How to use car batteries to power light bulbs

Updated February 20, 2018

Light bulbs, such as those found in household lamp receptacles, provide enough light to illuminate a large room under the right conditions. To light a household light bulb with a car battery, an electronic device called a power inverter may be used.

Attach the red inverter clamp to the positive battery terminal. Attach the black inverter clamp to the black battery terminal.

Turn on the power inverter. Allow approximately five seconds for the inverter electronics to warm up.

Plug the lamp into the inverter outlet. Turn on the lamp; the light should illuminate.


Using a car battery to directly power a light bulb may damage the bulb or the battery.

Things You'll Need

  • Power inverter with clamp-style inputs
  • Household electric lamp with installed light bulb
  • Automotive battery
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About the Author

David Sandoval has served as a trainer and technical writer since 2000. He has written several articles online in the fields of home improvement, finance, electronics and science. Sandoval has an Associate of Applied Science in microelectronics from Northern New Mexico College.