I like to keep my yard cut every 4-7 days in the growing season. I also sometimes like to have my Saturdays free for other activities. The problem is there are not daylight hours during the week before or after work to get it all done. I like to get up early, and sometimes even work late, and a headlight on my mower can really help extend the number of hours to put on it. With a headlight, I can start by 5:30 and be done by 7 a.m., giving me plenty of time to get on my real job.
I found a rectangular trapezoid 12V equipment light for about $14 and a toggle switch for $4. I had some terminals, bunt connectors, and some 12 gauge wire already in the shop.
When selecting a light, be sure to get a trapezoid type, as it will have a wider angle of light opposed to a more traditional headlight that my be more of a spotlight.
When I saw that somebody had asked about adding a headlight to a Snapper here in the Instructables forum, I felt inspired to share mine.
Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.
Step 1: Mount the Headlight
First, I mounted the headlight. I positioned mine up the front upright portion of the frame below the steering handle. The Snapper model has the key switch below the steering handle, so was sure to get below that.
I used a punch to set the hole position then drilled with a high speed step bit.
I also drilled a small hole just above the bracket for the +12V wire to pass through. I grounded to a screw on the squeeze bottle cup holder.
Step 2: Mount the On/Off Toggle Switch
My Snapper model already had a small hole just above the throttle control, but I had to drill it out just a bit to make my toggle switch fit.
In the pictures, you can see the fuse body in the wire and the base of the switch. Just behind here is the battery. I wired directly to the positive terminal of the battery.
Step 3: Routing the +12V Wire Though the Frame
In the first picture, I show where the +12V wire runs into the tubular front to rear frame. In the second picture, you can see the opening of the rear of the tubular frame running front to back.
I used some semi rigid wire as a snake, taping to the +12V wire, and pushed it thru the frame like feeding conduit. I found it much easier to work from the front to the rear, believe me. It worked really well when I realized I needed to go from front to rear! There is a hole already there where the key switch wires were already run, so I used that.
I attached to the key switch first, pulled the excess back out the front, and spliced to the headlight red wire with a bunt connector.
Step 4: Finished!
Here are a few pictures of my machine at work! The first shows it when I first turned it on. In the back, I am hooked to my Garden Utility Trailer (my first Instructable, link here.)
I did some final adjusting in the dark to get the angle just right.
In the future, I may add some smaller lights to the sides and / or rear....