1A Auto Video Library
Our how-to videos have helped repair over 100 million vehicles.

How to Install LED Light Bar

Share on:

Created on: 2019-09-20

Trick out your truck with this massive LED light bar! Watch the video to see how it's done, then try it out yourself!

  1. step 1 :Mounting the LED Light Bar
    • Remove any accessories that will be replaced
    • Locate a suitable mounting position on the vehicle
    • Take measurements to center the light bar on the vehicle
    • Install the side mounting brackets using the short bolts
    • Tighten the bolts with the included hex key
    • Position the light bar with the mounting brackets to mark hole locations
    • Drill holes in the marked locations for the mounting bolts using a 1/4 in drill bit
    • Paint or grease the drill holes to prevent rust
    • Place the rubber mounting bushing between the foot of the mounting bracket and the mounting surface
    • Mount the light bar using the included hex bolts, washers and 10 mm nuts
    • Run the light bar wiring into the engine compartment
  2. step 2 :Wiring the LED Light Bar
    • Connect the light bar spade terminals to the wiring harness spade terminals
    • Cover the connections with electrical tape
    • Mount the relay in an out of the way position near the battery
    • Temporarily connect the switch connector, and connect the wiring to the battery to test the light, then disconnect the switch connector
    • Route the connector end of the harness through the firewall into the interior of the vehicle
    • Mount the switch and route the wire behind the dash
    • Connect the switch connector
    • Disconnect the negative battery cable
    • Disconnect the positive battery cable, and remove the mounting nut
    • Connect the positive light terminal over the battery terminal stud
    • Connect the battery cable and secure it with the 10 mm nut
    • Repeat the same procedure with the negative terminal
    • Test the light

Tools needed

  • Electrical Tape

    1/4 Inch Drill Bit


    10mm Socket


Hey, friends. It's Len here at 1A Auto. Today we're going to be working on our 1996 Dodge Ram 1500. We're going to be doing something super cool, installing a light bar. You know what they say. Out with the old, in with the new. I can't wait. As always, if you need this or any other part, you can always check us out 1AAuto.com. Thanks.

Let's get these old ones right out of here. We've got our little ground wire off of there. The power wire is disconnected. We're just going to come right under here and we'll be able to take off the mounting nut. It's onto the stud that holds these lights. There we are. I'll just put this back together. Maybe somebody else can reuse this someday.

Okay. So, now we need to make sure that our light bar is going to be centered. Whether you decide you want to put it on the bumper, your brush guard if you happen to have one, all right? I don't know if you're going to put it on the top or the bottom. That doesn't really matter so much, but wherever you're putting it, it needs to be in the center of the vehicle. Right?

You don't want to have it sitting off to one side and a big old gap on this side. So for me, I'm going to measure my brush guard. I'm going to go from one side all the way over to the other and I'm looking at 47 inches right there. So, now I'm going to measure the light bar itself, even though I know what it is.

It's 41 inches. 47 minus 41. Six. Divide that by two is three. So, each side of this light bar to my brush guard is going to be three inches, and that's going to center it. So, now that we know that we need three inches on both sides, we can move along with starting to put on the the mounting brackets. Okay.

Now as we're getting close to starting to set up the mounting for this, what we need to think about is if this is going to go on top of something or underneath something. For me, this is going underneath my brush guard right along that shelf where I like to step up onto so I can work inside my engine bay. So, I'm going to have my wiring, which is right here, up along the top. Okay?

But if I was putting this on top of my brush guard, I would much rather have this wiring underneath. That way there it's kind of hidden along the light bar. So for me, I'm going to have this facing up. We're going to grab our brackets. We'll put them over here. We'll grab our bolts and our tools that came with the kit and we'll be able to start the install.

All right. You'll notice that you have this knurled edge. It can go on either side and right along here. Okay. So if you want to, you can put it this way and put your mounting bolts right under there, or you can go this way, put your mounting bolts just like this on the outside. It's completely up to you. It's your preference. You do you, boo-boo. All right. I just wanted to say that.

For mounting these in to the light bar, you're going to use the bigger bolts. Your kit's going to come with small bolts and big bolts. The small bolt, not so much. The big bolt, mm-hmm. That looks good. Okay. This one we'll use for this when we go to put it into, whether it's your bumper, or your brush guard, or whatever you've got. Okay?

So, where I'm mounting it underneath my brush guard, I'm going to put this leg going up. I'm going to take my little mounting screw here. You could use Threadlocker, but the problem with Threadlocker is if you go to adjust this, which is very simple just by loosening it, and then you can adjust your bar so it's facing up, down, whatever you want it to do, if you have Threadlocker on there, it's really going to be a pain in the butt.

Then of course it's not really going to work right the next time you loosen it and go to tighten it back up again. Yeah. Just make this reasonably snug for now just so this can't flop around because we still need to adjust this once it's on the bar, and then we'll make sure it's nice and tight. Now I'm just going to grab all my gear and I'm going to go back over to the truck so we can mark the holes.

Okay. Right about there. Over too far over here. Try to get it so it's as close to center as possible here. Just under three on both sides. Okay. So, we know we got it the same side to side. Now we just need to think about front to back. I'm just going to go right about there. Of course, I'm moving it around now. That's okay.

Let's go just under the three, just like before. Right there. Okay. Now, where I wanted this underneath, and I know it's weird. Why is he doing all this up top? You know why? It's easier to see from up here and the drill is going to go from the top right through the bottom, and it's going to be totally fine. Okay?

We've got that marked. Hold it down so it can't go anywhere. Make sure we're about the same front to back there, just like that. Mark this one. Cool. We'll get our light bar out of here. All right. We've got our holes or our markings where we're going to drill our holes, I should say. I'll set this aside and we can continue.

All right, so I'm going to use my quarter inch drill bit here. It's just a little bit bigger than the bolts that we're going to be using to install, so that's great. It'll give us a little bit of wiggle room. I'm going to go right on the dot here. Give a little push. There we go. A nice little pilot. We know it's not going to wiggle around.

All right. Almost there. Same thing. Very good. Something that I forgot to mention is that you always want to make sure you're wearing your safety glasses any time you're doing something like this. It's super important when you're drilling. There's a lot of metal flakes flying around and your safety is key. Okay? Be safe. Let's continue.

Okay, so these holes that we just drilled, maybe you don't want them to rust out, right? It's possible. You get a lot of rain. You get a lot of snow. You get a lot of, well, just everything. You can use a little bit of grease if you want. Put it in there, something that won't go away with water, or of course you can go ahead and spray it as well. You can use a little bit of spray paint or something to that effect, or just leave it as it is and deal with it when the day comes. With that said, let's continue. We'll grab our light bar.

So, we're just going to grab our bolts. I grabbed some washers just to go along top here. Just going to go right down in. There you are. If you want to use a little Threadlocker on these, of course you can do that. That's going to help hold the brackets in for you. Now that we have those on there, we can grab our light bar.

So, we have our little rubber bushings here. They are oblonged. You'll notice that the hole is much closer to this side than it is to that. Okay, and you'll notice in your brackets you've got the same thing. So, you're going to take it. Go just like that. Make sure the hole lines up straight through. See my finger?

Okay. Do the same thing to the other side. We're going to come underneath. You can pick whichever side you want to start with. I'm just going to try to line the hole up with the bolt. See if I can find it. There it is. There's one. I'm just using my 10 millimeter socket to get the nut started on the bottom there. All right.

So, that's started. I'll do the same to the other side and then we can continue, if I can get this nut started on there. Awesome. Okay, so we have both started. Let's go ahead and snug them up. I'm just using the ratchet right now to hold the nut on the bottom side there, and I'm using the Allen head that was provided with the assembly to tighten it up.

Just make sure that this is nice and tight. You don't want this loosening up and losing your light bar down the road, or on the trail, or wherever you are. I'm just going to go one more here. Oh, yeah. Cool. Same thing to the other side. All right, so we're going to take our wiring. We're going to go right through here. Okay? We have a nice, big hole.

Come up this way, right up along here. This is going to come through and into the engine bay. Pull it nice and taut. That looks good. I can't see it hanging down really anywhere. I'd say that that's pretty great. I didn't run it along the top of the bumper because, well, why do that? I like to get up on here and be able to work.

So, we've got this up in here. You'll notice that this vehicle probably has a lot more extra miscellaneous wiring than maybe yours does. Like I said before, this is a work truck and it's just got all sorts of accessories, so let's continue. All right. 1A Auto was kind enough to give us a wiring harness for this, so I'll just open it up real quick.

We've got our relay. It's got a built-in fuse right there. It even comes with a fuse in it. That's always nice. It's quite the surprise when you go to hook up your power, and you don't have any power, and you're like, "There's no fuse." Nope. 1A hooked it up. This is great. So, here's our battery connections. Positive, negative, obviously. I'm sure I don't have to say that.

We have our electrical connections here, and that's going to go right here to our light bar. Okay? You'd have what you would call a male end and a female end. I'm not going to go into the explanation of those, but one goes into the other and that's the end of that.

To continue down the line, we've got this little connector here, which is great because then you can just disconnect it. This is going to go inside the cab of the vehicle, right? And obviously this isn't going to fit through the firewall, so they made a nice little connector here so you can take something as small as this, which is much more handy than trying to shove this through, right through that hole right there and we don't have to make any new holes. Thank you, 1A.

This is all really great, so let's get it wired in. All right. We're going to go red to red, obviously. Push it right in there. Black wire to black wire, just like that. Awesome. If you had some heat shrink you could put over it, that would be great. If you don't, you need to make sure that you wrap these up with electrical tape so that they're separate from each other. You can't have them bonk, bonk, bonk, touching against each other.

Just start with one wire. Not only is this going to separate the two wires, but it's also going to help keep moisture out of there. Is it waterproof? I wouldn't say it's waterproof. Is it water resistant? Sure. Okay? I'm just going to go right around all the way up past those terminal ends. Just like that. Make sure there's no open areas that you can see any bare metal. That looks good. Now I'm just going to put them both together. Tape them together this way.

It's always a good idea to overlap when you're taping something like this. Just go like halfway past where the other one ended, your last strip. Just continue on like that. Very good. That's awesome. Put this in here. Oh, yeah. Love it. We're going to take our relay. Come underneath all this wiring and go right along the battery, all around that battery hold-down, and then right over to here.

There's a hole on the battery tray. That's going to be great because the relay has a little mounting spot. We're going to go right there and we'll make sure that we secure it with maybe a bolt with a nut on the bottom side there, and that's just going to keep it from flopping around.

We can take the rest of our wiring. I'm going to bring that through along this way to the part that's going to go up into the cab just like this. Awesome. Run it underneath everything here, so it's not kind of going up, and over, and around. Come on, Len. This is a nice long wire. That's awesome. Perfect. Okay.

We're going to take this and we're going to try to put it through this hole right there. There isn't very much space, but I'm sure we can do it. All right, so we're going to connect the red wire to the positive here. The black wire to the negative. This is just temporary. All we're doing is just a simple test to make sure that everything is going the way it should. Ooh, yes.

All right. We're just going to disconnect that now that we tested it and we know it works. Set those away from the battery. We're going to take our switch off. Just squeeze that. Pull this apart. This is going to go inside the cab and we're going to run this through there. Like I said before, let's put this on the seat.

Let's see if I can come ... Let's see. I want to go underneath these wires just like this and then see if I can push it through here. Okay. There it is. Awesome. So, now we're going to get it underneath the dash inside the cab. We'll find where this is and when it comes time to mounting the switch, it's going to be completely your prerogative where you want to put it inside of your cab. It's your truck. You do you, boo-boo. I'm just trying to show you how to wire it up and then you can take it from there. Okay?

Okay. So we're underneath the dash and now at this point, like I said before, you can run this any way you want to run it. All right? I'm just going to show you. We're going to connect this end just like that. If you wanted to, you could take off this panel right here.

There's just a couple screws and the top part just kind of slides out. It has little prongs, pitons, and you can put it up here, or over here, or get yourself a nice little box that'll make it so you can have multiple switches if you want to have multiple LEDs. That would be nice, but anyway. We've got our switch in here and once it's hooked up to the battery, this will function.

Okay, so we're at the negative battery terminal. We're going to loosen up this nut using my 13. Give this a little wiggle. There we are. We'll set this aside just like that, and now we have no battery voltage going to the truck, and we can continue with our electrical installation.

Come right over here and do the same to this one, except we're not going to remove the whole terminal. What I like to do, if I have wires like this, I like to clean them up. So, I'm going to use a tool. I'll show you what it looks like. It's available at 1AAuto.com. Just grab that maybe with a ... There we go. Come on. Here it is.

We're going to clean this all up, so that way there we have a great area for this to connect onto, and of course it's going to be a better area to connect onto the battery. So, we've got this tool right here. It's got a little sanding disc on it. This is available at 1AAuto.com, like I said. We're just going to clean this up.

Yep. Nice surface there. Do the same to the other side, of course. That looks beautiful. I think the truck's going to be extra happy about this. I hear it thanking me now, "Thanks, Len." You're welcome, truck. Anything for you. Let's get this wire up on here. You can set it so it goes down and under. You can set it however you want.

Maybe I will. Maybe I'll bring it down and under here. It might make it look a little nicer. Get that out of there. Whatever. It's following me. Oops. It's distracting me. That's what it's doing. Just like that. Okay. We'll snug this up. Give everything a nice wiggle. Not bad. Okay.

We'll come over to this side. We're going to remove this nut as well. Just got a little snug right there at the end, of course. I'm going to try to keep this away from the negative terminal. That way there we're not making a connection, and then taking it back off, and making it again, and on, and so on. There's our nut. Set that aside. All right.

Let's get all this out of here. We're going to clean all these up just like we did the other side. Then we'll continue. Okay. So, it's time to reconnect the negative battery terminal. I'll put it right on. Try to get it down there as far as you can. That's decent. Okay.

Now, what you need to think about when you're reconnecting wires like this is what would be the most important wire? Obviously, a nice big thick wire is probably going to be drawing a lot of energy. You want that to be as close to the terminal as you can. Just put that there. I'm going to go with the next biggest wire. Looks like it's this one, just like that.

You can set it however you want. You can stack them up on top of each other facing this way, that way. Whatever you want to do. It's your prerogative. I'll just try to get it so it goes down like that. All right. What's next? Let's do the light bar. Bring it around the battery. Awesome. Put that on there.

We had this one other little squirrelly wire here. What's it go to? I could chase it down and find out, but I'm not going to worry about it right this second. You need to make sure that all the metal areas are touching, so they all have good contact points against each other. I'm just going to try to get this on there. All the terminal ends are nice and clean, so that's good.

Okay, so this looks decent. Not bad. The terminal doesn't move around on the battery. That's super important. You need to make sure that you have a good connection. That's great. I'm just going to put a little bit of silicone inside there just to help keep moisture out. It would be nice if there was some sort of, maybe like a heat shrink that would fit over it, but to find a heat shrink that would fit over this big part and then a little teeny wire, I don't think that there's any heat shrink that's going to shrink like that.

So, we'll just do our best and fill it in with a little bit of dielectric. For the purpose of the video, we'll just say that that's good. I can fix that up a little bit better later. All right. Let's see if it works. Ooh. Len likes. Truck yeah.

Thanks for watching. Visit 1AAuto.com for quality auto parts shipped to your door, the place for DIY auto repair. And if you enjoyed this video, please click the subscribe button.

Shop Products

42 Inch - (240 Watt) Auxillary Flood & Spot Combination 80 LED Smooth Trim Light Bar w/ Harness

Performance LED Light Bar

Part Details:

  • Dual Row
  • 240 Watt
  • 42 Inch
  • 80 LED
  • Off-Road
  • High Quality
  • Toughened Glass Lens
  • Electrical Installation Kit
  • Flood & Spot Beam
  • Performance
  • Clearance

How Do I Check or Add Automatic Transmission Fluid to My Car or Truck

Learn how to check and refill the automatic transmission fluid in your vehicle. Some details will vary between models, but the process is similar for many

Go To Top

Same Day Shipping

Need your part faster? Choose expedited shipping at checkout.

Guaranteed To Fit

Highest quality, direct fit replacement auto parts enforced to the strictest product standards.

USA Customer Support

Exceeding customers' expectations, our team of passionate auto enthusiasts are here to help.

Instructional Video Library

Thousands of how-to auto repair videos to guide you step-by-step through your repair.