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. 


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Not really. 300-400W is sufficient. Almost any brand will work fine. Form factor, number of outlets, USB connections... pretty standard stuff nowadays. Don't buy one that has too much or too little power for your application.

Could you show the sequence of the connections for the set up ?

Charger - Inverter - Battery - Lights.

Thank you

1) Booth Lights set up first.

2) Then plug light cords into 3-prong surge strip.

3) connect battery(ies) to inverter. [This has to be done right every time or you will burn out the inverter fusible link inside the inverter]..

4) plug surge strip into inverter.

5) Turn on my inverter and check lights in booth to make sure all lights are on

I’ve had my (2) 105 Ah AGM batteries since at least 2013. They are still in use. If you charge them properly and do not discharge them below 50% capacity, they will last a long time.

This is a great topic and I would like to share something that we just came up with that might help in this area.  We developed a calculator to help determine how long your light could last based on the amp hour rating of your battery and the wattage draw.

Hope this helps some folks better understand this topic.


Great idea, but 2 things I notice that were not really clear to me when I started:

1) the size of the inverter matters so maybe put something in there for that. I read that your single test didn't matter, but I imagine at some point it does. While 200 vs 400 might be trivial, personally I didn't want to "cheap out" so I bought a high quality 1000W inverter... which worked great and I loved... until I found out I overbought! haha

2) Everything I've been told has said that there is no reserve needed for (at least my) deep cycle marine battery. Unlike "traditional" batteries, it shuts off so in effect you can run it out "completely" and that's how it's designed. Perhaps put a note on that in the reserve section.

Regarding big batteries, I was once at a show where an artist made his checkout podium his battery station. It was a thing of beauty! The battery  (or 2?) was on the bottom, he had installed outlet plugs, and he even had a latch so that it could be used as a weight if needed. From the outside it was just a clean looking podium!

If anyone here has photos or plans for something like that, I'm sure we'd love to see it! It's been something on my "list" for a while, but I wanted to incorporate wheels on it somehow, like a dolly, so I can bring it around easier for charging.


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