You are dealing with DC electricity operating at a fairly high current. You don’t want your roof, yard, shed, outhouse, etc. to catch fire. You want to protect your wiring with fuses!

Some will advocate those fancy in-line automotive fuse holders. Others are big fans of marine fuse blocks, or even more expensive- “Distribution” boards. These can be expensive when you start to add up all of your power runs, and expensive isn’t the only way!

These also all seem to assume you will be frequently changing the fuses. If you need to keep changing fuses- you are probably doing something wrong!

The power supplies commonly used for these displays already have internal fuses or circuit breakers to protect themselves. You don’t want to trip these, as they are often soldered to the board- so they are difficult to replace if they do blow.

I definitely advocate fuses, but you don’t need a fancy fuse holder- all you need are a couple of spade terminals and some heat shrink tubing…

IMG 3051

I’ve found spade terminals and 1/4″ (or 5/16″) heat shrink tubing from my largest supplier- Harbor Freight- work great for this. Just cut your hot lead, strip and crimp the ends into the terminals, and then wrap with the heat shrink tubing. I like to wrap some electrical tape around the bottom of the fuse and the terminals for a bit of added protection. I’ve also played around with 1″ heat shrink tubing around the assembly.