Lighting Hacks w/ Garmin PowerSwitch

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The Garmin Powerswitch allows us to power auxiliary lights and devices from the touch screen of our Transit without drilling holes in the firewall. It’s super easy to wire & program & this post will teach you all about it.

Garmin PowerSwitch Wiring & Review – Video

The Garmin PowerSwitch is a switch panel that allows for connection of up to 6x 30 amp circuits per module and the module is controlled via bluetooth for individual circuit control or for programming functionality into ‘groups’ of circuits. Watch our video to see it in action:


Basic Garmin PowerSwitch Wiring

At it’s core; the Garmin PowerSwitch needs to get it’s power from the Vehicle. This may mean direct from the starter battery or other appropriate point. In our Transit, we connected it under the positive Jump Start point and a factory Chassis ground location (Both of which are, by nature, attached to the battery).

The most basic circuits for the PowerSwitch are a positive wire from each terminal going to each device (lights, etc) and then the negative going to a good chassis ground point or back to a negative busbar attached the a chassis ground.


Intermediate Garmin PowerSwitch Wiring

The next way to wire the Garmin PowerSwitch involves connecting one of the two ‘control’ inputs to a reference source. For example; you may want to connect a wire to a circuit that is on when the engine is on but loses voltage when the engine is off.

You could connect that to the control 1 input of the Garmin PowerSwitch to, for example, turn running lights on/off depending on if the engine is on/off:


Garmin PowerSwitch – Allow Toggle when Control Active

This is a bit of a hack that I have requested Garmin ‘fix’ with an update. This would allow us to conditionally control an aux light source but ONLY when the ctrl 1/2 circuit is receiving power. For example:

If= Headlights are on, allow output to toggle lights

If= Headlights are off, disallow output from turning lights on.

This would allow us to:

  • Turn our high beams on/off WITHOUT turning our aux lights on/off (populated highway driving)
  • Turn our high beams on/off and have our aux lights turn off/on with the high beams (forest roads / off road)

Until Garmin adds this functionality; we have to use a relay and a secondary output to ‘conditionally’ activate the lights we want to control. The diagram looks like this:

Here is the flow of power to make this work:

  • High beam controls external 12V relay.
  • Relay Triggers Ctrl 1 of PowerSwitch.
  • Output #3 toggles Ctrl 1; but ONLY when relay is active (high beams on).
  • Output #4 is trigged as ‘on’ only when CTRL 1 is receiving voltage.

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