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Old 09-15-2010, 08:26 PM   #1
outsidergr8
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Default 12 volt battery wireing for lights??

I know i can use a car battery and head light,direct connection but is this safe? Would like to have for camp site or on hand for any time i need light and have no power. Not sure how to wire it?.And would the battery last longer useing say tail light bulbs??? CAN any one help.



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Old 09-15-2010, 09:28 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by outsidergr8 View Post
I know i can use a car battery and head light,direct connection but is this safe? Would like to have for camp site or on hand for any time i need light and have no power. Not sure how to wire it?.And would the battery last longer useing say tail light bulbs??? CAN any one help.
Pretty safe to hook up a small 12v dc lamp to the battery, can't really damage the lamp by reverse polarity, ie. wires hooked up on wrong side of battery. You can find 12v dc shop lamps at most auto stores, these have large clips or clamps on the ends to hook up to a auto battery. Watch out for tail lights they tend to be very hot when operating, will burn you skin.


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Old 09-16-2010, 12:12 AM   #3
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Depending on your application, you might want to consider LEDs. More expensive, but a far lower power demand. Your battery will last longer.

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Old 09-16-2010, 12:23 AM   #4
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Welcome to the forum.

The advise given so far is sound. You can't mess up much with 12V in terms of wiring and LED's are much more efficient.

I do wonder your intent though. If you're talking about a campsite, no power... are you thinking of wiring in your car battery instead of having a flashlight or lamp at the ready? That doesn't make sense to me. OK, you use up your car battery on headlights to light up your camp. How are you going to get home when your car battery is dead?

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Old 09-16-2010, 03:10 AM   #5
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led's must be hooked up with correct polarity or they'll burn out instantly.

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Old 09-16-2010, 03:19 AM   #6
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Good advice so far, a couple of things to consider, car / truck batteries are designed for a deep hard load , then an imediate recharge, rv / deepcycle batteries can handle a longer discharge etc, I would also recommend that you put an Ato type plug in fuse/ holder in the curcuit leds are getting cheaper and are tougher and last well, add to these components a solar panel and your lit

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Old 09-16-2010, 02:31 PM   #7
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If I might make a suggestion as well. Purchase a battery-box from an RV store and modify it with wing-nut battery connectors and a couple of 12-volt power-ports, and, while you are at it, throw on some solar-power connections as well to charge up the battery.

Place a gel-cell battery into that box. Optima makes a great model, Sears has one and so on. Look for the words spiral-core-technology and make sure that the battery can be layed down on its side without leaking.

Now, when you are putting it all together, make sure that you use nothing less than 10g multi-strand wire and fuse every single connection.

You can see web-found pictures below of what I used to do it (I can take a picture of my box in "action" when I get home).

An alternate to that would be to purchase a ready-made battery-box with the connections on it from places like BassProShops - I saw one there about two years after I made my own ... you can find it as item# 38-510-442-00

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Old 09-16-2010, 03:15 PM   #8
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I run a battery box as well.

In my setup, there's a deep-cycle marine battery in the box.
On top of the box is an inverter. In the one pictured below, it's a 1200w.
I use a luggage strap to hold it together.
In the one pictured, I have a couple shop lights with CFL's installed. I just flick the power switch on the inverter and I have lights.


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Old 09-16-2010, 09:53 PM   #9
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I have a couple articles about adding an extra battery to a vehicle so you can run down the spare battery but still start your vehicle. I also have info about small solar chargers and home made 12 volt generators. I have used an inverter with jumper cables to run my lights and tv during extended power failures. I can also run my fridge or sump pump, but I need to switch between the high load items, because my inverter was only a mid sized unit.

As stated already leds are the way to go. they use a fraction of the power that a standard bulb uses. If funds are tight you can get a standard looking 12v light bulb that fits normal sockets. Of course the sockets must be wired to a 12v source.


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Old 09-16-2010, 11:00 PM   #10
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Hello every one,and thanx for the info. My camp site is a walk in abt 1/4 mile so i would be walkin anyway (dead battery) and i dont have a problem with luggin it in or out. I want this for extra light when i need or want it. The plan is to have it set up as a over head light not to be used all the time. When i have the extra $$ a deep cycle battery i will have.and LEDs sounds like the way to go. For now i think the car battery and 12 volt bulbs will work. In the future i would like a solar system just for this purpouse. again thanx to you all and im always open for advice or ideas




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