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Headlamps on a Poulan riding mower #4700034
03/19/18 05:40 PM
03/19/18 05:40 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,492
Flaherty, KY
92saturnsl2 Offline OP
92saturnsl2  Offline OP
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,492
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!

Re: Headlamps on a Poulan riding mower [Re: 92saturnsl2] #4700044
03/19/18 05:52 PM
03/19/18 05:52 PM
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 5,041
The Midwest
skyactiv Offline
skyactiv  Offline
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 5,041
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


Wife: 15' Audi A4 quattro 6 speed manual
Me: 13' VW GTI 3 door 6 speed manual
Wanted: 2019 Ford Ranger
Re: Headlamps on a Poulan riding mower [Re: 92saturnsl2] #4700099
03/19/18 06:36 PM
03/19/18 06:36 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,689
Charlotte, NC
Oldmoparguy1 Offline
Oldmoparguy1  Offline
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,689
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.


A Randomly Selected Thought For The Day:
If Noah had used Zip, he could have used a smaller boat.
Re: Headlamps on a Poulan riding mower [Re: 92saturnsl2] #4700202
03/19/18 08:05 PM
03/19/18 08:05 PM
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 7,183
Waco, TX
Linctex Online content
Linctex  Online Content
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 7,183
Waco, TX
Forget filament bulbs....

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



"The evidence demands a verdict".
(Re:VOA)"it's nearly impossible to actually know the particular additives that are in there at what concentrations."
Re: Headlamps on a Poulan riding mower [Re: 92saturnsl2] #4700204
03/19/18 08:07 PM
03/19/18 08:07 PM
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 7,183
Waco, TX
Linctex Online content
Linctex  Online Content
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 7,183
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.


"The evidence demands a verdict".
(Re:VOA)"it's nearly impossible to actually know the particular additives that are in there at what concentrations."
Re: Headlamps on a Poulan riding mower [Re: 92saturnsl2] #4700281
03/19/18 09:59 PM
03/19/18 09:59 PM
Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 1,768
Virginia
mattwithcats Offline
mattwithcats  Offline
Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 1,768
Virginia
Try Super Bright LEDís dot com.

I see some 500 luman 1156 bulbs...


2009 Smart Pure
Pennzoil Platinum Euro 0W-40, Purolator Synthetic PSL 14610, 45 mpg...
185/55R15 General HP tires, "H" speed rated, 44 psi (300 kpa)
Re: Headlamps on a Poulan riding mower [Re: 92saturnsl2] #4700297
03/19/18 10:27 PM
03/19/18 10:27 PM
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 17,298
Michigan
daves87rs Offline
daves87rs  Offline
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 17,298
Michigan
I would just add a light to it instead...mount or stick on ones...


Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.

Henry Ford
Re: Headlamps on a Poulan riding mower [Re: 92saturnsl2] #4700315
03/19/18 11:36 PM
03/19/18 11:36 PM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 2,549
San Antonio, TX
Nyogtha Offline
Nyogtha  Offline
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 2,549
San Antonio, TX
I just use those battery powered BBQ lights with the clothespin like clip on my ZTR. It has no faactory headlights.


"No matter how paranoid you are you're not paranoid enough. Tell the truth. Reach as many people as you can with it. That's your weapon." - Susanne Modeski, aka "Holly" to The Lone Gunmen
Re: Headlamps on a Poulan riding mower [Re: 92saturnsl2] #4702793
03/22/18 07:06 AM
03/22/18 07:06 AM
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 3,700
Southeast
meep Offline
meep  Offline
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 3,700
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


2018 F150
2015 crv (wifey!)
Re: Headlamps on a Poulan riding mower [Re: Linctex] #4702808
03/22/18 07:15 AM
03/22/18 07:15 AM
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 9,235
Ontario, Canada
IndyIan Offline
IndyIan  Offline
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 9,235
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.


07 Focus ZXW, 5spd manual, 218km M1 5W30
18 Outback 2.5 CVT 15km 0W20
Re: Headlamps on a Poulan riding mower [Re: 92saturnsl2] #4704492
03/23/18 05:10 PM
03/23/18 05:10 PM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,693
Jupiter, Florida
Cujet Offline
Cujet  Offline
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,693
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.


People who count on their fingers should maintain a discreet silence.
Re: Headlamps on a Poulan riding mower [Re: Linctex] #4704633
03/23/18 07:04 PM
03/23/18 07:04 PM
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 4,559
Storrs, Connecticut
jeepman3071 Offline
jeepman3071  Offline
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 4,559
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.


2000 Jeep Cherokee 4.0L (181k) - Pennzoil 10w30, Napa Gold 1516, Magnefine trans filter
2009 BMW 328i (36k) - Castrol Edge Euro 0w40, MANN HU816X
Re: Headlamps on a Poulan riding mower [Re: 92saturnsl2] #4709709
03/28/18 01:40 PM
03/28/18 01:40 PM
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 789
Oregon
Bill Kapaun Offline
Bill Kapaun  Offline
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 789
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.

Re: Headlamps on a Poulan riding mower [Re: 92saturnsl2] #4709895
03/28/18 05:05 PM
03/28/18 05:05 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,492
Flaherty, KY
92saturnsl2 Offline OP
92saturnsl2  Offline OP
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,492
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.


1985 F-250HD 7.5L 4x4 135k- Castrol GTX 15w-40 HDEO
04 Odyssey EX 184k PUP 0w-40
96 Maxima GLE 254k QS Defy 5w-30
07 Chrysler Pacifica Limited 4.0L 134k Chevron Supreme 5w-20

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