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#4700034 - 03/19/18 06:40 PM Headlamps on a Poulan riding mower
92saturnsl2 Offline


Registered: 03/02/04
Posts: 1298
Loc: Flaherty, KY
I purchased a used 2007 Poulan riding mower over the weekend, a 38" with a Briggs 15.5hp 502cc I/C single cylinder engine, with 5 speed manual transmission. Thing works great but one thing that bugged me was the headlamps weren't working. I troubleshooted it, got it working, only to realize that Poulin has the headlamps wired to the ignition stator/magneto (?), and not the battery which I'm guessing is charged by a small alternator. The headlights would dim equal to throttle position-- bright when high, dim or non-existant when idling. I rewired it to use the battery feed, specifically using the ignition "on" circuit that will kill the lights when turned to OFF. Works great now at all throttle positions, but still quite dim at night due to the small 1156 single-filament bulb.

I'd like to retrofit the headlights to use an 1157 dual-filament LED. It will draw less power than a 1156 incandescent, but ought to be brighter due to the use of a 1157 LED bulb. Does anyone know if there is a bulb socket or adapter that might facilitate this conversion? The current bulb is just a twist-lock style like you'd find in parking lights on a vehicle. I'm not sure they're all the same tnough. Might I be able to simply buy a 1157 socket, and wire it myself, and will it fit in the factor twist-lock location? Any insight or suggestions in this area would be much appreciated!

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#4700044 - 03/19/18 06:52 PM Re: Headlamps on a Poulan riding mower [Re: 92saturnsl2]
skyactiv Offline


Registered: 03/02/13
Posts: 4480
Loc: The Midwest
The headlights on those little front engine riding mowers are useless. They don't have a good reflector design, so a better bulb wont help much.

https://www.amazon.com/olidear-Headlamp-...eable+headlight
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#4700099 - 03/19/18 07:36 PM Re: Headlamps on a Poulan riding mower [Re: 92saturnsl2]
Oldmoparguy1 Offline


Registered: 01/21/05
Posts: 5620
Loc: Charlotte, NC
Originally Posted By: 92saturnsl2
I purchased a used 2007 Poulan riding mower over the weekend, a 38" with a Briggs 15.5hp 502cc I/C single cylinder engine, with 5 speed manual transmission. Thing works great but one thing that bugged me was the headlamps weren't working. I troubleshooted it, got it working, only to realize that Poulin has the headlamps wired to the ignition stator/magneto (?), and not the battery which I'm guessing is charged by a small alternator. The headlights would dim equal to throttle position-- bright when high, dim or non-existant when idling. I rewired it to use the battery feed, specifically using the ignition "on" circuit that will kill the lights when turned to OFF. Works great now at all throttle positions, but still quite dim at night due to the small 1156 single-filament bulb.

I'd like to retrofit the headlights to use an 1157 dual-filament LED. It will draw less power than a 1156 incandescent, but ought to be brighter due to the use of a 1157 LED bulb. Does anyone know if there is a bulb socket or adapter that might facilitate this conversion? The current bulb is just a twist-lock style like you'd find in parking lights on a vehicle. I'm not sure they're all the same though. Might I be able to simply buy a 1157 socket, and wire it myself, and will it fit in the factor twist-lock location? Any insight or suggestions in this area would be much appreciated!

I have the same rider in 42" version. As you know, the lights are wired to a connector so that the hood may be lifted off. I have considered finding a socket on the Internet that would work with those little high intensity desk/reading lamps. (found it!, it's called a T-10 socket.) They are available in various sizes. Now, with the availability of led lamps, there is bound to be something similar available. It would be simple to put a new switch on the panel and wire it directly to the battery and to the connector in the hood. I also considered unhooking the lighting circuit and adding it to the battery. The lighting winding i is A/C so a full wave rectifier would be required to provide DC current the switch. It would require a double pole single throw switch. When the switch is flipped, the DC from the rectifier will be connected to the lights and the battery. In this way, the lighting coil will feed the lights and the battery would make up the shortfall of current when the coil can't supply enough current. I was considering using 50 watt bulbs.

Actually, this may be just what you want: search for "MBS 2PCS Super Bright White 1156 1206 50-SMD 6000K Car LED Bulbs For Car Rear Turn Signal lights Interior RV Camper DC 12V" on amazon. It looks like it would just plug in to the existing socket.
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#4700202 - 03/19/18 09:05 PM Re: Headlamps on a Poulan riding mower [Re: 92saturnsl2]
Linctex Offline


Registered: 12/31/16
Posts: 6186
Loc: Waco, TX
Forget filament bulbs....

you want CREE LED work lights, like these (really, just one will do)

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#4700204 - 03/19/18 09:07 PM Re: Headlamps on a Poulan riding mower [Re: 92saturnsl2]
Linctex Offline


Registered: 12/31/16
Posts: 6186
Loc: Waco, TX
Oh, BTW - the engine charging coil is only a few amps, maybe 100 watts on a GOOD, cold day.

If you use the lights, you will need to plug in a battery maintainer afterward.

Yes, I am serious.
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#4700281 - 03/19/18 10:59 PM Re: Headlamps on a Poulan riding mower [Re: 92saturnsl2]
mattwithcats Offline


Registered: 06/13/13
Posts: 1676
Loc: Virginia
Try Super Bright LEDís dot com.

I see some 500 luman 1156 bulbs...
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#4700297 - 03/19/18 11:27 PM Re: Headlamps on a Poulan riding mower [Re: 92saturnsl2]
daves87rs Offline


Registered: 02/23/09
Posts: 17015
Loc: Michigan
I would just add a light to it instead...mount or stick on ones...
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#4700315 - 03/20/18 12:36 AM Re: Headlamps on a Poulan riding mower [Re: 92saturnsl2]
Nyogtha Offline


Registered: 10/13/14
Posts: 2337
Loc: San Antonio, TX
I just use those battery powered BBQ lights with the clothespin like clip on my ZTR. It has no faactory headlights.
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#4702793 - 03/22/18 08:06 AM Re: Headlamps on a Poulan riding mower [Re: 92saturnsl2]
meep Offline


Registered: 02/20/07
Posts: 3569
Loc: Southeast
agree on external LED lights. I think some of the LED replacements now use internal load resistors to fool the vehicle into thinking a real bulb is there with a dummy load representative of a filament bulb. Some, but not all, and there's no way of really knowing until you get it. That, and as someone said again, the focus will be useless.

I've bought several of the cheap LED work lights off of amazon - 4-LED, and 9 LED, and they work well for flood lighting and don't pull much. One out of 8-10 has failed but even it probably had 120 hours on it.... which for $15 is fine, considering the rest keep working.

-m
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#4702808 - 03/22/18 08:15 AM Re: Headlamps on a Poulan riding mower [Re: Linctex]
IndyIan Offline


Registered: 09/23/08
Posts: 9105
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: Linctex
Oh, BTW - the engine charging coil is only a few amps, maybe 100 watts on a GOOD, cold day.

If you use the lights, you will need to plug in a battery maintainer afterward.

Yes, I am serious.

Yeah my old mower would barely keep the battery good enough for 1 good crank if the lights were on, so I unplugged them and now the battery is charged much better. Does anyone mow in the dark? I don't. I guess if you put a snow blower on it some lights would be useful in winter but for the speeds it goes a simple LED headlamp would be better anyways.
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#4704492 - 03/23/18 06:10 PM Re: Headlamps on a Poulan riding mower [Re: 92saturnsl2]
Cujet Offline


Registered: 02/15/03
Posts: 7217
Loc: Jupiter, Florida
The local WalMart and various auto parts stores have LED driving lights that will work perfectly. Just make sure to pick a set that is bright, like 18 watts or 1700 lumens, a published spec.
https://www.amazon.com/Nilight-Driving-W...+driving+lights
Amazon has round ones for $13/pair.

Yes, I mow at night.
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#4704633 - 03/23/18 08:04 PM Re: Headlamps on a Poulan riding mower [Re: Linctex]
jeepman3071 Online   content


Registered: 04/15/10
Posts: 4291
Loc: Storrs, Connecticut
Originally Posted By: Linctex
Forget filament bulbs....

you want CREE LED work lights, like these (really, just one will do)



I mounted one like this from ebay (was $20 or so) on my John Deere, and it works awesome. VERY bright and the battery stays charged. I use the tractor for snowblowing and the light is also helpful for those fall nights where I finish the leaf cleanup in the dark.
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#4709709 - 03/28/18 02:40 PM Re: Headlamps on a Poulan riding mower [Re: 92saturnsl2]
Bill Kapaun Offline


Registered: 11/15/02
Posts: 789
Loc: Oregon
Originally Posted By: 92saturnsl2
.....only to realize that Poulin has the headlamps wired to the ignition stator/magneto (?), and not the battery which I'm guessing is charged by a small alternator. The headlights would dim equal to throttle position-- bright when high, dim or non-existant when idling. I rewired it to use the battery feed, specifically using the ignition "on" circuit that will kill the lights when turned to OFF. Works great now at all throttle positions, but still quite dim at night due to the small 1156 single-filament bulb......


The alternator has a separate AC lighting circuit.
The DC side is only 3 AMPS. Hardly enough to power lights and charge the battery.

You might want to plug the headlights back to AC and use it at least and maybe mount 1 light for additional lighting.

BTW, LED's don't work on AC. They are a DIODE, which only conducts in 1 direction. AC is +/- as the sine wave goes.

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#4709895 - 03/28/18 06:05 PM Re: Headlamps on a Poulan riding mower [Re: 92saturnsl2]
92saturnsl2 Offline


Registered: 03/02/04
Posts: 1298
Loc: Flaherty, KY
That's why I put the (?) in there, I assumed magneto/or stator since the lights dimmed with throttle position, but your mention of an AC circuit makes sense. Like vehicles whose chokes run off the stator circuit, is that how the lights are originally wired? I'm not too familiar with the AC circuit on an alternator.

Either way, I left the wiring how I ran it, alternator DC output, tapping into the ignition ON circuit. I added some LED bulbs I found on Ebay; I went right past all the cheap junk and found good 1156 bulbs that had good reviews on several forums. I installed them using said circuit and they're just what I need. Bright white light, not blue or yellow with heavy aluminum heatsink. It will illuminate great in dusk conditions that I mow in, probably at night too, but I don't mow in the dark. I will take some pics and post them (in case someone finds this thread in the future) but I need to clean the dirt and debris out of the [nearly useless] reflector / light fixture first. I didn't need an 1157 adapter at all, I figured that would be necessary to get the output I wanted.

I suppose LEDS can work on AC-- tons of Christmas lights and many cheap household bulbs (I've discovered a few in my house) run on unrectified AC. If you watch closely, they have a 60hz flicker. Like when you turned your head to a 60hz CRT monitor, you could see the flicker from the screen refresh.
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