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Author: Christian Attlesey
Read Time: 3-5 minutes
Technical Knowledge Needed To Understand This Article: None. Why do you think I wrote it!?!?
[ 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. ]
Out of all the accessories you can add to your golf cart, perhaps one of the most important additions are some LED lights.
This not only broadens the window through which you can drive your golf cart but also makes your cart significantly safer.
If you have a 48-volt golf cart and were hoping to wire lights into the body, there are a few things you need to be aware of relating to your batteries and your specific set of golf cart lights.
In this article, we are going to walk you through everything you need to know in each step in the process, from selecting the correct golf cart lights to how to wire them into your cart.
Let's jump right in!
Alright before we get into how to install the lights, we are going to take a minute and humble brag (it's better now that we admitted it right?)
Back in the day, selecting the correct golf cart light based on whether you had a gas or electric golf cart and the setup of your golf cart batteries was imperative.
Selecting the incorrect kit and wiring lights to your cart at the wrong voltage, especially for electric golf carts, spelled disaster. Thankfully times have changed and we here at Golf Cart Stuff have changed along with them!
Our Instamatic® brand light kits now feature FlexVolt™ technology which allows our lights to operate on any voltage range from 12-48 volts without needing a voltage regulator.
That means you can install lights on a gas or electric golf cart (even 48 volts) without ever having to worry about hooking up to improper voltage and burning out your lights!
This takes all the worry out of selecting suitable lights for your cart and makes installing lights on your cart a breeze!
With that out of the way, let's talk about how to install lights on your 48-volt golf cart! And yes, we will talk about how to wire lights on a cart that doesn't have our FlexVolt™ lights installed.
Here is a quick overview of the wiring process for 48-volt golf carts:
Install the headlights and tail lights
This may require you to cut into your golf carts body cowl
Run your light wire harness. Here is an overview of all the places you will need to run your wiring:
Light switch (for on/off)
Turn signal assembly (Street-legal light kits only)
Brake lights (Street-legal light kits only)
Horn (Street-legal light kits only)
Connect to your golf cart batteries
Secure your headlights and tail lights to the cart
Secure the light kit wiring with nylon wire ties or electrical tape
Quick safety tip: Before you start wiring any lights, it is recommended that you disconnect the main positive and negative wires from your golf cart's batteries, turn the key to the off position and flip your cart into TOW mode.
On most golf carts, installing the headlights and taillights will require you to place a pre-supplied template on your golf cart's body and cut out the headlight and taillight placement locations.
There are some golf carts that don't require as much cutting (Club Car Precedents for example) but just about every golf cart will require some degree of cutting into the body.
On most headlight and tail light templates, your instructions will have you place the template on your cart, mark out the cut area, and then begin cutting out the light installation area.
Always remember, cut on the inside of the lines first- you can always file down the fiberglass or cut more of the body later.
Once you have the installation area cut out, place your headlights and taillights into their respective spots.
Use electrical tape or painter's tape to hold the lights in place but DO NOT completely attach them to the cart until you have run your wiring harness.
Once the headlights and taillights are in place, you will need to run your light kit wire harness to the various connection points (headlight wires, taillight wires, battery compartment, etc.)
While you are running the wiring harness you will want to use some wire tires to loosely secure the harness along the cart.
DO NOT completely secure the wiring harness to the golf cart's body until you have everything connected.
48-volt golf carts will either have four 12-volt batteries or six 8-volt batteries. Your battery setup will determine how you wire your lights and whether or not you need a voltage reducer. Here is a quick reference guide:
Four 12-volt batteries: No voltage reducer is required
Six 8-volt batteries: Voltage reducer required (but not if you have our FlexVolt™ lights!)
First, if you have four 12-volt batteries, find the last battery in the sequence and hook your positive and negative wire to the positive terminal and negative terminal on that battery.
Please Note: This is an example battery set-up for a Club Car Precedent so your set-up may look slightly different. However, the same concept applies, find the last battery in sequence (has a wire from the negative terminal on the battery that flows into the cart's controller or motor) and hook your light's to that battery's positive and negative terminals.
However, suppose your lights (or other accessories) are rated for 12 volts, and you have six 8-volt batteries.
In that case, you must purchase a voltage reducer for the lights to work (or purchase our Instamatic® FlexVolt™ lights.)
A single 8-volt battery won't provide enough voltage to power the lights, but doubling up and using two batteries will provide 16 volts, which is too much and will burn out the lights.
If you have a voltage reducer, connect it as shown in the diagram below:
Please Note: This is an example battery set-up for a Club Car Precedent so your set-up may look slightly different. However, the same concept applies, find the last battery in sequence (has a wire from the negative terminal on the battery that flows into the cart's controller or motor) and connect the negative terminal on the "input" side of the reducer to that terminal. Find the first battery in sequence and attach the positive wire on the "input" side of the reducer on that terminal.
Once you have the voltage reducer connected to the batteries, simply connect your light kit to the output side of the voltage reducer for 12 volts of power.
Once you have everything in it's place, give your lights a test to make sure everything is operating correctly.
If you have a basic light package, make sure your headlights activate and that your running taillights are working.
If you have a street-legal kit, you will want to check your turn signals, brake lights, and horn as well.
If everything is operating correctly, secure everything to the cart and enjoy your ride!
Hopefully, at this point, you have a clear understanding of how to wire lights on a 48-volt golf cart. If you still have questions, don't hesitate to drop them in the comments below or shoot us an email. See you next time!
[ Own a 36-volt golf cart? Check out this article on how to install lights on a 36-volt golf cart. ]
...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.
Explore our store to see what our products and resources can do for you.