If you’ve been working on your car or bike for a long time, you know that the car stereo wiring under the hood can be a mess of wires and connectors. You have to keep track of every wire you touch so you don’t screw up something else’s juice. Wiring color codes has been a topic that has perplexed many DIY enthusiasts. The struggle is real, so hopefully, this article will clarify this subject.
But before that, let’s shed some light on an illumination wire.
What Is an Illumination Wire?
An illumination wire connects the car radio and the dashboard lights. This wire works by sending power through it, which lights up all of your head unit lights at once. The information sent back and forth between your stereo and its connections lets you know when those lights should turn on or off.
For example, turning the headlight switch on will switch power to the car stereo illumination wire, activating an internal circuit that controls how much light glows from the dashboard.
On the other hand, turning off the headlights will cut power from this wire and keep the screen in its whole light. Fortunately, some aftermarket radios have a separate illumination wire for day and night mode.
Where to Connect Illumination Wire in a Car Stereo
Connecting illumination wire in a car stereo is an easy process that can be completed by anyone with basic knowledge of car audio systems. Try out these steps:
- Turn off your car and remove the panel that covers the stereo.
- Disconnect the negative terminal of your battery by loosening the nut with a wrench. This will ensure that no power runs through your car’s electrical system while you’re working on it (and avoid shorting anything out).
- Attach one end of the orange illumination wire to each terminal of the aftermarket stereo and wrap them in electrical tape to secure them in place. Note: some have an orange color with a white stripe, so check with the factory harness manual if you get stuck!
- Connect the other end of each wire to each speaker by attaching it to its respective positive terminal.
- Reconnect the negative battery terminal back onto its post and turn on your car!
So What Happens When There’s No Illumination Wire?
If there is no illumination wire on your radio, you will need to run a new wire from the power source to the aftermarket car radio. The easiest way to do this is to take the old wire or wires connected to the old radio. Then, attach them to a new wire that runs from the power source to the new radio. Afterward, connect these wires to their respective spots on your new radio.
Alternatively, you can purchase a 4-way harness adapter and hook from the radio’s antenna input to your antenna’s cable. This will allow you to connect your antenna as if it had an illumination wire even though it doesn’t.
Precautions When Working With High Voltage Lines While Connecting Orange Wires
The car stereo system is one of the essential parts of any vehicle. It helps you enjoy music and other entertainment while driving while improving the overall look of your car. However, it’s vital to take precautions when working with high voltage lines.
- Before you begin, make sure you turn off the car and disconnect the battery.
- Always wear safety glasses.
- You should connect the orange wires with a crimping tool, not by twisting them together using pliers or other tools that can cause damage to the wire insulation or internal car stereo wiring harness.
- When connecting orange wires in your car stereo, make sure your hands are dry and clean. If possible, wear gloves to avoid spreading oils on your skin to them.
- Always use a grounding strap when working on your stereo. This will help ensure that you do not accidentally come in contact with any voltage from the car battery.
- If you are using a multimeter, be sure that it’s plugged into a grounded outlet. If there is no other option, use rubber gloves over your hands to protect them from electrical shocks while touching metal objects like screws or bolts.
- Connect the orange wires to the positive terminals and the black wires to the negative battery terminals on your car stereo system.
- If you have any doubts about whether or not something is safe, stop what you’re doing and consult an expert.
Illumination Wire vs Illumination Dimmer—Are They the Same?
It is common for car DIY enthusiasts to confuse these two types of factory harness wires. Both allow your radio to turn on and off whenever you turn the vehicle’s lights on and off. However, their features and uses tend to differ to a large extent.
An illumination wire is a single wire that runs from one end of your stereo to where it connects to a small switch or knob that allows you to turn your lights off and on. Contrariwise, the dimmer wire controls the brightness of your stereo lights using more advanced features than the illumination wire.
Benefits of an Illumination Dimmer Over Illumination Wire
The benefits of installing an illumination dimmer over using the existing illumination wire include:
- You won’t have to worry about getting up at night and turning on your headlights. The dimmer turns them off automatically when you’re not using them anymore!
- You can use the dimmer switch to customize the brightness level in your car’s interior to suit your preferences— whether that means making it brighter or dimmer.
- You’ll never have to worry about someone else driving with their headlights on and blinding you when they pass by at night.
- It saves money: Illumination dimmer uses less power than other options, so you won’t have to worry about paying more for gas because of it!
You may also read: How to Adjust Vizio Sound Bar Without a Remote (A Guide)
Knowing where to connect the orange illumination wire can be a bit tricky. We understand that this situation can stress you out, but it doesn’t have to be that way. If you use the tips in this article, it’ll be much easier to find out where to connect Orange illumination wire in your aftermarket stereo and enjoy your trip.