How to make battery-powered christmas lights

Written by david cavalier
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How to make battery-powered christmas lights
Battery Power Your Christmas Lights (two Xmas lamps image by timur1970 from Fotolia.com)

Creating battery-powered Christmas lights is simple. A number of situations require Christmas lights to run on battery power. Whether you are placing the lights where there are no power outlets, or running a cord is not convenient or safe--such as on a door wreath--it is simple to convert your Christmas lights from running on AC power to battery power.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • LED Christmas lights
  • AC to DC power inverter
  • 12 volt battery
  • Electrical tape
  • Battery harness
  • 5 AA rechargeable batteries

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Plug Christmas lights into an AC to DC inverter. This is the simplest way to convert your Christmas lights to run on battery power. You simply plug your Christmas lights into the inverter which is then powered by a 12 volt battery. This is like using an outlet when there is not an outlet available. A 12 volt battery inverter can be purchased online for around £13.

    How to make battery-powered christmas lights
    When Battery Power is more for Aesthetics than Convenience (window wreath image by Jorge Moro from Fotolia.com)
  2. 2

    Creating a battery power source for Christmas lights when it is impossible to run power cords is another reason to convert Christmas lights from AC to DC power. This is a bit more complicated, but still easy for anyone to do. LED Christmas lights can be converted to DC by cutting the cords and rewiring them to battery packs. Cut the wire on the string of Christmas lights at the plug and srip the plastic away from the wire about one inch.

  3. 3

    Attach the wire on a waterproof battery harness to the wires exposed in step two of the Christmas lights by twisting the wires together. Cover the wires with black electrical tape, once twisted. The battery harness can be found at any electronics store, like Radio Shack. You will need to harness together 5 AA batteries to create a 6 volt battery pack for your Christmas lights. Each 5 AA battery pack will run a 100 count mini Christmas light string.

  4. 4

    Use the electrical tape to ensure there is no exposed wire. If water gets into the wiring harness the lights can short out and possibly cause electric shock.

  5. 5

    Place your 5 AA batteries into their slots in the battery harness. Do not place batteries into the harness until the wires have been connected and properly covered.

Tips and warnings

  • Use LED Christmas light strings for the longest battery life. They will run 90% longer than a traditional incandescent set of Christmas lights. Rechargeable batteries are recommended, as they are more economically friendly and better for the environment than regular ones.
  • Be cautious when working with electricity from any power source. It is imperative to ensure all exposed wires are covered with electrical tape and kept away from water.

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