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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 and decided it was time to do some research and provide some information to our users. As a starting point, most standard Christmas light sets are wired for standard household AC or alternating current. This means that they cannot be power with DC or direct current without some modification. However, there are some sets of LED Christmas lights that are battery operated and already wired for DC. We will be offering battery operated sets this fall.

If you do not have a DC set or want to look for another alternative to converting your AC Christmas lights to DC you have two options:

  1. Rewire the Christmas lights for DC
  2. Use a power inverter to convert the AC power to DC

How to power LED Christmas lights with battery power using a power inverter

Power 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. Once you've acquired the power inverter all you need to do is hook up the battery power source the the inverter and plug the light set into the power inverter.

Powering Christmas lights using battery power without a power inverter

He 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 these two sites for further instructions:

indestructables.com
michaelbluejay.com