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Unread 02-28-2013, 07:37 AM   #1
Gone Wild
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Question Voltage question

1997 CC DS 48 volt, came with the home purchase.

I have recently been exploring far enough from home where I end up returning after dark. The headlights are just too darn weak to allow safe driving. So, I decided to purchase some LED driving lights to improve my night driving. When I checked the light set up that currently exists on the cart, I discovered that it is not running through a voltage reducer, instead it is connected to two 8 volt batteries. I checked the voltage and it is getting at least 16 volts when turned on. You would think that the over voltage on the lights would make them a bit brighter.

Anyway, my question is: With the LED lights that are rated for a 12 volt system, will I damage them if I wire them to the existing system? Can LEDs take the extra voltage if they are tandem with the existing setup. I would think that the overall system of headlights and tail lights would reduce the voltage a bit, right? I figured that one of the voltage experts on here could give me some figures. Right now, I am trying to improve the cart on the cheap. I'm now on a limited fixed income and the wife says I need to sell one of my Harley's and/or my 1968 Mustang before I jump into another project. Don't you just hate it when logic prevails?
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Unread 02-28-2013, 07:54 AM   #2
Gone Wild
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Default Re: Voltage question

You should be able to pick up a 16v-12v reducer inexpensively on here or eBay. Probably less than $50. If you run your lights a lot, you should bite the bullet and get a 48v-12v reducer or converter or you will ruin those two batteries and eventually your whole pack. It will not charge correctly if two of the batteries are down too much.
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Unread 02-28-2013, 08:12 AM   #3
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Default Re: Voltage question

Quote:
Originally Posted by MDLNB View Post
I checked the voltage and it is getting at least 16 volts when turned on. You would think that the over voltage on the lights would make them a bit brighter.
. . . correct . . . there should be a very noticeable difference in the light output when running the 12v lamps with 16v . . been there, done that . . . usually the 12v lamp won't even care, though it's lifespan may diminish . . . if you plan on using the headlights routinely, then a voltage reducer (48v to 12v, to utilize the entire pack equally) should be on your shopping list . . . about $75-$125 . . .
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Unread 02-28-2013, 08:55 AM   #4
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Default Re: Voltage question

Thank you. I am shopping for the voltage reducer.

Will the additional voltage cause any damage to the LEDs if used with the current configuration, or will it have a similar effect as on the standard lights, brighter but less longevity?
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Unread 02-28-2013, 09:02 AM   #5
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Default Re: Voltage question

Quote:
Originally Posted by MDLNB View Post
Thank you. I am shopping for the voltage reducer.

Will the additional voltage cause any damage to the LEDs if used with the current configuration, or will it have a similar effect as on the standard lights, brighter but less longevity?

LEDS are the most efficient type of lighting known. They do have 2
Achilles Heels -- Over-Heating and Over-Voltage.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/4952010
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Unread 02-28-2013, 09:28 AM   #6
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Default Re: Voltage question

Check the voltage ratings on the headlamp bulbs and check the voltage at the bulbs themselves. Maybe there is something in series with them reducing the voltage. 12V Headlamps would not last very long on 16 volts and they would be very bright.
The best solution is to get a 48 to 12V reducer if you are going to use the lights much. That puts an even load on all of your batteries and will extend their life.
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Unread 02-28-2013, 10:06 AM   #7
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Default Re: Voltage question

Ok, I can see the value of a voltage reducer. Considering the age and typical use of my cart, street use with standard golf cart lights along with some small front LEDs, what minimum amperage voltage reducer can I get away with? I do not plan to use anything fancy on the cart, such as stereo, lighter, spot light, etc. Just the normal return home driving lights. This cart is used mostly in the day, and during the summer almost always in the daylight. About the only time we need the lights is when we are playing cards late, at my brother's home a mile away.
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Unread 02-28-2013, 10:42 AM   #8
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Default Re: Voltage question

I have not had any luck with the low amperage reducers. They seem to be cheap electronics which do not last. I would look for something with a minimum 20 amp rating.
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Unread 02-28-2013, 10:45 AM   #9
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Default Re: Voltage question

Not to hijack, but along the same lines, can the 48->12 reducer be connected into a Precedent's existing wiring setup somehow? I am currently plugged into the Precedent stock wiring harness that runs off of one of the 12v batteries. Or, do you have to run all new wiring to the headlight and taillights? Thanx!
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Unread 02-28-2013, 02:13 PM   #10
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Default Re: Voltage question

Ah, after closer inspection, I found an old OEM style 16 volt reducer mounted on the side rail, at the rear of the battery area. My old legacy volt meter must be off a bit. I could have sworn it read over 12 volts. Unfortunately, most of my tools, as well as two digital meters are back at my other home in NC.

I think I am going to consider purchasing a 48 to 12 volt reducer so that I will have a more uniform battery discharge.

By the way, thanks for all the assistance. There are some very knowledgeable and decent folks the frequent this forum.
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