Zero turn lighting

   / Zero turn lighting #1  


Elite Member
Sep 6, 2011
John Deere 3033R, 855 MFWD, 757 ZTrak; IH Cub Cadet 123
Having just gotten thru another fall season, where so often weather and schedule dictate pushing past sunset while either mowing or using the JRCO Blower Buggy on my zero turn, I went thru the usual frustration of zip-tying and duct-taping various Li-Ion LED work lights all over my rig to get the chores done. It's time for something better and permanent.

The rig I'm running when pushing past sunset is most often the Little Wonder Optimax blower (EX27) on the blower buggy, which looks a bit like this:


Mounting lights down near the front casters or even in the forward cowlings by my knees seems like a good recipe for blinding myself from the back-scatter off that big white blower housing, while creating long shadows out front from the blower blocking the lights. My mower has a ROPS, which I usually keep folded down, but the hinges are up at shoulder height. If I clamp lights onto the lower ROPS, they'd be near bicept height. Probably the best-case scenario on this mower.

But I HATE the way the HID's on my tractor ROPS blind me when looking to the side or behind me. I need to find some good LED lights with a shade that can be turned or moved, if I go this route. Otherwise, I need to build shades into the light mounts, which could be done, but maybe not easy to get perfect the first time (unless also adjustable).

Deere sells a light kit for this mower (2009'ish 757 ZTrak), but since it's out of production in must be sourced thru the parts counter at much higher cost (i.e. buying individual components rather than kit). The only thing useful there is to see the kit supported up to two 35W halogens (70W total), so apparently the generator on this little mower could support a decent array of LED's. I'm planning on two facing forward, with the left-hand side angled very far left to see what the blower is moving, and one wide-angle LED lamp facing rearward.

   / Zero turn lighting #2  
I'm cheap. For $20 I got a pair of these from HF, mounted over each front wheel on Cub Zero. There already was a cut out plug on mower for rocker switch, so there then back to battery where I put a 20A fuse right at battery.
Of course you could spend $100-$200+ for led light bar top of rops.
   / Zero turn lighting
  • Thread Starter
I'm cheap. For $20 I got a pair of these from HF, mounted over each front wheel on Cub Zero. There already was a cut out plug on mower for rocker switch, so there then back to battery where I put a 20A fuse right at battery.
Of course you could spend $100-$200+ for led light bar top of rops.View attachment 839047
Oh, I'm definitely going LED, since I want maximum lighting and I'm not sure how much current these zero-turns can actually support. Deere literature is always vague, they actually show only one 35W halogen as part of the OEM kit in the Deere parts catalog, but in the shop manual it shows two, so I'm not sure how much added load capacity they had planned into the system, on top of the more substantial PTO clutch draw.

No biggie though, they make LED equivalents of that light for $20/pair, just without any sort of shade that would keep me from blinding myself with it mounted behind my arm on the ROPS.

My switch panel does not have a knockout in the laminate for the switch, but knowing they sell a press-in square bodied rocker with the kit, I'm guessing I'll find a knockout in the aluminum panel behind the laminate. Easily addressed with an X-Acto knife.

Like you, plan is straight to battery, or perhaps battery lug on the starter solenoid if that's more accessible, with a fuse at the lug.
   / Zero turn lighting #4  
A few (bad, but idea) pictures I just took.
I need to wash mower.
I like lights out front like a car & they work well, installed 5 years ago. I looked them up, 55 watts, so 110 for two or 9.2 amps which should be fine, intermittent use.
   / Zero turn lighting
  • Thread Starter
Thanks Fuddy! That looks ideal if I weren't running the blower buggy. But if I put them down anywhere near that low, the thing they'd be lighting most is the blinding white back side of my leaf blower! If I were just mowing, then yeah, I'd put them exactly where you have them.
   / Zero turn lighting
  • Thread Starter
just mount the lights on the blower and use a trailer plug disconnect to remove when done.
Thought about that, and it's a good idea if they're only ever needed for blowing leaves. But was leaning toward ROPS mounting, since I wouldn't lose them for mowing.

But finding LED work lights with an adjustable shade has been a bit of a challenge. That would be key to mounting them behind me on the ROPS, so as to not blind myself every time I glance behind me to turn or back up. Anyone who has had landscape lights knows the shade I'm speaking of, they're pretty common in that application.

I need this:


Not this:

   / Zero turn lighting #8  
This is what I mounted to my tractor canopy. One is all that’s needed, and I mounted a small 4” light facing the rear. Mount the center of your ROPs. It would be easy enough to fashion a shade box to put it in. They also sell a compatible wiring harness, direct to battery with a relay and switch.

   / Zero turn lighting #9  
Another thread destroying the myth that “zero turns are only good for mowing grass”
   / Zero turn lighting #10  
Why not put some magnetic base lights on the leafblower? You could either move them to the ROPs to mow or install another set of lights on the ROPs to only use for mowing because lights aren't all that expensive.