I am looking to hook up a 5 pin LED switch to a set of LED strip lights in my truck. They have already been hooked up to my park lights through a direct connection to the fuse controlling them, but I want to use this switch in order to control the lights. Can anyone explain how to hook up this switch? Can I just put the power to the fuse on the positive and the lights on the negative and it will work, or is that the wrong way of thinking?


closed as unclear what you're asking by Olin Lathrop, placeholder, Daniel Grillo, Matt Young, Chetan Bhargava May 14 '14 at 17:20

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    \$\begingroup\$ Huh? What's a "5 pin LED switch"? \$\endgroup\$ – Olin Lathrop May 14 '14 at 15:24

I'll assume that by "5-pin LED switch" you mean a switch that includes an LED indicator (a lighted switch), which is why it has terminals marked negative and positive. I'll further assume that the illuminated switch and the LED strip lights both operate on 12V.

You can think of such a switch as two devices in one: a switch, and an LED:


simulate this circuit – Schematic created using CircuitLab

(Internal current-limiting resistor not shown.)

You can't just use the positive and negative terminals for switching a load on and off, they are merely the connections for the indicator light inside the switch. Instead you need to use the other three pins for switching. (I'm still assuming your 5-pin switch is a single pole double throw (SPDT) switch and an LED indicator, but without a photo or a part number I am just guessing.)

In this case you treat the indicator on the switch as another load, just like the LED strips. They would be wired in parallel, if you want the indicator LED to light simultaneously with the LED strips:


simulate this circuit

In this schematic, the switch in it's "off" position doesn't create a circuit, because one of the terminals (a throw) of the switch is left unconnected. In the other position, it creates a connection between both loads (the internal LED in the switch and the LED strips) and the positive terminal of the supply (which the fuse is part of).

Both the negative terminal of the switch LED and the LED strips are connected to common ground (chassis ground), so that the circuit is complete.


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