Dimming lights


Unregistered guest
I dont know if this is true, but on some website I was reading about dimming lights. It said that when your lights dim thats not really a bad thing, but it is bad when the keep getting lighter and lighter, this true?

Also, if the lights do dimm I can just use the bass knot and that will take care of it, wont it?

Gold Member
Username: Southernrebel

Monroe, Louisiana USA

Post Number: 1219
Registered: Mar-04
no...if you light dim, that means your voltage is dropping. most likly that also means your amp is clipping...clipping = dead speakers

dimming is bad!

Unregistered guest
Wait, dimming lights means that the amp is clipping? Really?!

Bronze Member
Username: Deezel

Post Number: 72
Registered: Jul-05

That is not what that means at all.

The same site that you read that, is the same site that Glasswolf posted. I am not going to go look it up, but your lights dimming DOES NOT ALWAYS mean your amp is clipping...

Its common sense to a degree really. When you car is running, most stock alternators run at 13.8 to 14.4 volts. So, without a heavy load of accessories, your headlights run at that voltage..

When the bass hits, your voltage drops, and, since the intensity of your lights is completely dependent on the amount of voltage accessable to them, the lower the voltage, the lower the intensity.

To clarify, when my Xterra is on, but idling, my alternator reads 14. Whenever the bass hits, my alternator reads anywhere from 13.3-13.6. If my lights are on, they dim ever so slightly, but they still DIM.

As long as your alternator is not dropping much past 13 or 12.5 I wouldn't assume your amp is clipping...

Check your voltage with a proper meter with your music on, and see what kind of measurement you get.

Unregistered guest
I have never heard that dimming lights means that the amp is clipping.

Silver Member
Username: Robert_d


Post Number: 166
Registered: Sep-05
basically its a warning sign is what hes saying

that's not true at all... if what king denzie were saying it true.. then you SHOULLD NEVER run your amp without the car running!!!!

when your car is not running your battery is only putting out 12.4 volts max.. (typical battery) so that means your amp is clipping!!! (not true)

at idle, most alternators will typicall drop down to 13 volts (that is a low) usual is about 13.8.

mine runs about 13 at idle.. when the bass hits (HARD) it will drop down to the battery voltage at about 12.4 volts. What is happening is the battery is providing the extra amperage while the alternator cannot. This is very common and is compltely OKAY as long as you dont do it for extended periods of time

I would recommend getting an additional battery AS WELL as a high output alternator to ensure that your voltage does not drop below 12v (which might clip the amp) and the alt to ensure that you can adequately charge the system while not at idle.

in an ideal situation and ideal money funding you could provide a constant 14.4v to the amp, but this is not really possible.

So basically, your lights dimming is not a good thing, meaning you dont really want it.. but as long as it's not going below 12v.. you're really ok... i promise

Silver Member
Username: Tdisanto

Post Number: 244
Registered: Sep-05

Basically, if they dim for a quick moment and return to full brightness during the long bass note, than your fine. If they stay dim during the whole note, then you need to considering beefing up your charging system.

that is true, yet it is not...

most cars are designed to run at ~13volts at idle. It is not a problem! But as mentioned before, it's not a good thing either... It just all depends on your listening habits.

Unregistered guest
Someone fully explain clipping.

Silver Member
Username: Kd7nfr

Montpelier, ID United States

Post Number: 997
Registered: Apr-05

My Jeep's alternator's alternator doesn't kick up the voltage until about 850RPM. I'm pretty sure I got a bit of grease on the brushes when I put it back together, but asking around, people seem to have the same experience...

If it's my vehicle, I'll always put a HO on it. It's just nice to have.

yupppp mine too :-)

it's fine... don't worry as long as you don't dip below 12v (at idle) and if you dont get up to 14 even when driving.. THEN you have a problem
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