How to Run a Neon Sign Transformer off a Battery

Updated July 18, 2017

Neon sign transformers provide high-voltage currents to neon lights, converting 120-347V line current to currents between 2 and 15 kV. You can connect a neon sign transformer to a car battery if you do not have access to electrical sockets. The actual wiring process is fairly simple, but always check with an experienced electrician before attempting to wire an electrical circuit.

Connect the fuse to the positive terminal of the transformer, using 12-gauge AWG cable. Insulate the connection with asphalt. The fuse will prevent excessive current from flowing between the transformer and batteries, as a safety measure.

Connect the positive terminal of the battery to the AWG cable. The fuse and battery are now wired together.

Connect the ground wire from your transformer to a solid metal part of your car, using a screwdriver. You are ready to connect your transformer to your neon lights and use your car battery to power your lights.


Exercise caution when using a neon sign transformer. Even though neon transformers are current-limited, the current level is well above the threshold for ventricular fibrillation. Before servicing transformer, disconnect it from the circuit. Due to the high-voltage current characteristic of these transformers, neon transformers require stronger insulation than typical electrical tape, such as asphalt.

Things You'll Need

  • In-line fuse
  • 12-gauge AWG cable
  • Electrical wiring
  • Screwdriver
  • Neon transformer
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About the Author

Tricia Lobo has been writing since 2006. Her biomedical engineering research, "Biocompatible and pH sensitive PLGA encapsulated MnO nanocrystals for molecular and cellular MRI," was accepted in 2010 for publication in the journal "Nanoletters." Lobo earned her Bachelor of Science in biomedical engineering, with distinction, from Yale in 2010.