Hella 500 Series off-road lights

Installation date: 8/2/98

Since it seems that people are interested in reading about installing Hella offroad lights (or IPF’s or PIAA’s or whatever you like), I thought I’d do a quick write-up on how I installed my Hella 500’s. I ended up installing 3 individual lights (a pair of fog lights and one driving light) because I wanted that really cool D90/SafariGard look. I set it up so that the two fogs were on one switch/relay and the driving light was on a separate switch/relay, so I essentially have a pair of wiring harnesses installed, which is why you’ll see two switches and two relays and two sets of wires in the pics.

I wanted the lights to be separate from the regular vehicle lighting system so that I could turn the lights on and off when I wanted and not have to worry about if my highbeams were on or if my driving lights were on or anything, I wanted to flip a switch and turn the lights on regardless of what else what running and have them stay on until I turned them off. After having already installed/wired a couple of sets of fog lights on other rigs, wiring up the Hellas was no trouble, though this was the first time I’d used relays in the wiring harness (I would recommend using a relay in any auxiliary lighting harness now). I mounted the relays side-by-side on the passenger side of the firewall. I just found an open spot on the firewall, drilled a starter hole, and ran a sheetmetal screw in to hold the relays up.

Then I ran the leads for the lights themselves back down the passenger side of the engine bay, down through the front grill, and out to the lights. I ran the “switch” leads (yellow wires in the Hella kit) through the firewall via the hood release cable hole (it’s the only easy access from the engine bay to the cabin that I have found). Then I just hooked them up to the switches provided and mounted them under the dash near the hood release lever. Now, if you want your Hellas to be able to be switched on separately from the vehicle lights, tie the “green” wire lead from the switch (which the Hella wiring diagram shows connected to the highbeams) into a wire that is hot all the time (try to use a wire that is fused), or use one of the empty “hot” slots in the fuse box under the dash. If you want your lights to be dependent on the rig’s headlights, just follow the directions supplied by Hella.

My Hellas are 55W lights, so they don’t add a lot to my already 55W headlights, but they do make a difference. If I had it over to do again I would try to find some 100W Hellas, but the 55W’ers were readily available, and at $60 a pair, they fit into my college-kid budget. I really wanted to run 3 lights, so I had to buy two pairs to get 3 lights, so I now have a spare in the event I bust one. At first I was going to run all three lights off the same switch, but with two fogs and one driving light, I figured it might be nice to have them on separate switches, plus I didn’t want to overload a relay by running three lights on a single relay, and it didn’t occur to me at the time that I could probably run two relays off one switch. So anyway, I have two switches, two wiring harnesses, and 3 lights. Well, actually, as you can see I’ve got 5 lights total, I decided to plug my factory lights back in since I already had the harness and switch installed by the factory, and I hated for a good wiring harness and switch to go to waste…So far all works great and I’m pretty happy with the Hellas, I just wish they were 100W lights. I’ll probably just upgrade the bulbs for some 100W bulbs.

Well, on 1/7/98 I installed 100W bulbs in all the Hellas. I didn’t notice a huge improvement, but they did make a difference, especially in the center driving light.

note: Check with your local regulations before wiring lights this way, it is illegal in some places to have the lights stay on with your highbeams or to have them on with your low beams.

1 comment

1 Comment so far

  1. shamtest May 14th, 2011 3:43 am

    I can’t seem to fully load this post from my iphone!

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