Converting 12 volt DC lights to use domestically is very easy. You can buy power inverters or converters for relatively cheap which take the 12 volts and convert it into 120 volts.
These units are simple to install and you never have to worry about running out of battery power. Inverters and converters are electronic devices that change 12 volt DC to 120 volt AC.
This is a form of power conversion, where the voltage remains constant but the current changes.
Power inverters and converters supply 120 volt AC power from 12 volt DC sources such as a car battery, solar panel, or boat’s motor.
When converting 12 volt DC power to 120 volt AC for a household application, it is often necessary to use a power inverter. Power inverters supply 120 volts from a 12 volt DC source such as a car battery.
Convert 12V DC power to 120V AC power with an automotive power inverter or converter. Use for camping, boating, and tailgating, as well as running power tools and appliances in your garage or basement.
In this post, we will show you how to convert 12v led lights to 120v.
How to convert 12v led lights to 120v – Step by Step Guide
12v batteries are mostly used in flashlights, toys, and consumer electronics. They are portable, lightweight, compact, and easy to use. It is very safe to use too.
But in case you want to convert 12v led lights to 120v AC to use it with standard wall outlets found in homes and business establishments, then you truly need a power inverter.
You need to buy the pieces that you’ll need to convert 12v led lights to 120v. Once you have all these materials available at your place, then you are ready to convert 12v led lights to 120v.
How to Convert 12V LED Lights to 120v
- Step 1
Buy a power inverter or converter
- Step 2
Connect the positive wire from your 12-volt battery to the inverter’s positive input terminal and attach the negative wire from the battery to one of the plain terminals on its’ side. Then attach the positive wire from your 12-volt source to the inverter’s other terminal.
- Step 3
If you’re using a power cord, attach one end of it to the inverter’s input and plug the other end into an AC outlet. Then turn on your 9-volt battery or 12-volt source depending on which you used.
The converter will now let you use your device that runs on a 9-volt battery or 12-volt power source in an AC outlet.
- Step 4
Most 12-volt devices come with a cord that looks like an AC power cord, but the plug is fitted for a 12-volt cigarette lighter or another outlet on your vehicle.
So to use them in your house or business establishment, you have to first convert it to 120 volts AC so it can be plugged into a standard wall outlet.
Common Mistakes to avoid when converting 12v led lights to 120v
There are several mistakes that people, who want to convert 12 volt DC power to 120 volts AC power for household use, usually make.
Here is a list of the top mistakes you should avoid:
1. Buying an inverter or converter whose power rating is less than the device’s wattage. One should buy an inverter with a higher wattage compared to what he/she wants to run.
2. Buying an inverter is only capable of supplying 1 amp of power when in fact your device needs more than that amount of amps to function properly.
3. Connecting the inverter or converter backward. You must first connect the positive wire to the inverter’s input terminals and then attach your device’s positive wire (the one with the plus sign) to the other side of it.
Then you need to connect your negative wire (minus sign) from your device or battery to the negative terminal on the inverter.
4. Not connecting the ground wire from your 12-volt device or battery to the inverter. Your 12-volt device must have a ground connection for it to work properly with an AC wall outlet. So make sure that you connect the green wire from your device to one of its’ terminals.
5. Not having the converter or inverter turned on while you’re operating your device. If you don’t want to burn up your machine, make sure that your inverter is powered on before connecting it to any of your 12-volt appliances.
So following these steps will help prevent mistakes and assure you get the right product for your needs.
Tips to Follow While Converting 12v LED Lights to 120V
If you need to power up more than one device, buy an inverter with the highest wattage that is closest to what your devices use.
Use a source of energy that is stable and has no interruptions. Running on batteries will guarantee you continuous service without any interruption.
The best power source for inverters is a solar panel.
Inverters or converters with good surge suppression are good as they help protect your device from sudden changes in voltage.
Certain appliances should not be used on inverter devices such as heating pads, curling irons, and space heaters. These units might be damaged if they are used on an inverter device.
Before you buy any type of inverter or converter, make sure that it is UL listed. This will assure you that the product has gone through several quality tests and is safe for use with your appliances. If you’re not sure about its’ condition, just don’t buy it.
If you need to power up your notebook computer, make sure that the inverter wattage is at least 150 watts. Laptop computers can function on an inverter that has a minimum wattage of 120 volts AC.
If you want to use an inverter with any type of sensitive electronics, choose one with surge suppression and line noise filtering.
Before you even think of connecting your sensitive electronic equipment to an inverter, make sure that it has a pure sine wave output. This feature is very important for appliances with memory boards and disk drives.
It will also prevent the overloading of power strips by making sure that any fluctuations are handled properly.
12-volt devices are very common in homes and business establishments.
But you should know that they cannot be used directly with a standard wall outlet found in most homes without converting it first into an AC voltage of up to 120 volts because the device needs more power than what is usually supplied by a standard 9-volt battery or 12-volt power source.
So if you want to use your 12-volt device like cell phone, laptop computer, MP3 player, and other electronic devices in your home or office, then you must buy the piece that will let you convert it for this purpose.
There are several types of converters for sale in the market, but an inverter is best if you want to convert 12v led lights to 120v.
Frequently Asked Questions
No, you can’t run a 12V light on 120V. But you can use an inverter to power your 12-volt lights with power from a standard wall outlet.
Yes, there are several portable LED lights that function well in indoor or outdoor settings. You just have to find the one that has the features you need.
No, if your home is already equipped with a standard AC wall outlet, then you just need to buy an inverter and plug it into the existing outlet. Then all you have to do is attach your LED lights to the inverter.
The price varies depending on the wattage you need for your converter or inverter. But in general,
you should expect to pay anywhere from 20 dollars and up.
The difference between them is the amount of voltage they provide. 12-volt systems provide less than 120 volts, and 120-volt outlets or devices provide more than 12 volts.
A good converter has at least 2 A on its’ output rating. It also should have a cooling fan to prevent overheating.
If your LED lights use a cord-like those used on AC appliances, you can easily plug them into the inverter and then turn it on to power up the lights.
But if they don’t have a cord for an outlet or are already wired into your home’s electrical circuit, then you will need to hire an electrician to do the job for you.
I am Baker Hughes and I live in the USA. I am an electrical engineer and work with 12 Volt products. I want to explore this section more because it is an area of interest for me that has been developed over time. I have 10 Years of experience with 12 Volt products, specifically wiring, installation, guide, reviews, and troubleshooting.