Aftermarket driving lights like spotlights and LED light bars offer the ultimate driving light solution for every vehicle. From trucks and four-wheel drives right through to sports cars and family sedans. It is the responsibility of the owner of the vehicle to abide by the relevant state and territory rules and regulations. Driving light bars are recommended for off-road use only.
Wiring them up doesn’t have to be hard if you have the right tools and accessories. We recommend using a driving light harness which uses a simple plug-n-play design meaning all the hard work is already done and you don’t need to spend hours wiring. The kit works by tapping into your cars headlight circuit and feeds the power from your high beam, right to your driving light. You will also have the option to turn the light off completely using the included master switch.
Where can I Mount my LED Light Bar?
In all states of Australia, and within New Zealand, extra driving lamps, fog lamps or work lamps must be fitted in a way that they do not:
- Block the driver’s view of the road
- Stick out in a way that could injure a person close to the vehicle.
In addition to these basic requirements, each state or territory has its own legislation covering the use and placement of additional lighting – including some specifics around LED light bars. Make sure you check the requirements with your local government before you choose a location for your LED light bar.
How many LED Light Bars can I Legally Have?
Vehicles in Australia need to comply with Australian Design Rules (ADRs), which are “national standards for vehicle safety, anti-theft and emissions” dictated by the federal government. Different states have different requirements regarding the legally allowed placement of driving lights, and the federal maximum is four additional driving lights (over and above factory lighting). Within the relevant ADRs light bars are described as “one lamp if all of the LEDs operate together. If an LED has different parts or sections that can be switched on or off independent of other parts (sometimes referred to as being switchable), then each independently controlled section counts as a lamp.”
Within New Zealand, LED bars can be fitted as work lamps in a wide range of combinations and with no legal limitations on number. However, they cannot be wired into the headlights. If used as headlights, they must be used in pairs (on either side of the front of the vehicle), and there are limits on the number of lights that can function at any given time – refer to the NZTA factsheet for more info.
Driving Light Laws by State & Territory
Please follow the diagram above and the information below to get an idea what is legal in your state. Also, make sure to check out the state website as these are subject to change.
- Mounted lights to sports bars on a Ute
- Mounted lights to the roof or roof rack
- Mounted lights that protrudes from the top of the bullbar
- Forward facing lights which do not protrude upwards or outwards from the bullbar
Can you Drive with LED Light Bar On?
Depending on the state or territory that you live in, you may be able to drive with your LED light bar on when connected to the high beam only – refer to the government fact sheets for your particular territory though to ensure that you aren’t breaking the law. Be smart and don’t drive around blinding other drivers and use your low beams as per the law when aproaching other vehicles.
Can you Use a Light Bar as Headlights?
In some territories light bars may be used as additional driving lamps; however, they are currently not to be used in place of OEM headlights in any state of Australia. You may use LED lights as additional high beam headlights within New Zealand. Still, these must be within specific legal requirements – refer to the NZTA website for information around what sort of LED headlight setup is suitable for road use on New Zealand roads.
Step 1 – Mounting the Light Bar
Start by mounting your light bar or spot lights your vehicles bullbar, driving light mount, roof cage/roof rack or other suitable sturdy location, keeping in mind local laws surrounding driving light placement.
Step 2 – Disconnect Negative Terminal
Connect a memory minder to your 12v accessories to avoid losing your radio codes/stations. Disconnect the negative terminal from your vehicle’s battery before commencing any further work.
Step 3 – Mounting the Relay & Fuse
Find a suitable location to mount the relay and fuse, preferably on the inner guard using an existing bolt, or a self-tapping screw.
Ensure that the RED (positive) wire for the fuse will easily reach the battery, and connect the ring terminal to the positive terminal.
Step 4 – Finding your Vehicle’s Headlamp Wiring
The light bar needs to be triggered by activation of your high beam.
Locate the back of your high beam headlight globe on the side closest to the relay, and remove the plug from the globe.
Step 5 – Attaching the Headlamp Adaptor
Choose the headlamp adaptor supplied in the kit which suits your plug, and connect this to the factory plug.
Another end connects to your headlight globe, and the third end plugs into your new harness.
These plugs will only fit one way.
Step 6 – Mounting the Switch
Now mount the switch in the cab locating it convenient to the driver.
Step 7 – Running the Wires Through the Firewall
Run the plug through an accessible grommet in the firewall through to the engine bay – by either making an incision in the grommet or poking through with a sharp object.
Taking care not to damage any wiring when making the incision. Perhaps making the incision underneath if possible, for aesthetics and avoiding water intrusion into the cab. Even better, finding a grommet that is not used and making a hole in that to pass the wires through.
Make sure there is a drip loop in the cable to avoid water ingress into the cabin and most importantly sealing the incision with a sealant. Taping the plug to a long piece of fencing wire will help it through any tight places.
Step 8 – Connecting the Two Harnesses
Connect this plug to the one which comes off your relay.
Step 9 – Connecting the Light Bar / Driving Lights
The final piece in the installation is the plugs for your light bar.
The single plug must be connected to the relay, and the ring terminal on this end needs to be connected to an earth. Either directly to the negative terminal of the battery, or to a bolt with bare metal contact to the body.
Step 10 – Taping Additional Wiring Away
Now with the plugs that connect to the lights, if you are using a light bar, only one of the plugs needs to be connected.
The second plug can be taped up out of the way, or you could use this wire for an additional light bar. If you are wiring up spot lights, connect a plug to each light.
Step 11 – Reconnecting the Negative Terminal
Now you’re on to your last step, reconnect the negative terminal to your battery, and you should be good to go!
Put the switch for your new lights in the “on” position and turn on your headlights.
Step 12 – Testing
The light bar should not illuminate until you flick on the high beam.
With the high beam and the light bar on, put the switch in the “off” position.
Step 13 – Finished!
If your light bar switches off and your high beams remain on, you have successfully wired in your own LED light bar.