What Is The Illumination (Orange) Wire For On A Car Radio? [EXPLAINED]

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The illumination (orange) wire on a car radio is used to dim the radio’s display and illuminate the controls of the radio. The illumination wire is tied directly to your vehicle’s lighting system and transmits a direct signal to the stereo whenever the headlights are turned on or off.

Because wires come in a variety of shapes and colors, understanding the wiring in your car stereo can be difficult. Therefore, it is likely that you may confuse your car radio’s illumination (orange) wire with others. So, what is the illumination wire on a car radio for? I look to explain that in this post.

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What Is the Car Radio’s Illumination Wire For?

A car stereo wiring harness’s illumination wire is utilized to blur the screen of your aftermarket car radio. The wire is tied directly to your center console and delivers a positive or negative alert that informs your radio when you switch your headlights on and off.

When the headlight switch is activated, it sends power to the car stereo illumination wire, which activates an inner circuit that regulates how much light is visible from the display. Switching off the headlights, on the other hand, will knock out power from this wiring and keep the screen at full brightness.

How to Connect an Orange Wire on a Car Radio?

The first step is to ensure that you have a connection for doing this on your factory radio harness. Clip your aftermarket strap to your factory harness to accomplish this. After it’s been snapped on, look for the orangish wire with the white band.

Follow that wire back to the factory harness and check for another wire in the same pin spot. If there is, it is likely that your aftermarket radio can reap the benefits of a factory dimming feature.

It’s time to link these wires after you’ve confirmed that your car has an illumination wire. Attach the orange wire from the new radio strap to the orange wire with the white stripe from the aftermarket strap that plugs onto the factory harness. You’re done!

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