021, 11:11   #4
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Re: Wiring diagram for piggy back courtesy lights

The left drawing is fine. However, fuse it properly, and use good connectors. The wire taps that are commonly sold in auto part stores are not acceptable.
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Old 05-08-2021, 11:34   #5
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Re: Wiring diagram for piggy back courtesy lights

I prefer connectors to solder and have moved from crimp to “Lever Nuts” for most things (after learning about them here on CF). Re-usable, easily allow connections of 2,3,4,... wires (something crimps are not good at). Allow you to come back later and add or remove a wire with ease (swapping out for a 4-conductor unit, for instance). I stuff mine with silicone dielectric grease to try and help prevent corrosion - no idea if that is necessary or if it works, maybe time will tell.

https://www.wago.com/global/installa...ctor/p/222-413

I try not to be too brand-conscious, but the genuine Wago ones are tested/listed, there are lots of counterfeits on Amazon/E-Bay that are not. Leave that choice up to you.
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Old 05-08-2021, 16:37   #6
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Re: Wiring diagram for piggy back courtesy lights

Possible implementation with Wago type level connectors:
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Old 06-08-2021, 08:17   #7
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Re: Wiring diagram for piggy back courtesy lights

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spot View Post
Yes, parallel connection of each LED back to the panel switch (+) and ground (-)

The next question is the physicality of the wiring, some sort of daisy chain or discrete wires back to busbars back to the panel switch and ground.

A question to the group: what is the preferred method? Soldering versus connectors?

https://www.ecolocityled.com/categor...ubleshoot_wire
I agree with Spot on grounds and positives to common buss bars.
Much easier to trace faults this way.
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Old 06-08-2021, 09:24   #8
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Re: Wiring diagram for piggy back courtesy lights

If you cannot solder, then I would use terminal block connectors. Easy to replace one light if it goes off.
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Old 07-08-2021, 04:47   #9
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Re: Wiring diagram for piggy back courtesy lights

Here is a version using bus bars or terminal blocks at the panel end. I am imagining each LED module soldered and heat-shrinked to its own tinned duplex wire and the duplex wire running from the installation point to near the panel where the outer cover is stripped and the fan-out for the blocks happens. One could also skip the solder with the right sized crimp connectors. I bought a handful of 'red to blues' (22-18 to 16-14 AWG step down butt connectors) to put LED fixtures in my old RV as the LED pigtails were smaller than the cabin wiring.
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Old 07-08-2021, 08:56   #10
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Re: Wiring diagram for piggy back courtesy lights

Thanks for this reply! I think the picture of the left is exactly what Iím looking for. Would a connection like this be okay to use? In regards to the diagram on the bottom.
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Old 07-08-2021, 09:50   #11
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Re: Wiring diagram for piggy back courtesy lights

Use the diagram from post #6 for either the Wago connectors or the 3-way crimps.




The crimps have some issues with not being insulated (electrical tape), not being the right size for the pigtails (fold-over), and not being serviceable (cut out and replace).


These would seem better all the way around, and cheaper if you order them online from someplace like Newark.


https://www.newark.com/wago/222-413/...ion/dp/28K2061


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Old 07-08-2021, 10:31   #12
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Re: Wiring diagram for piggy back courtesy lights

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brassmonkeys View Post
Thanks for this reply! I think the picture of the left is exactly what Iím looking for. Would a connection like this be okay to use? In regards to the diagram on the bottom.

Don't use those 3 way connectors. Ever. They suck. The hole in the middle is a weak link.
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Old 07-08-2021, 11:34   #13
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Re: Wiring diagram for piggy back courtesy lights

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spot View Post
Use the diagram from post #6 for either the Wago connectors or the 3-way crimps.




The crimps have some issues with not being insulated (electrical tape), not being the right size for the pigtails (fold-over), and not being serviceable (cut out and replace).




These would seem better all the way around, and cheaper if you order them online from someplace like Newark.


https://www.newark.com/wago/222-413/...ion/dp/28K2061




Thanks Spot! You have me sold on this method and the connectors!
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Old 07-08-2021, 12:30   #14
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Re: Wiring diagram for piggy back courtesy lights

Dsanduril is the one to thank for the Wago idea, along with the all the others who are reinforcing good practices. I have learned quite a bit from folks at CF about 12vdc boat electrical stuff and try to pay it forwards when I can with a quick picture or link.
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Old 09-08-2021, 07:21   #15
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Re: Wiring diagram for piggy back courtesy lights

forget the inline T connector. make 2 wire connections at each lug on the light fixture. most lights have a screw which pinches the wire... I just put 2 wires under that screw and continue on the chain. Any extra connectors adds a failure mode, reduces reliability, cost more money and more time... why add connectors at all?
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