Art Fair Insiders

Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals

I got lots of great ideas from this site on running my booth lights from a Deep Cycle Marine battery.  Here's the setup that I pulled together.


From Amazon

Charger - Schumacher SC-10030A SpeedCharge Automatic Charger and Maintainer 5 yr warranty

Inverter - Wagan 1000 Watt Continuous Power Inverter Model 2294 1yr warranty


From Walmart

Battery - Everstart MAXX-29.   Also a battery box.  18month warranty


From Home Depot

EcoSmart 18-watt LED Flood E*  Model # ECS 30 V2 WW FL 120 Internet # 202670523

Store SKU #406027 Equivalent to 90 watt flood  3000 degrees Kelvin 5 year warranty


With this setup I am running 6 lamps in black swing arms from Flourish.  I tested this setup and am able run in excess of 10 hrs, actually got to 12 hrs before I shut the system down.

The inverter and charger are much larger than you might need but I wanted something that was robust.  Charge time runs 5-8 hours after I have run the battery to the 50% point indicator on the charger.  The inverter is much more than needed but I wanted to run it at less than rated capacity to help keep heat down.  I put the battery under my ProPanel work table and there isn't a heat issue.

After the first two shows I took a piece of 1x12 pine board, added casters/rope pull and strap the battery to it so that I can pull it in and out of the show for charging in the evening.  Left room to put my cooler on it.

It is HEAVY, something like 70# or so and keep that in mind as you are taking it into and out of your vehicle for charging back at the hotel or wherever. 


Views: 20804

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Those cute little battery pack car starters with the built-in inverters are useless as a Motorola analog bag phone. The amp hour capacity is not nearly enough to run your lights all day, much less the weekend. Your 4 lights pull a total of 48 watts. Being overly conservative and factoring in inverter losses, you're pulling 60 watts total from the battery. Skipping the math lesson, it means your current draw from the battery is about 5 amps. Assume a two day show from 10-5, and that's 14 hours. Using the current, 5 amps, times the 14 hours; that's 70 amp hours. You'll need a marine battery to handle that kind of power, and my advice is to get the bigger one that around 115 amp hour capacity. They'll weigh somewhere between 55-65 pounds, but that's what fold-able carts are for. The extra reserve can be used to power 12V RV fans to keep yourself and the customers cooled down. The extra capacity on the battery also means better longevity for the battery.

The simplest, although a little pricey, is the Anker Powerhouse, which does everything you need and then some. The best part is that it uses a 120Amp hour Litium battery, so the entire rig only weighs 9.26 pounds. It's on sale at Amazon right now for $499.95. Here's the link;

The Anker has been on sale for even less -- I think somebody on FB saw it at $399 for a bit.

and Id be looking for cdn pricing... :(.   it looks wonderful... but the generator (title) has me concerned... some protesters where hauled off of the property because they had a generator to use their mikes. ... (not sure this would apply, but Id rather be safer than sorry)

ha.. on amazon in canada its 1000.00! 

It's not a generator, it's a big lithium battery with an inverter output, 12v outlets, and USB connections. The size is smaller than a boat battery. No gasoline required. The recharger is built in and with the light weight, you can take it out and recharge it st night if needed. The regular marine battery will require a charger that has a deep cycle charge setting. The hassle of getting all the necessary parts and learning how to hook them up and use them may be too much compared to the Anker's turnkey solution.

is there anything else out there compareable and less pricey... amazon canada has it listed at 1000.00

and if I were to go the battery route... what would i need with my setup now? 

1) You need a 12 volt marine battery, with anywhere from 105-115 amp hours capacity. Ignore CCA ratings as those have to do with cranking an engine and have nothing to do with our applications.

2) Get an inverter of about 200-300 watts capacity as that's more than you need but it will get you some reserve should you decide to add more lights or accessories later. Preferably one that has alligator clamps for the battery connection. Cigarette lighter plugs were designed back in the 1930's to light cigarettes. They're not the best electrical connection but at your load they will suffice if you can't find the alligator clamps.

3) Get a battery charger with at least a 10-12 amp charge capacity AND has a deep cycle setting, which is the type of service a boat battery is used for. Simple ones start around $50, and if you like lots of lights and readouts be prepared to spend as much as $150. If you go for the better chargers, get one that has a battery tender mode so it will keep the battery exercised and give it a longer life.

4) The package is heavy, so consider a small folding 2-wheeled cart and a strap to hold the battery in place. You might be able to fasten the inverter  to the frame of the cart if you get lucky and save an extra piece of gear bouncing around. if you don't like the folding cart, check out the furniture dollies from Harbor Freight.

very clear and helpful... thankyou SO MUCH and is there an inverter you would recommend? thats not too noisy (maybe that is my thingy that is a cigarette plugin.. thats noisy..! and I would need it to be dependable.. We have whats called princess auto here... Its a lovely store Like a mans avon.... Im certain alligator clips would be found there. do i need to get covered wire as well? and would you know if its gauged?

Yes you need insulated (covered) wire. It should come with the inverter. Most inverters have alligator clips to attach to the terminal posts on the battery. Red is Positive (+), Black is Negative (-). Do NOT reverse them. Attach red to battery first, black second, and remove them in reverse order. 

All wire is gauged. The thicker it is, the lower the gauge. 12G wire will handle very heavy loads; 14G not as heavy. Generally battery inverters will come with the correct gauge connecting wires.

The inverter cables will also have plugs or eyelets that attach to the inverter. Again, match color of the wire to the color of the terminal. You can leave these attached to the inverter. Some inverters will have an on/off switch to turn on the power outlets. I have had good luck with Black & Decker inverters. Typically they will have two 110V power outlets, and maybe two USB outlets for charging phones, etc.

I found that out.. about the battery pack... and considered it might win me some sympathy... LOL.... IF i get the marine battery... what else do i need to get with it.. (recharger?) Im NOT sure a generator... is allowed on cityhall property... (these times being what they are) ... 

You will need a battery charger meant for deep cycle batteries. Between the inverter, a good high capacity battery and a charger, and a cart, you are still looking at about $250-400 USD . I managed to fry my inverter by hooking it up in reverse polarity at the last show I used it at, and found a perfectly serviceable one at Walmart. Not sure if you have Walmarts up there in the frozen north, but they also carry pretty much everything you need. Any automotive store would, as well.

A good 125A battery runs about $100 and up. The Optima AGM sealed batteries have good reputation, but are considerably more. If it falls over, you don't have to worry about sulfuric acid leaking all over your van.

Almost any inverter will do -- they aren't expensive. Maybe $40-50 USD

A battery charger can run $60-100 USD. I have two old Sears chargers, that have worked well for years. You do want to be able to slow charge the battery, so a deep cycle setting is important.

The little dollies are available at office stores, big box home improvements stores. I think I paid under $40 for mine. The Rock n' Roller dollies are also highly thought of.

we have walmart.. canadian tires.. and Princess auto...< a mans avon store... LOL. 

with the inverter.. am i looking for any special qualities to match the battery? I have no problem in terms of dollies... have plenty and (they arent electronic)  


Want to sell more online? Advertise with Reach over 60,000 fiber arts lovers.

60 Page Report - Best US Art Fairs

Click Here to
Learn More


  • Add Photos
  • View All

Top 10 Reviewers on for January and February

© 2019   Created by Connie Mettler.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service