Help Needed - I want to add lights to a JD 727A

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Countrymow, Nov 28, 2006.

  1. Countrymow

    Countrymow LawnSite Member
    Messages: 30

    I want to add a light kit to my JD 727A. I have read here that I should not exceed the amps that the charging system puts out. The problem is that I cannot find some of these numbers. The charging system puts out 13 amps. I have no clue what the mower itself uses. I want to use a set of cheap fog lights from Walmart. ($17.00 as opposed to $177.00 from JD) The kit comes with switch, wires, etc. How do I find out if these two 55 watt lights will be okay? Any more tips and suggestions would be great. I wonder how the switch will do out in the weather? I have searched this sight, but I cannot come up with what I need to know.

    Thanks a million.

  2. Total.Lawn.Care

    Total.Lawn.Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 840

    I cannot give you the numbers, but I can tell you that what you are planning to do will be okay. I did the excact same thing with my 727A. However, I suggest getting two items that are not in the light kit.

    1. A relay to run the lights from. You can get it at an Advanced Auto Parts Store and the sales rep will know what you are talking about.

    2. Get a different swith that you can mount in a circular hole.

    I wired my lights so that the relay is activated only when the ignition switch is turned on. Therefore, if the key is not on, my lights cannot be on the drain the battery. I can look on mine and tell you which color wire you need to tap into comming from the switch.

    Also, I drilled a hole just above the hour meter to mount my switch. Very professional looking installation.

    I will try to take pics and post here for you. Also, if you need a diaghram on the wiring to understand how to use the relay, I can do that. Let me know.

    I mounted my lights on the ROPS bar, where are you planning on putting yours?
  3. Countrymow

    Countrymow LawnSite Member
    Messages: 30

    Thanks so much for your help. I am planning to mount mine in the holes provided on the front. I think they are for weights, but I don't need weight. There is a knockout hole on the machine for the light switch I was planning to use. (Although I have not measured it yet.) Why do you prefer a round switch. Will the water affect the switch? I am pretty good with household wiring, but I know nothing about relays, etc. Any help or drawings you could provide would be much appreciated.
  4. Total.Lawn.Care

    Total.Lawn.Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 840

    I knew that the switch supplied with the cheaper lights like we are using was not going to fit correctly in the knockout. It is easier to get a clean switch install if you use a round (screw down) toggle switch istead of trying to cut a rectangular hole for the switch. If you have the correct switch to fit the knockout, then you should not have a problem.

    I will post pics of mine tonight.
  5. DEEJ

    DEEJ LawnSite Member
    Messages: 230

    Personally I prefer to wire directly to the battery. I put a fuse in line with the lights, but I don't use a relay and I don't wire to the ignition switch.

    I want to be able to turn the lights on without having the ignition switch on. I find this very useful when I want a bit of light on the trailer for tie-down etc, or to do a small job on the ground. I can use the mower lights. At these times I don't want the ignition switch on or the mower running.

    Wiring is simple and direct. Black wire from ground on the battery (or from any ground point on the body) to one side of each light. Red from the positive of the battery, through an in-line fuse, in the switch then out of the switch, then to the red on each of the lights - job done.

    Can the lights be inadvertently left on - sure, but they can on my car and truck too. I simply turn 'em off when I am done.

    Some guys think lights on a mower are not required. I think they are a necessity. I often get caught after dark, especially in the spring and fall. You will love them.

    You want to ensure your charging capability can keep up with the draw from all sources, otherwise the battery will slowly drain, rather than maintain a charge. This is OK for a while, as long as the machine will start the next morning and charge the battery back up during the day when the lights are off. You are best to not overdo it though. I have used 35W lights for this reason.

    One thing that you will see if you do run the system down is that the electric clutch (the biggest power draw) will either cut out, or not engage until the system is charged back up. I have thiat problem on a John Deere riding tractor. Now I am careful not to run the lights too long. I should switch them to a smaller wattage light.

    Your numbers look something like this:

    Engine can deliver 13A

    Each light draws 55W or 55W/12V = 4.6A times 2 lights = 9.2A
    The electric clutch (the mowers biggest power draw) = 7amps (approx.)

    9.2A + 7A = 16.2A a fair bit more than the 13A the charging system can deliver. In this case the lights will work, but will slowly drain the battery.

    If you switch to two 35W lights = 70W/12V = 5.83A plus 7amps for the clutch = 12.83A. Better, but still on the hairy edge. Given that you don't run the lights all the time, the system should recover just fine.

    Are you sure the system only delivers 13A? If so, I would stick with two 35W lights, or use just one 55 watt light (plenty bright).

    My Lazers have three 35W lights, 1 on the back and 2 on the front. The back and front are on seperate switches.

  6. Total.Lawn.Care

    Total.Lawn.Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 840

    Just to add to this, I am not sure what the charging output is on this, but I ddi check with my Deere Dealer before i installed my lights. I told him what I was going to put on it that how I was going to wire it to be sure the system would handle it and not cause a warranty issue. He assured me there would be no problems.
  7. Countrymow

    Countrymow LawnSite Member
    Messages: 30

    Anyone else have any input for me?

  8. robbo521

    robbo521 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 601

    Total Lawn Care,i sure would love to see your wiring for the lights and a few pictures please.i have the 717A and i want to add two on you i dont want to have warranty issue.
  9. Total.Lawn.Care

    Total.Lawn.Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 840

    Did not get a chance to take pictures last night. I will try to do so this evening and post a wiring diaghram.
  10. Countrymow

    Countrymow LawnSite Member
    Messages: 30

    To update you all on what I have found out... I talked with the shop man at my JD dealer today. He could not answer my questions but called the company and called me back. He said that the mower does pull about 6.2 amps and generates about 13 amps. He also said they recommend only using about 1/2 of what is left for lights. That would be 1/2 of 6.8 or about 3.4 amps. You figure amps by this formula Amps=Watts/Volts. Therefore, we need to be in the 20 watt category for two lights or around 40 watts total. My problem now is that I cannot find any 15 - 20 watt lights anywhere. I would settle for one 35 or 40 watt light, but I am having trouble finding that. I thought I might could buy a 55 watt light and change the bulb to a lower watt bulb, but the ones I have now from Walmart use a H3 Halogen bulb. I cannot find it in a lower wattage. Any more suggestions?

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