IM looking at a pair of 18 watt 1.5 amp driving lights to mount. I have three questions 1. Would you recommend flood or driving beam? 2. Given that the amperage is so low, can I install without a relay? 3. Has anyone mounted a flush mount switch 8n to the cover of the 8nstrument cluster? Thanks in advance.
1. Depends on your driving requirements. Some choose one of each.
2. Relays are always a good idea, but... I have a brightness controller & wired it without a relay, there is not a lot of draw.
3. I have seen a few dash panels with switches, plan well & use caution, there is not a lot of space behind the dash. I have a light switch on my handlebars right next to my "regular" light controller; it fits great and works well.
I have tried many different aux lights and every time I get a narrower beam than the previous. I find floods pretty much useless. Maybe for slow trail riding, but out on the road where you're moving along at a good clip, you want to see as far down the road as possible for increased reaction time. What good is seeing to side of the road at only 50 yards or less ahead? Already way too late anyway.
I've never bothered with relays for low power led's.
For me I only need the Aux lights for visibility, so floods make more sense. I have no intention of riding at night. If you ride at night then Spots make more sense, and maybe they are the best overall use kind of lights since they will also be visible from a distance.
A wiring harness with a relays are useful for switched installations. An installation where the lights can not be left on when the key is off and the bike is not running. Otherwise they don't do much for people who are comfortable with roll your own LED wiring. E= IR and P=EI so a pair of 10 watt LEDs only draw about 1.67 amps. That makes 18 gauge wiring and simple rocker or toggle switches more than adequate.
However, they are a godsend to people that are not comfortable with electrics making the job easy and eliminating a lot of anxiety (e.g., red wire to battery positive, black wire to battery negative, white wire to a switched source). Find a place to stick the switch, hook up the lights, and your done.
You can easily order a switch that mounts to your handlebars and looks good,not cobbled for a decent price on amazon. I plan on ordering the cree leds and thought about splicing them in with my hi beams.
In my experience, slaving the lights to the high beams is a very popular option. Especially if you are running spot lights.
You want the auxiliary lights on at all times during the day and riding with your high beam on in the day is not a problem. If slaved from the high beams, the auxiliary lights will turn off when you dim to low beam. I would suggest a relay for this application because you don't want to add to the current already going through your stock light switch.