Best LED trailer lights

Bassin AssassinBassin Assassin Posts: 1,271 Officer
My trailer wiring is old and nicked in spots. I am looking to upgrade my wiring and trailer lights to LED. Would like to get some advice on the best submersible LED trailer lighting kit and must dos when re-wiring. I have done some research and I have read Dry Launch are very good. Optronics on Amazon has good reviews. My trailer has side markers and I have read that a separate ground wire should be run from the trailer plug down both sides of the trailer for grounding all the side lights. The white wire out of the plug is grounded at the front of the trailer. I am not sure how to attach white wires going down each side of the trailer. Do you use some sort of pigtail connector? Any info is greatly appreciated. Thanks
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Replies

  • KlingerKlinger Posts: 1,792 Captain
    I don't know the brand name, but the last I got was from Harbor Freight. Less expensive & they have worked fine for then last 4-5 years. A dedicated ground to all light fixtures is desirable (not just the marker lights). On most LED fixtures, I have found it best to not over tighten them when attaching to the trailer, as they often will crack and allow moisture in the fixture. Since you have a dedicated ground, there is no need to secure that tightly to the trailer for a proper ground.
    In my many years, I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame,two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress.-- John Adams
  • FS DanFS Dan Posts: 2,353 Moderator
    as for what to do with the wires. If an I-beam style trailer(aluminum), there are holes drilled with a cable holder that snap-in to hold the wire. Some galvanized trailers use c-channel which would use similar mounting locations. Some trailers use a box frame with the wires run thru the frame. If yours don't have these, you could always resort to tie-wraps. Use heat shrink connectors to properly seal your connections. Poor corroded connections are a common cause of light failure. By running individual ground wires, instead of using the frame, you can ensure a better ground. Frame grounding puts your connections underwater making them prone to corrosion.

    CMD
    Formerly Catmandew
  • SCFD rtrd.SCFD rtrd. Posts: 1,382 Officer
    All good information. So essentially, if you have four lights total (two clearance & two rear lights) then you will have four white (ground) wires running along the frame to the front of the trailer. Same goes for the brown wire that controls your running lights (four separate wires running to the front of the trailer and connected to the wiring harness.

    Buy heat shrink impregnated with glue. Slide one piece over your connection and heat, then slide another longer piece over the first and heat. Making sure you overlap the first piece. Trailer lights are a pain in the ****. If you do this correctly, they will last for several years.
  • KlingerKlinger Posts: 1,792 Captain
    SCFD rtrd. wrote: »
    All good information. So essentially, if you have four lights total (two clearance & two rear lights) then you will have four white (ground) wires running along the frame to the front of the trailer. Same goes for the brown wire that controls your running lights (four separate wires running to the front of the trailer and connected to the wiring harness.

    Buy heat shrink impregnated with glue. Slide one piece over your connection and heat, then slide another longer piece over the first and heat. Making sure you overlap the first piece. Trailer lights are a pain in the ****. If you do this correctly, they will last for several years.


    Actually, I just ran one ground on each side (making connection with the marker & then on to tail lights) using heat shrink on each connection.
    In my many years, I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame,two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress.-- John Adams
  • Bassin AssassinBassin Assassin Posts: 1,271 Officer
    OK so if I connect two ground wires to the plug wire with heat shrink tubing and run it all the way down both side of the trailer to connect with the side markers and then ground it to the trailer in the back with the other ground wires from the tail lights, would that work? Or do I wrap all 3 grounds together at the front of the trailer and attach there with screw and then run the lines down each side? Does the ground have to be attached to the front of the trailer? Thanks
    Improve Our Fishery - Practice Catch and Release
  • KlingerKlinger Posts: 1,792 Captain
    As long as the dedicated ground lines are attached to the white wire on the plug, it's not necessary to attach it to the trailer.
    In my many years, I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame,two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress.-- John Adams
  • Bassin AssassinBassin Assassin Posts: 1,271 Officer
    ok great. Thanks Klinger.
    Improve Our Fishery - Practice Catch and Release
  • FS DanFS Dan Posts: 2,353 Moderator
    I've seen people use a terminal block at the trailer tounge and run a single wire to the plug for the ground. It's easier than trying to connect four wires into one.

    CMD
    Formerly Catmandew
  • century7century7 Posts: 2,410 Captain
    great info. I would say go with pipelights and get the lights up so they do not have to go in the water
    It works 60% of the time all the time......
  • SCFD rtrd.SCFD rtrd. Posts: 1,382 Officer
    Don't ground anything to the trailer. The plug from your truck should have a white (ground) wire. The trailer wiring harness should have a white (ground) wire. Run all the ground wires from the trailer lights to the ground wire on the trailer wiring harness. Basically, all lights are grounded to the tow vehicle.

    Pipe lights are good. They are less prone to corrosion and more visible. On my last two trailers, I've had two sets of lights, Pipe lights and lower lights. If you follow the information from all the above posts, you'll have trouble free, working lights for years.
  • Alex from GAAlex from GA Posts: 1,337 Officer
    I've had the Harbor Freight ones on my bass boat for several years with no trouble. Like others have said, run separate grounds for each light. Don't use the metal clips to fasten the wires to the frame. Either use plastic clips or tie wraps.
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