Why Do Lawn Mowers REALLY Have Headlights? (Explained)

Riding mower with headlights on grass

Some additions to a lawn mower might seem unnecessary.

Do you really need that beer holder? Or those ultra-cushioned armrests?

And what about headlights? Exactly why do lawn mowers have headlights?

Well that is what we are here to discuss today.

So let me illuminate you with the reasons… Sorry for the terrible pun.

Why Do Lawn Mowers Have Headlights?

Lawn mower headlights can be useful for a number of reasons. If you live somewhere that gets extremely hot summers they allow you to mow your lawn when the sun has gone down and it is cooler. Also they are very helpful for people who use their riding mowers as snow blowers or snow plows in the winter when days are much shorter and light is at a premium.

Reason #1: To Help You See

Ok so maybe I am being slightly facetious here, as obviously all headlights are there to help you see.

But why would anyone on a lawn mower need them?

Many people who have riding mowers live in the country and have big multi-acreage plots to maintain.

Out in the country, with neighbors not around, noise is not so much of a concern, and homeowners may well mow as dusk sets in.

So the headlights allow them to keep mowing as late as they need to get these big jobs done, especially helpful as the days get shorter.

Similarly, I think most of us have experienced mowing during the day when an unexpected storm comes in and dark clouds and rain appear on the horizon.

All of a sudden conditions go from calm and clear to dark and murky almost instantly.

This can be particularly frustrating if you are just a few minutes away from finishing the job.

A flick of the switch and the headlights will allow you to quickly and easy mow the rest of your lawn no matter how dismal the conditions.

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Reason #2: They Can Be Very Useful if You Live in a Hot Climate

In particular parts of the States, it will remain unbearably hot throughout the day in the summer.

When it is 90 degrees plus you really don’t want to be out there mowing your lawn.

But if you have headlights on your lawn mower you can wait until the evening, when it is more bearable and the sun is going down, to get out there and mow your lawn.

And on a similar vein to the scenario we mentioned above of being out mowing and you see a storm coming in.

This is all well and good if you have a small lawn and can quickly get it done before the thunder and lightning kicks in.

But what happens if you have a big plot and a storm appears?

You don’t want to be sitting out there on a metal lawn mower in the middle of field with lightning forking down.

Instead you will get inside and then probably finish the job later when it might be dark, and you can use your headlights.

Reason #3: They Aren’t Just For Mowing

Garden covered in snow

As useful as headlights can be in the instances mentioned above, keep in mind that riding mowers have more than one use.

Many people use them in the winter with a blade or a snowblower to clear the white stuff from their properties.

Obviously daylight is at much more of a premium in the winter months, so this is when the headlights come in really useful.

Reason #4: For Safety

For a variety of reasons, headlights are an essential safety feature for most mowers.

If you are using your mower in dark or overcast conditions they help illuminate metal, stones, wood, rocks and any other debris you might not otherwise spot.

For riding mowers in particular, manufacturers are well aware they might occasionally have to be taken on quiet rural roads.

For instance just to move a couple of hundred yards from one part of the property to another. Or even for mowing a grass verge that runs alongside a road.

Having headlights gives that extra visibility to the user and also covers the manufacturer’s back in case of any accidents.

Reason #5: For Storage

If you have shelled out a lot of money for a riding mower, generally you will have somewhere safe to store it, for instance a shed, barn or garage.

Having headlights means it is easy to maneuver your expensive riding mower into its storage spot, which will most likely be quite dark.

Likewise, say you pulled it into the shed in a hurry, and you are up early the next morning and it is still pitch black and you need to move your mower so you can get the car out, well having headlights makes that a whole lot easier.

Reason #6: It is Better to Be Safe Than Sorry

More and more mowers are now being made with headlights already fitted.

It has been common in riding mowers for a while, and that makes sense, but even with push mowers it is becoming more of a frequent sight.

Generally, they can be turned on and off via a dedicated switch, but some riding mower headlines run on AC current as they are connected to the alternator. The benefit of which is they won’t drain the battery if left on.

But we digress, I would suggest lots of manufacturers add headlights to their mowers as a case of, it is better to be safe than sorry.

People will pay a lot of money for a lawn mower, particularly a riding mower.

Adding headlights doesn’t come at a massive inconvenience or cost for the manufacturer, but they are there if ever needed.

Final Thoughts

Why Do Lawn Mowers Have Headlights infographic

If you have ever wondered why lawn mowers have headlights, I hope this post, and the infographic above, goes some way to explaining the reasons.

Beyond the obvious answer of ‘they help you see in the dark’, they can actually be extremely useful features at two completely opposing ends of the spectrum.

If you live in an area that has extremely hot summers it means you can mow after the sun has gone down and it is a bit cooler.

If you use your riding mower in the colder months as a snow blower or snow plow, it means you can do this easily despite the shorter winter days.

They are also a really useful safety feature in a variety of ways, especially moving your mower into and out of an unlit storage area.

So whilst they might seem unnecessary, lots of people couldn’t live without them!

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