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Old 05-21-2024, 01:36 PM   #1
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led light string lights light off direct battery but not from side light hot wire

2015 Forest River Wolf Pup 16ft
All electrical working fine

Problem - new outside LED light string.
- when connecting hot and ground directly to battery, lights up fine
- when connecting LED string ground and hot to the outside side light hot and ground wires, the LED string will not light up, even though power is there.

Could anyone advise why does LED string work when directly connected to trailers battery hot and ground terminals, but will not light up when connected to the outside side light wiring ?

Is there a way to connect this LED string somehow to enable to work when we turn on the outside side light as we originally tried ?

thank you for advice ))
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Old 05-21-2024, 01:52 PM   #2
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Light Emitting Diodes are just that, diodes, and polarity sensitive. Wolf Pup external lights may not care and work just fine regardless if their wiring seems crossed.

White is ground (as is the trailer frame) and Black (sometimes Red) is power. You trying the lights connected that way? $5 Harbor Freight multi-meter should show polarity,

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Old 05-21-2024, 03:38 PM   #3
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thank you Chuck for advice

To be more clear, the outside side light has a white wire and white/blue striped wire connected to the small 12v bulb.

I tested the LED strip connecting red and black wires from LED to the trailer outside light in both configurations, 1) red to white and black to white blue and 2) red to white blue and black to white - LED did not light either way

Question - someone told me that often times LED needs 12v+ to kick off the resistor, then LED strip falls back to 12v. The outside side light could run off less than 12v if this light is connected parallel or serial to the rest of the trailer system, meaning the ground wire loop is losing some current perhaps in the whole loop system, therefore not enough power to initially start up the LED string. I am not sure if true, but agree that multimeter needed to verify true voltage.

Thanks again for thoughts,
Rick
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Old 05-21-2024, 08:09 PM   #4
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There is no kickoff, but I would bet dollars to donuts that you had the polarity wrong.
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Old 05-22-2024, 01:36 AM   #5
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For a travel trailer
Side lights on the outside….. are powered by the truck

For a motor home …. Should be powered from chassis battery when you turn the clearance lights on
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Old 05-22-2024, 07:30 AM   #6
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Side light = light by door (porch light?).
Side light = running light?
Yep, powered by different power sources.

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Old 05-22-2024, 01:57 PM   #7
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If you are using what's called "Solar on the Side" or "Zamp" as your power source, sometimes THOSE are wired "backwards". Use your multi-meter to verify polarity of the rig's solar connector and verify that your light string matches that polarity. If your light string has an SAE connector, simply plugging it into the solar connector may reverse the polarity. Also note that there are SAE adapters that will reverse this polarity with no muss, no fuss.

I'm unfamiliar with an "aux" outside lighting outlet...I've never seen one. But if your rig has a solar connection AND an aux lighting connection, it would not surprise me to learn that both are wired the same...normally or backwards...to ensure that the matching solar kit can be plugged in to either.

Wost case scenario, get a short cable with an SAE connector on each end, and wire it properly straight to the battery...and use that. I added an "extra outlet" for my macerator pump in much the same way. It just sticks out from under the battery box lid.
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