If you own a 36-volt golf cart and want to add 12-volt lights to it, you can do so by creating a separate 12-volt electrical system. This allows you to power accessories like lights without affecting the cart’s primary 36-volt system. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to wire 12-volt lights to a 36-volt golf cart:
Before you start the wiring process, gather the following materials:
- 12-volt lights (LED or halogen)
- 12-volt deep-cycle battery
- Battery box or enclosure
- In-line fuse holder with a fuse
- Wire connectors and terminals
- Wire strippers and crimping tool
- Electrical tape
- Screwdriver and wrenches
- Drill and bits
- Mounting hardware for lights
1. Plan Your Wiring
Start by planning the layout of your lights. Decide where you want to install them on your golf cart, making sure they won’t obstruct your view or interfere with cart operation.
2. Mount the Lights
Use the mounting hardware to securely attach the lights to the chosen locations on your golf cart.
3. Install a 12-Volt Deep-Cycle Battery
Find a suitable location on your golf cart to mount the 12-volt deep-cycle battery. Use a battery box or enclosure to protect it from the elements and secure it in place.
4. Connect the Battery
Wire the positive (+) terminal of the 12-volt battery to the positive terminal of your 12-volt lights. Connect the negative (-) terminal of the battery to the negative terminal of the lights. Use appropriate wire connectors and terminals to make secure connections.
5. Install an In-Line Fuse
For safety reasons, install an in-line fuse holder with a fuse between the positive terminal of the 12-volt battery and the positive wire of the lights. This protects the circuit from overloading and reduces the risk of electrical fires.
6. Run Wiring
Use appropriately sized wires to connect the lights to the battery. Route the wiring along the frame or through existing wire channels in your golf cart. Secure the wiring in place using cable ties or clamps to prevent it from getting tangled or damaged.
7. Connect the Lights to a Switch
Install a switch on your golf cart’s dashboard to control the 12-volt lights. Connect the positive wire from the lights to one terminal of the switch and connect the other terminal of the switch to the positive terminal of the 12-volt battery. This allows you to turn the lights on and off as needed.
8. Test the Lights
Before finalizing the wiring, test the lights to ensure they work properly. Turn on the switch and check if the lights illuminate. If they don’t, recheck your connections and wiring.
9. Secure and Protect Wiring
Once everything is working as intended, secure any loose wiring using clamps or zip ties. Make sure all connections are insulated and protected with electrical tape or heat shrink tubing to prevent moisture and corrosion.
10. Regular Maintenance
Periodically check the condition of the battery and wiring to ensure they are in good working order. Clean and tighten connections as needed, and replace any damaged components.
By following these steps, you can successfully wire 12-volt lights to your 36-volt golf cart, enhancing its functionality and safety, especially when driving in low-light conditions.
Additional Tips and Safety Considerations
While this guide focuses on creating a separate 12-volt system, some golf cart owners prefer to reduce the voltage from the main 36-volt system to power 12-volt accessories. This can be done using a voltage reducer or converter. However, keep in mind that this method may draw power from your cart’s main batteries and could potentially affect the cart’s performance.
Proper Wiring Gauge
Ensure you use the appropriate wire gauge for your 12-volt system. Thicker wires are necessary for longer runs to prevent voltage drop and ensure optimal performance of your lights.
Consider adding a voltage monitor or battery gauge to keep track of the 12-volt battery’s state of charge. This helps prevent over-discharging the battery, which can shorten its lifespan.
Protect all electrical connections and components from moisture and corrosion by using weatherproof enclosures, sealants, and waterproof connectors. Golf carts are often used in various weather conditions, and protecting your electrical system is crucial for longevity and safety.
If you’re not confident in your electrical wiring skills, it’s always a good idea to seek help from a professional or an experienced golf cart technician. They can ensure your wiring is safe, reliable, and complies with local regulations.
Check your local laws and regulations regarding the use of lights on golf carts. Some areas have specific rules governing the type, placement, and usage of lights, especially when driving on public roads or golf courses.
Regularly inspect your 12-volt lights and wiring for signs of wear and damage. Replace any worn-out components promptly to avoid electrical problems or safety hazards.
|Where to Obtain
|Illumination for the golf cart
|Auto parts store
|12-volt deep-cycle battery
|Power source for the lights
|Battery box or enclosure
|Protection for the battery
|In-line fuse holder with fuse
|Safety for the electrical circuit
|Auto parts store
|Wire connectors and terminals
|Secure electrical connections
|$5 – $10
Steps to Wire 12 Volt Lights
|Plan the layout for light placement on the golf cart.
|Mount the lights securely at the chosen locations.
|Install a 12-volt deep-cycle battery on the cart.
|Connect the positive terminal of the battery to the lights.
|Attach the negative terminal of the battery to the lights.
|Add an in-line fuse for circuit protection.
|Run wiring along the frame or through existing channels.
|Install a switch on the cart’s dashboard to control the lights.
|Test the lights to ensure they work correctly.
|Secure and protect wiring and components as needed.
|Using a voltage reducer or converter may draw power from the main batteries.
|Proper Wire Gauge
|Choose the appropriate wire gauge to prevent voltage drop.
|Consider adding a voltage monitor or battery gauge.
|Protect connections and components from moisture and corrosion.
|Seek assistance from a professional if you’re not confident in your wiring skills.
|Check local laws for rules on golf cart lights’ type, placement, and usage.
|Periodically inspect lights and wiring for wear or damage.
|Replace worn-out components promptly.
By following these additional tips and safety considerations, you can enjoy the benefits of 12-volt lights on your 36-volt golf cart while ensuring the safety and functionality of your electrical system. Proper wiring and maintenance are key to a trouble-free experience with your golf cart accessories.