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Using a DC to AC inverter

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    Posted: 15-December-2014 at 1:59PM
I know nothin' 'bout 'lectricity.  :) 
 
I've got a Christmas tree on the roof of my wagon that I'm going to haul around for the Holidays.  I wanna run some Christmas lights on the tree, using an inverter.  The box for the lights says they're rated at 175 Watts.  And I want to run two strings of them, together.  So, first question, would I need an inverter that's rated at continuous 350 Watts?  Second question, is it safe to connect something like this to the cigarette lighter of my Montego wagon?
 
Any input is greatly appreciated.
Jeff

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote californiajohnny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-December-2014 at 4:08PM
jeff, i've never used one but that's supposedly what they're for, you say the lights are rated @ 175 watts, is that the actual wattage draw? if so then i'd say yeah 350. can you find ones that are LED? as they draw WAY LESS power, now that i'm thinking about it--watts my be the output of lights, amperage is the power draw

alex, ain't you an electrician??? chime in here!


Edited by californiajohnny - 15-December-2014 at 4:09PM
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote n2fordwagons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-December-2014 at 12:23AM
They're the big C9 bulbs, like in the old days.  I was wanting to use them.  Figured they'd look good with the '76 wagon.
Jeff

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote unlovedford Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-December-2014 at 2:10AM
They make LED C9 sets now. We have them out front in the shrubbery. Work pretty well and are resistant to vibration - something to consider. However, I am old school as well, so we have a 4th tree with OLD bulbs on it. Round snow speckled, pearl bulbs, bubble candlesticks, tinsel melters, etc. Lots of heat, and we don't leave it unattended, LOL.

Very cool idea on the tree wagon.
Joe
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote n2fordwagons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-December-2014 at 2:47AM
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GranTorinoSport Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-December-2014 at 3:09AM
So if you needed 350 Watts of power, at 12V (or let's say 14.4V, which is more of a standard for auto power), we come up with 24.3A. Now, knowing that the cigarette lighter is rated for 15A, you would instantly blow a fuse.

That same 350W of power at 110VAC is like 3.2A power - significant difference.

My point being, that Christmas light string is waaay to much for the power outlet - you'd need to hard wire the inverter into the battery or something similar.

Just out of curiosity, I was poking around Amazon at power inverters. For a 500W energizer model, at max output it draws 54A, which is a ton of juice, when you consider that original alternators that came in earlier models could be as low as 45A!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote n2fordwagons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-December-2014 at 3:56AM
Thanks Scott!  That's what I was afraid of.  I might try to spread one string of lights over the tree, and see if I can get by with that, using a lower wattage inverter.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote unlovedford Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-December-2014 at 4:16AM
Be sure to keep it moist, lest you lose a lot of needles and/or go flying down I-85 with a burning tree on top, LOL.
Joe
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Big Bird Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-December-2014 at 10:49AM
Originally posted by n2fordwagons n2fordwagons wrote:

That is SO Griswald!!! PLEASE tell me the tree will be UPRIGHT while you drive down the road!!!LOL
Modern Led lights are CHEAP, draw little power (battery operated in some cases), and much less/no heat generated.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ranchero Fan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-December-2014 at 11:58AM
Put a tree topper on it, wired/ plugged into the trailer aux plug, then you''ll have, a one of a kind highmount brake lightLOL
Brian   1973 Ford Ranchero Big Block. ''THE OTHER WOMAN''
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote n2fordwagons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-December-2014 at 2:29AM
I ended up going with some C9 LED lights.  Enjoy!
 
Jeff

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bdaugette Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-December-2014 at 7:02AM
That is so cool.  I guarantee you will get the looks from other, less fortunate, car owners!!!

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