How to use car batteries to power light bulbs

Written by david sandoval
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How to use car batteries to power light bulbs
Some light bulbs require AC electrical energy to illuminate. (light bulb 1 image by jimcox40 from

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.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

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

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  1. 1

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

  2. 2

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

  3. 3

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

Tips and warnings

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

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