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Golf Cart Light Wiring 101 - GOLFCARTSTUFF.COM™

Golf Cart Light Wiring 101 (36-Volt Cart)

Author Photo: Christian Attlesey

Author: Christian Attlesey

Read Time: 3-5 Minutes




[ If you still have questions after reading this article, leave them in the comment box at the bottom of the page. We will answer your questions with a reply comment as well as a direct email to you. ]

Whether you just want to add some clarity to your golf cart or you want to make sure your cart is street-legal, lights are a necessity.

At Golf Cart Stuff, we understand that although golf cart lights are simple in concept, you may have a few questions on how to add lights to your golf cart. 

Thankfully, we have been selling golf cart light kits for quite some time.

As a result, we have a wealth of knowledge about typical golf cart light questions and troubleshooting issues.

This article breaks down how to wire lights into your golf cart with diagrams and easy-to-follow instructions.

If you still want more by the time you get to the end, throw your question in the comments or reach out to us, and we would be glad to help!

Article Structure


Intro to Instamatic® golf cart lights

How do you hook up 12-volt lights to a golf cart?

  • How to hook up golf cart lights to six 6-volt batteries
    • Finding the main positive and negative batteries (with photos)
    • Hooking up six batteries (with diagram)
  • How to hook up golf cart lights to a single 12-volt battery
  • Link to article about how to wire lights to a 48-volt golf cart


      Before we begin...

      With golf cart lights, it is imperative that you hook up to the correct voltage to ensure you don't damage the lights. If you hook up 12-volt lights to too much voltage they will quickly burn out.

      Instamatic® Golf Cart Lights logo

      However... At Golf Cart Stuff, our branded Instamatic® FlexVolt™ lights operate on any voltage range between 12-48 volts without needing a reducer.

      With our FlexVolt™ lights you no longer have to worry about burning out your lights or hooking up to the incorrect voltage (as long as it's not above 48 volts).

      This makes installing your lights easier and cheaper as you don't have to install a voltage reducer. To see our selection of golf cart lights, click the Instamatic® logo above.

      Now with that public service announcement out of the way, let's get into the installation!

      How do you hook up 12-volt lights to a golf cart?

      electric sign

      To hook up 12-volt lights to your golf cart, you need to hook up the connection cables on your light kit wiring harness to one of the following: 

      • Two 6-volt batteries (in a series connection)
      • A single 12-volt battery
      • A voltage reducer that has taken the voltage down to 12 volts

      Let's break down each of the above scenarios below! 

      How to hook up your lights to two 6-volt batteries

      Two connect your golf cart lights to two 6-volt batteries; you must connect to two batteries in "series" to get 12 volts of power.

      When you have access to your battery compartment, you will need to locate the first and last battery in the sequence.

      To find the last battery, look for the battery that has a wire (typically a heavier gauge wire) running from the negative terminal of the battery into the cart's controller. See below for an example.

      6 volt battery wiring diagram showing main negative wire
      In this photo, the last battery in the sequence has a white wire (your wire color may be different) coming off the negative terminal of the battery that feeds into the cart. Depending on your cart's manufacturer and year of manufacture this wire may feed into the cart's controller or its motor.

      To locate the first battery in the sequence, find the battery with a heavier gauge wire running from the positive terminal into the golf cart's controller or motor.

      Wiring diagram showing main positive wire feeding into cart
      In this photo, the first battery in the sequence has a red wire (your wire color may be different) coming off the positive terminal of the battery that feeds into the cart. Depending on your cart's manufacturer and year of manufacture this wire may feed into the cart's controller or its motor.

      Once these are located, you will notice that in addition to the wire on the negative terminal that runs into the cart, the last battery in sequence has a wire that runs from the positive terminal to a negative terminal on another battery.

      That next battery will then have a wire that runs from its positive terminal to the negative terminal on the next battery.

      That sequence continues up to the last battery. Hooking up the batteries with this configuration draws the voltage of all the batteries and sends that into the controller of the cart. See below for an example diagram of a 36-volt cart.

      36 volt golf cart with 6 volt batteries wiring diagram

      In the diagram above you will notice that power flows from the last battery in sequence all the way to the first battery in the sequence that then feeds power into the golf cart.

      Once you have the first and last batteries located, connect the positive terminal of your light kit wiring to one of the battery's positive terminals. You will then take a the negative connection on your light kit wiring and connect it to a negative post one the battery directly behind that first battery in sequence. See below for an example.

      Wiring diagram showing how to connect light kit wiring
      In the diagram above, you will notice that the positive connection is on the second battery in sequence ("30V") and the negative connection is on the third battery in sequence ("24V"). This draws voltage from both batteries resulting in 12-volts of power. In your setup, you do not need to connect to those exact batteries but you will need to follow the same pattern.

      How to hook up your lights to a single 12-volt battery

      If you have three 12-volt batteries (very rare) for your 36-volt golf cart, find the last battery in the sequence (follow the same pattern as the diagram above) and hook your positive and negative wire to the positive and negative terminal on that battery.

      Unfortunately, we don't have a diagram for this, but if you look at the 6-volt diagram above, the same concept applies!

      Once you have your light kit hooked up to your batteries, give your lights a check to make sure everything works correctly. If everything is good to go, get everything secured and go enjoy your new lights!

      Hopefully, by now you feel confident installing lights on your 36-volt golf cart! If you still have questions, throw them in the comments below or reach out to us directly and we would be glad to help!

      [ Is your golf cart 48 volts? Check out this article on how to install lights on a 48-volt golf cart. ]


      Author Photo: Christian Attlesey
      Christian Attlesey is the Marketing Manager here at Golf Cart Stuff™, and, in addition to the marketing department, he oversees our website and advertising responsibilities.

      ...You probably know him as the humorous & relatable host of our YouTube channel!

      Prior to taking on marketing, however, Christian honed his industry knowledge as our Customer Service Manager. Fast-forward to present day: it’s his mission to deliver the best and most current products, resources, and overall expertise to Golf Cart owners everywhere.

      Phone: 574-333-2494
      Text: 574-612-5195
      Previous article How To Install A Golf Cart Voltage Reducer
      Next article Golf Carts: The Way Of The Future?


      Golf Cart Stuff Customer Service - August 31, 2023

      ↓(Replying to Deanna Pickett’s comment below)↓


      Thank you for your question. Unfortunately, there are no light kits on the market that are made for 6-seater/stretch golf carts.

      There just isn’t enough demand for manufacturers to make a light kit for those carts.

      However, there are plenty of people who install those lights simply by cutting and splicing wire extensions onto the taillight wiring.

      If you or someone you know is familiar with wiring, it is not a very difficult job. You can purchase small gauge wiring (16-12 gauge) from your local hardware store and splice in whatever length you need to reach the back of your cart.

      Please let us know if you have any other questions. Thank you!

      Deanna Pickett - August 31, 2023

      What about on a 6 seater/stretch golf cart- does anyone sell light kits with long enough wires for these?

      Golf Cart Stuff Customer Service - August 25, 2023

      ↓(Replying To Pete Lewis’s Comment Below)↓


      Thank you for your question!

      Yes, you can do that as long as both lights run off of the same voltage. Also, keep in mind that you will have to cut and splice wiring in order to make it all work.

      All you have to do is find the hot and ground wires for one of your taillights. Make sure that the hot wire you find is for the running lights and not the brake/turn signal lights (golf cart taillights typically have three wires- a ground wire, a hot wire for running lights, and a hot wire for brakes/turn signals).

      Once you have the hot wire and ground wire located, simply splice the hot wires and the ground wires together and everything should work.

      Keep in mind that you will then have to figure out how to hide the wires or keep them out of the way on your rear seat.

      Also, make sure that before you do any cutting and splicing the light kit is disconnected from the battery- don’t want you to get shocked!

      Let us know if you have any other questions, Thank you!

      Pete Lewis - August 25, 2023

      Question, I have a 36 V TXT… I want to add one light to the grab bar behind the rear seats like that I can purchase at a local auto parts store has one light. Can I hook that up so it comes on with the lights that I already had installed on my cart. I appreciate your response steaks Pete.

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