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How to Wire Lights on a Tractor

By William Kinsey ; Updated September 21, 2017
Lawn tractors use an alternating current circuit to power the lights.
tractor image by Alison Bowden from Fotolia.com

Tractor lights use a variety of different types of wiring methods. Large tractors use a wiring system like an automobile's, which can run off of the tractor battery if needed. Smaller tractors such as lawn tractors use an alternating current system to power the lights. With this system, the lights will not run unless the engine is running. The engine's magnetron generator is used to produce the power needed for the lights.This system is very common.

Locate the wires that originate at the magnetron. The magnetron is located underneath the engine flywheel on most tractors. The magnetron is a generator that uses the permanent magnets attached to the flywheel to produce power. This generator usually has two outputs. The first output is direct current and the second output is alternating current. The direct current is used to recharge the tractor's battery and is usually a red wire. The alternating current output is used to power the tractor lights. The alternating current is usually delivered through a black wire and a white wire. These wires can also be labeled.

Connect the black wire of the alternating current output of the magnetron to one of the two terminals of the light switch. Connect the second terminal of the light switch to terminal "A" of the first tractor light. Connect terminal "B" of the first tractor light to the white wire of the magnetron.

Connect terminal "A" of the second tractor light to terminal "A" of the first light. Then connect terminal "B" of the second tractor light to terminal "B" of the first light. This places these two headlights in a parallel wiring configuration.

Start the engine and turn the light switch on. The lights should remain on as long as the engine is running.


Things You Will Need

  • Wire cutters
  • Wire strippers
  • Electrical wire
  • Lawn tractor with a magnetron type generator
  • Light switch

About the Author


William Kinsey lives in Concord, N.C. He started writing articles in March 2009, which have appeared on Autos.com and CarsDirect.com. He currently holds a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. He also has several years experience as an outside plant engineer and planner with AT&T. He also currently owns and operates Sophisticated Curves, an online fashion mall that caters to the needs of plus size women.