Vehicle/UTV FAQs

The following Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) pertain to Clearwater Light Off-Road/Vehicle/UTV kits and the Clearwater Lights, components, optics and features relating to these off-road systems. We recommend the following lights for vehicles, UTVs, SxS, trucks, even tractors!

1. Where do Clearwater Lights draw power from? Do Clearwater Lights draw power from the headlight connector?

Clearwater Light vehicle harnesses are designed to draw power directly from the vehicle’s battery. This is the safest and most reliable way to power your Clearwater Light system. When installed as intended, Clearwater Lights do not draw power from the headlight connector (other than Glendina which does not require a harness and is not recommended for vehicles). The highbeam, switched hot and horn trigger wires do not draw any sizable current; the signals on the vehicle are only used to trigger our relay. We do not recommend wiring Clearwater Lights directly to, or drawing power from, the headlight connector (again, other than Glendina). This poses a risk of damaging both the Clearwater Lights and the vehicle’s electrical system. Please follow the wiring diagram and install guides specific to the kit you purchased (available HERE) to conduct a safe and complete Clearwater Lights install.

2. Where do I find the switched hot signal on my vehicle?

To find a switched hot signal on your vehicle, we recommend using a volt meter and your vehicle’s wiring diagram as a reference/starting point. The goal is to find a voltage above 11V that is present only when the vehicle is running or key is on. This feature will prevent unintended battery drain as the Clearwater Lights system will automatically turn off with the vehicle. On some vehicles, the low-beam switched hot wire is the best choice for a switched hot signal. To find which wire to use, first start the process with everything off, unplug the headlight connector and meter each pin. The possible correct pins to use should show zero volts at this point. Then, start your vehicle with the low beams still off and repeat the process. Make note of any pins that have voltage changes along the way. Now turn the low beams on and meter all of the pins at the headlight connector once more. There should be a pin with a voltage above 11V. This is a possible option for a switched hot signal granted it remains on while the highbeam is activated. Use the supplied Posi-Tap to make the connection. Other switched options for a switched hot signal may be associated with an accessory power, auxiliary power, keyed power, tail light, radio, or navigation unit.

3. I can’t find a switched hot signal. What should I do now?

If your vehicle has a battery, it will have a switched hot signal somewhere. Try thinking of accessories/features that will only work when the vehicle is running. Try metering the wires that are used to power those components. We recommend utilizing the switch hot signal from components like: keyed auxiliary power, tail lights, radio, etc.

4. How do I find the highbeam signal on my vehicle?

To find the highbeam signal on your vehicle, we recommend using a voltmeter and your vehicle’s wiring diagram depicting the pin-out of the headlight connector as a starting point/reference. Start the vehicle’s engine and turn the low beams on. Meter all of the pins/wires at the headlight connector. Make note of the voltages that you see between each pin and ground. Next, turn the highbeam on and repeat the voltmeter process for the same pins. Note the voltages that have changed compared to when the low beams were on. At this point, a signal of at least 11V (that is on with highbeam and is not on with low beam) can be used as a highbeam trigger signal. You should tap one of the thin white wires to this wire using the supplied Posi-Tap. This will activate send the signal to the Clearwater Lights to full bright with the highbeams.

5. My vehicle has a switch I would like to use to turn the Clearwater Lights on/off. How do I install my Clearwater Lights with the switch I already have on my vehicle?

To use an existing switch to turn the Clearwater Lights on/off, it is best to use the switch output lead as a switched hot source. Tap one of the thin red wires from the Clearwater Lights harness to the switch output lead. This will activate the dimmer and harness to allow for control of the Clearwater Lights.

6. When I go to highbeam, the Clearwater Lights turn off. What is going on?

Most likely, this means the switched hot signal goes away when the highbeams are turned on. This is a common occurrence with using low-beams as a switched hot signal. You will need to connect the thin red wire from the Clearwater Lights harness to a different switched hot signal.

7. Does Clearwater Lights offer a fog light replacement kit?

Clearwater Lights are considered auxiliary lighting and are not intended to be used as a fog light replacement (or headlight replacement for that matter). Clearwater Lights are best used in addition to an existing factory OEM lighting system. We do however offer a fog optic that is available within the Krista, Sevina and Dixi product lines.

8. Where do I mount the dimmer and switch?

There are many options for mounting the Clearwater Lights dimmer and switch. We recommend mounting them somewhere on the dash, center console or within a switch panel next to your other auxiliary components.

9. When I start my vehicle, the Clearwater Lights go to full bright and they remain full bright even when I activate the highbeam or horn. What is going on?

Most likely, the white wire is connected to a constant hot or there is a loose connection at the dimmer/switch control bundle.

10. How much power do Clearwater Lights draw? How will I know if I am overloading the alternator?

Current draw of Clearwater Lights vary quite a bit across our various models. The following breakdown of current draw is per light (not pair) and is assumed the light is running at full luminosity (12V): Darla – 2A, Krista – 3A, Erica – 5A Sevina – 6A, Super Sevina – 6A, Dixi – 9A. The power your vehicle’s alternator creates should be a stated feature/spec within the user manual of the vehicle’s manufacturer or labelled directly on the alternator itself. A small UTV may support only up to 10A of auxiliary power, whereas the latest and greatest pickup supports nearly 200A! Adding too many auxiliary items will drain your battery even while driving and will add strain to the alternator. Be sure to reference your vehicle’s manufacturer and literature first.

11. Where can I mount the Clearwater Lights on my vehicle?

We recommend mounting Clearwater Lights at or below the headlight level to rigid points on front bumper, bull-bars, or sub-frame. Our lights can also be mounted to a-pillars, roll cages or cross bars. We have bar mounts in many sizes to fit your every need. We do not recommend mounting Clearwater Lights directly to plastic bumpers as it causes the lights to vibrate while operating the vehicle and may cause damage to your vehicle. Note: Mounting the lights lower to the ground will help aid illuminate the road/path when driving in poor visibility conditions such as snow, fog or dust. Mounting lights up high in poor visibility conditions illuminates the airborne particles which essentially pulls a blanket over the eyes of the pilot in command, you will not be able to see the road when this happens.

12. What lights do you recommend for my vehicle?

First, check out our Virtual Clearwater Lights Simulator to compare the down-road projection between the various lights, optics and combinations we offer. Our fog optic has been developed specifically for vehicles and is available within the Krista, Sevina and Dixi lights.

    Good: a pair of Erica lights

    Better: a pair of Sevina Combo lights + a pair of Erica lights

    Best: a pair of Sevina Fog lights + a pair of Super Sevinas

13. My vehicle has an LED headlight, will this pose a problem with installing Clearwater Lights?

Vehicles with an LED headlight may make the installation a bit more complicated. Each vehicle is different so installation details You may need to install an isolation relay on the high beam wire to use it as a trigger wire. Send us an email and we can help you.

14. Are the selective yellow covers designed to be used in foggy conditions?

We designed the selective yellow covers to boost daytime conspicuity. The particular yellow we use is the exact opposite in the color spectrum as compared to daylight. This makes vehicles with Clearwater Lights incredibly visible to oncoming traffic during the day… up to five miles away! Yellow lights do not have any direct scientific evidence to improve foggy conditions. To improve visibility during foggy conditions, it is best to illuminate the road underneath the fog/dust without illuminating the fog/dust itself. This can be done by using our fog optic and installing Clearwater Lights at a height of between 10 to 24 inches above the ground.

15. There are multiple red and white wires coming from the Clearwater Lights harness. Do I need to use all of them? Which ones go where?

The thin red wires are Switched Hot trigger wires. They tell our harness to turn on when either red wire gets a signal above 11V. This wire should be tapped to a wire on the vehicle that maintains at least 11V when the key/engine is turned on. Only one red wire is required, though having both connected will not cause a problem. The thin white wires are referred to as the highbeam wires. They are trigger wires that tell the Clearwater Lights harness to turn our lights to 100% luminosity when the white wire senses at least 11V. This can be tapped to a highbeam hot signal or horn hot signal wire if you want the Clearwater Lights to go to 100% luminosity when either the highbeam or horn are activated. The white wire is not required, though since the dimmer default programming is set to 5%-55%, you will need to reprogram the dimmer to allow the Clearwater lights to go to 100% luminosity with the dimmer.

16. How can I reprogram the Clearwater Lights dimmer to go to full 100% luminosity?

Start with the switched hot power off (key off/engine off)

The dimmer should be in the lowest dim setting (without clicking to off)

Then, turn the power on (key on/engine on), and within 7 seconds, turn from low to high [1], to low, to high [2], to low, to high [3], to low, to high [4] (end with the dimmer knob at high [4])

The lights will flash 4 times and then lights should be set to dim from 5% to 100%. If the lights flash more or less than 4 times, repeat the process starting at the first step.

17. What is included with your kits? Do I need anything else to do a proper install?

We pride ourselves in offering all our kits with everything you need to conduct a proper and complete install… down to the zip ties!

18. How many lights can I install onto my vehicle? How many lights can the Clearwater Lights harness support?

The limitations of how large a Clearwater Lights system can be installed on a vehicle is related to how much power is available from the vehicle’s alternator and how much room is physically available on the vehicle for mounting lights. Four lights can be run off of one Clearwater Lights harness at a time. You can add as many Clearwater Light harnesses as your vehicle can fit both physically and electrically. An array of eight Sevinas would send 60,000 lumens down range!

19. Do your lights have a sharp cut-off?

We do not utilize a sharp cut-off in our lights. However, Clearwater Lights are comprised of three different optics. A conical 45-degree driving beam, an 8-degree spot beam and a 150-degree fog optic. Both the driving beam and spot beam are radially symmetric which means they project as wide of a beam as they do with respect to the elevation. This creates a very soft fall-off which is pleasing to the eyes of the driver. The fog beam is a wide and low beam which does not necessarily have a sharp cut-off, though can be easily controlled vertically.

20. Are Clearwater Lights SAE/DOT certified?

No, Clearwater Lights are not SAE or DOT certified. However, Glendina is EU certified.

21. Are Clearwater Lights road-legal?

Regional laws vary. Please check with your local legislature for legal details. Note that Clearwater Lights are considered auxiliary lights, and that our Glendina lights are EU certified.

22. Are Clearwater Lights waterproof?

Absolutely! Each light leaves our California facility having been tested completely submerged underwater for an hour. In the rare case that water gets inside the light, it is usually due to improper installation or tampered lights. Just like the headlights on your vehicle, we do not recommend using a pressure washer directly.