Powering Christmas Lights with DC power
June 4, 2008
We have received a fairly steady set of inquires about powering LED Christmas lights with DC power, so I decided it was time to do some research, and provide some information to our users. As a starting point, most Christmas light sets are wired for standard household AC, or alternating current. This means that they cannot be powered with DC, or direct current, without some modification. However, there are some sets of LED Christmas lights that are battery operated and are already wired for DC.
If you do not have a DC powered set, or want to convert your AC powered Christmas lights to DC power, you have two options:
- Rewire the Christmas lights for DC
- Use a power inverter to convert the AC power to DC
How to power LED Christmas lights with battery power using a power inverter
Powering Christmas lights with a power inverter is quite simple. First you'll need to have a standard AC to 12v power inverter. Most of us have seen these devices (probably in cars where the inverter is typically plugged into a cigarette lighter.) DonRowe.com has a good selection of power inverters. They come in different sizes, so make sure you choose one, that is big enough to power the lights you are going to be hooking up to it. Once you've acquired the power inverter, all you need to do is hook up the battery power source to the inverter, and plug the light set into the power inverter. It is a good idea to have two battery sources, that way you can recharge one while the other is being used, and you will never run out of battery power.
Powering Christmas lights using battery power without a power inverter
The first option is really the fastest, and most efficient solution for battery powering Christmas lights; however, if you are one of those people that like to take stuff apart and put it back together, this might be the best route for you.
This process has been explained well by others so I won't try to reinvent the wheel here. But before you continue you should know that this process involves cutting up your Christmas light sets and rewiring them. If this doesn't scare you off, check out this sites for further instructions: