DIY Tractor Lights

   #1  

TWINKLE_TOES

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DIY-Do It Yourself, stole that from TV /w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif

I stumbled across an idea for tractor work lights while shopping at the local hardware store over Xmas. I tried it and it worked out pretty good.

Go's like this:

The security type outdoor lighting fixtures are dirt cheap and some are pretty good quality.

http://designersedge.com/secure.html#flood

Look at the Double bullet lamp at the top of the page to get an idea.

These lights run on 120 Vac, so while shopping for a replacement bulb I noticed I could by a plug in replacement lamp that works on 12Vdc. The 12 Vdc lamps are tungsten halides and available in 20, 35, 50, and 75 watts. The original 120 Vac lamps is a tungsten hallide at 100 watts.

I purchased the double "bullet Flood" for $9.99 and two 35 Watt halides for $2.49 each. The B21 work light circuit is fused at 15Amps, so if these work out I can add two more.


The lamp housing has O rings at the lens cover and elbow so it should be water tight. Re-lamping the fixture is a 30 second job. (don't touch these bulbs with your fingers, oil on the glass will cause hot spots and premature failure) The housing is about 3" Dia. and about 4" long its made of di-cast aluminum. Since it can handle the 100 Watt, 120 Vac lamp the 12Vdc 35 to 75 watt lamps should be no problem.

The 12 Volt lamps are not quite as tall as the 120 V lamps so they don't set at the focus of the parabolic reflector. On one light, I shimmed the screws on the lamp socket to raise the light to match the original. Turns out this was not necessary, I couldn't tell the difference beteen the one I shimmed and the one I didn't. (This is a flood light not a spot light, duh)

Time will tell how well the 12V halogen lamps hold up under vibration and battery voltage variations. Can't imagine what applications other than batteries there are for 12 volt lamps?? I let them run on the tractor long enough to get up to temperature, whacked them several times and they kept on shining. They have a good flood pattern and adjust 360 deg's horizontal and 90 deg's in elevation. I installed mine in existing holes in the B21 four post ROPS canopy with belville washers and a double nuts for easy rotation.

The T4 lamps cost about 1/3 to 1/4 of the sealed beam PAR 36 halides.

Total cost per light $7.50, replacement bulb $2.49

The buzz words if your shopping for the 12 volt lamps are "T4, Bi-Pin, Halogen, Group C2

http://www.vistapro.com/lamp_guide.htm

http://bulbtronics.com/guide/id_min01.htm

I purchased General Electric P/N 035T4/CL/CD (35 watt), 050T4/CL/CD (50 Watt)
 
   #2  

MarkV

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1998 Kubota B21, 2005 Kubota L39
Twinkle_Toes,

Clever idea! I never would have thought of that and am interested in seeing how they hold up. Keep us posted as you get some hours on the unit. Sure a lot cheaper than the $350 Kubota wants for 4 lights on the B21.

Did you tap into the B21 light circuit at a bullet connector near the bottom of the rear ROPS posts? I have seen one on both sides of the tractor and am guessing that is what they are for.

MarkV
 
  
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TWINKLE_TOES

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Mark V

I did tap in at the bullet connectors at the base of the rear ROPS posts. Both of this connections are "live " when the main switch is on. These lines share a common 15 Amp fuse. I mounted the lights in the normal Kubota locations in the ROPS canopy. I had to enlarge the holes to a tight 0.75 inches to accept the new lights. I mounted switches in the larger diameter holes in the square channel at the front of the ROPS. The wires are sleeved and run inside the ROPS channel.

My only concern for life is how they work out when the alternator is at it's peak output voltage. I don't know how forgiving the Tungsten Halides are to overvoltage

Low voltage lamps are inheritantly more robust mechanically than the same light in a higher voltage, so vibration should not be a problem and I did whack the heck out of them earlier.

I didn't mention that you pitch the base plate that comes with the original lights and you keep the two extra 120 Volt 100 watt bulbs to put in your closet full of string to short to save. /w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif

I'll post on how they work out.
 
  
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TWINKLE_TOES

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Mark,

I think I am going to claim success on the lights. I did some more research on the T4 Tungsten Halogen bulbs and they are used a lot in automotive applications i.e. vibration environment and powered from alternator/battery sources. I have made a couple of changes. I switched to 75 Watt bulbs for all of the lights. The 35watt bulbs were not as bright as I liked. I did put in a ON/OFF/On switch to control either front or back (not both). This may not work for everyone, but this way you stay within the the capability of Kubota's fusing and wiring. I have about 10 hours on the lights with no problems. Two 75 Watt floods do a good job of lighting.
The choice of lamp holders is important. I would not get any without good O-rings and porcelain lamp sockets.
 
   #6  

MarkV

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Cedartown, Ga and N. Ga mountains
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1998 Kubota B21, 2005 Kubota L39
Twinkle Toes,

Thanks for the added information. As soon as I can find the time, I'll be putting something to gether.

Hope you had a great holiday season.

Mark
 
   #7  

redhawk

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christiana , pa
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Kubota BX2200
hi guy's. i saw the worklight circuit mentioned in my owners manual (15amp). i'd like to mount some lights on my rops. where do you hook up your worklights at?

redhawk
 
  
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TWINKLE_TOES

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RedHawk,

Not sure about the B7500, but the B21 has connections on each side at the base of the ROPS. There are two bullet connections on each side. The male is the ground return the female is +12V switched thru the main key switch and fused. This will provide about 70 watts of load per side without overloading the existing wiring or fuse. I used a forward aft switch with two 75 watt lamps wired right and left. Four lamps total but only forward or Aft, not both.
 
  
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TWINKLE_TOES

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Mr. RedHawk,/w3tcompact/icons/wink.gif

One thing I probably should have added. Plumb the lights with a switch with an "OFF" position and get in the habit of turning "ON" the lights with the added switch. Inrush current to an incandescent bulb is substantial and will put undue stress on the Main ignition switch.(Inrush is 7 to 10 times running current. For a 70 watt load this is in the order of 40 to 60 amps) The added switch is much less expensive to replace.
 
 
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