Art Fair Insiders

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

I just purchased some lights, and I'm planning on using a marine battery and inverter. However, I never see anything listed on Zapp midwest events related to if these batteries and inverters are allowed or not.

I'm going to assume if nothings mentioned - then there's no problem! Is this correct?

Views: 658

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I've been using that sort of setup all the time. Everything I use is UL listed. Weather proof / resistant. As long as you follow common sense, safety practices, I don't know of any problems. I've never found a show that had a problem with it. I've had fire marshals look at my setup and approve.

I did have one indoor show that would not allow it. Claiming fire Marshal dissaproval. My investigation found the fire marshal had no problem. Instead it was a matter of the show wanting to make money by supplying electricity and charging high fees to the artist for the only source we could have. Needless to say that show is off my list of venues. 

Watch out for tripping area.

Don't allow susceptible parts to be in possible flood areas.

Be aware of heat and their proximity to other materials.

Check the gauge, length and type of conductors for the amount of current.

Proximity of battery to exposure of flame, heat, elements etc.

Quality of components. (cheap inverters can overheat)

Don't leave power active when not at booth (overnight).

Keep EVERYTHING within your allowed booth space.

Protect from physical damage.


I was simply not going to use my setup if there was a strong chance of rain. Below are Amazon links to the items I'm going to purchase soon. 

Inverter and Battery and Battery Box Thoughts?

I never thought about fire marshals checking! Are they looking for where you have the battery and what's near it? 

I was simply going to place the battery outside behind my canopy (assuming it's a safe area), and simply leave the battery in a battery box with the lid somewhat on but just enough to connect inverter. Maybe even place everything under my ProPanels desk. 

I have two Goal Zero batteries from Yeti. You plug them in at night to charge them in your hotel room, then plug in your lights... They don’t need inverters and have USB ports as well as regular outlets.. I have had them for three years and still churching strong. Amazon or Home Depot, about $450. each.


I saw those and even considered the Yeti Goal Zero 150. But after doing a bit of match, it just didn't seem like it would push 8 of these bulbs Click Here for 8 hours or more.

So I'm going to assume the one you have is the Yeti 400 or so!

I might reconsider and fork over that high cost for less headaches and problems with others - if I knew the power output would last long enough.

Goal Zero makes very good stuff.

Unfortunately that Yeti will not power your needs.


When you say "They don’t need inverters", technically that is incorrect. They have inverters built in. That is how they are able to have both DC & AC outlets on them.

I have been using a Batt. from the home improvement store, inverter like-wise, for three years now, with no comments from anyone. Anywhere from Duluth to Quincy, Il. Just burn LED's, the battery will last at least all day, perhaps the week-end. As mentioned above, carry a charger and use in your hotel at night.


Can you pass along some specifics about the battery and LED's you're using and how many?


If you search you will find a discussion I wrote in, on this site, going over the formulas and calculations for figuring out, what is needed.

To give a short reply:

The bulbs you mention are 13 watts each. I'll assume you are running fixtures that are setup as 117VAC. Therefore each bulb will draw aprox 0.1111 amps.

Therefore 8 bulbs at 117VAC = 0.8889 amps.

However, as you are using a 12 VDC battery, then a voltage inverter to accomplish 117VAC...

The amperage changes. Now it works out as:

 aprox. 1.083 amps. per bulb X 8 bulbs = approx.  8.667 amps.

Therefore an 8 hour show will use approx. 69.336 amps. Meaning a 140 AH (Amp Hour) rating marine (Deep Cycle) batery.

You want to double the AH rating on the battery to keep from damaging it, if it is AGM, Lead Acid, GEL.

LI is different.

You also need buffer for the inefficiency of the inverter as well as anything else you might plug in ie, cell phone.

Battery box is a good idea. Most all of them allow for venting. Make sure it is protected from baking in the sun.


I saw your calculations discussion sometime ago! Indeed it's a very formative thread - Thanks. 

But good lord, a 140 AH battery will weigh close to 75 lbs. LOL. I may just decide to always pay for my electricity. This way, I don't have to lug around a heavy battery (push cart or not), and I don't have to think about being bothered.

You can save weight via either of two methods:

A) Use a Lithium battery, although expensive.

B) Split the system into 2 batteries.

So how does the math change with a lithium battery? You mentioned it was different.


15% Off All Orders! We are offering 15% off every order now through May 1st, with our best wishes for a swift economic recovery for all!

Fiber artists -- use this resource to find new buyers:  Advertise with Reach over 60,000 fiber arts lovers.

Our 50 Best Art Fairs

Look Inside the 2018 Art Fair Survey:
Who Won and Why

Join the MasterMinds Group for personalized coaching on your Internet Lifestyle Business! 

60 Page Report - Best US Art Fairs

Click Here to
Learn More


  • Add Photos
  • View All

© 2020   Created by Connie Mettler.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service