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.
Charger - Schumacher SC-10030A SpeedCharge Automatic Charger and Maintainer 5 yr warranty
Inverter - Wagan 1000 Watt Continuous Power Inverter Model 2294 1yr warranty
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.
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.
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.
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.
Could you show the sequence of the connections for the set up ?
Charger - Inverter - Battery - Lights.
I need to light up my tent... and I understand not that much about currents ect..... I tried... got an inverter...> my trusty 5 in one car battery... and it lasted mmm 1.5 hours..? Im thinking I need to upgrade? I have... > Progress Lighting - P9215-28 - Alpha Trak Kits lighting which has a plug and four lights on it..
and I could add another lighted track.. with 4 lights on it…. but I guess I should deal with one track of 4 at a time..
My question is… how do i keep them lit for several hours… ? in 2017? i'm using 4- led bulbs 12w/120v 60hz, 3ut1 Im pretty sure I used the wrong inverter the first time out…(too weak) and I used a car battery charger (i figured this out without google) … 1 hour… THE inverter spoke to me… and seemed to be using a lot of energy to change from the battery to the plugged in unit! ...(whispering,, sounded like something from a horror movie when its energy was dying out!, it speaks!) anyways.... this is what is suggested... I need simple answers... (pictures help) .. and the WHY's so I can understand as well . I can and want to learn, I 'will' learn but it does not come naturally, this stuff so dumb it down, pls. .... I cannot afford to waste money... I haven't the tools to weld... and I want to use my lighting again for things other than the tent when Im done with it..and although Ive worked in a machine shop... this wasnt one of the skill sets Ive learned! Help appreciated... Janice
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;
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)