Power supply for lights

Forgive, if this was discussed before. I did see where someone had advised to use a 500 watt Portable Power Station. I looked at Lowe's today & I am confused. It said 750 Amp & upon reading the internal papers it said it could only pull 200 watts continuously. I plan to use 6 LED lights with comparable 60 watts each. Please help me understand what I need.

Thanks so much, Peggy

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  • Robert has given some great advice. I have been using batteries for 2 years now. I use 2 marine deep cycle group 24 batteries in parallel. The deep cycle battery is designed for long draws of power and the group 24 is the size of the battery not necessarily the amp/hour rating. These last all day (10+ hours) running 8 -10 watt LEDs , music, charge phones and power a couple of small fans ( gets hot in the booth). The batteries are into their 2nd year and doing fine. Over the winter hook the battery up to a battery tender ( $30). It keeps a small charge going all the time. You can get the tender at a battery store or at any motorcycle shop.

    Only down side is, as has been mentioned, these suckers are heavy.

  • I bought one of those little marine batteries, it was around 120 USD on amazon and it is TOO small... I thought it would be plenty, but I can't even run 2 15W LED's for an entire 6-8 hour day.

    • What was the amp/hour rating? I've used the 125 A/H batteries from Autozone and was able to run 6 CFLs at 75 watt equivalents for 7 hours, and that was a much larger load as each bulb pulled 27 watts for a 160 watt real load. That was close to a 15-16 amp draw from the battery so the calculations worked out about right for me.

      • Here's the battery I had: http://www.amazon.com/VMAX857-Battery-Performance-minnkota-trolling...

        Listed as 12 Volt 35AH

        To be sure, it's a small size battery and easy to carry around... but I messed up with that purchase. Too small... gives me a headache trying to watch the sky "oh clouds out put the lights on!" Lol

        • Your two 15 Watt lights together draw 2.5 amps from the battery. Kick in at least another amp for inverter inefficiency and you're up to 3.5 amps. That should get you about 10 hours of operation if the battery is fully charged, but two lights isn't enough to light up one wall. Use three lights and you're guaranteed at best 4-5 hours operation. If you aren't using a deep cycle charger, you won't get full capacity out of the battery.

          I was next to one guy a few years ago who wasn't messing around. He built a rolling skid with 8" casters for four large marine batteries, had a box enclosure over it, inverter built into the inside of the box, and had multiple gang wall outlets on the side of the box. Blasted thing must have weighed 350 pounds or more. OTOH, he ran a bunch of lights and fans all weekend long and still didn't run out of power. That's about the point where a medium generator is more practical but many shows don't allow them.

  • Hi Chris,
    Thanks for your reply. But I have outdoor shows booked that go until 8:00 & 9:00. And when I am in a very shady spot, folks cannot see the paintings well. I'm also looking at a Xantrex system, which is a more powerful power supply. I don't even understand what an inverter is. I am thankful to be able to get info from other artists.
    • Here in New England outdoor shows end at 6PM at the latest. The best shows are Friday 10-5, Saturday 10-5, and Sunday 10-4.

    • Peggy, an inverter is the little box that plugs into 12 volt batteries at one end and gives 110 volts AC out the other end. They're about the the size of a couple of large paperback books. You didn't say if your LED lights were regular ones that use wall power or run directly from 12 volts DC, so I assumed they ran from 110 VAC.
      • Robert, you are a wealth of knowledge. Thanks. You say "You didn't say if your LED lights were regular ones that use wall power or run directly from 12 volts DC, so I assumed they ran from 110 VAC." You are over my head here. They are regular spot fixtures with normal LED bulbs.

        Hey, check this out! I found this...it has all this contained. What do ya think?


        It sells for $550.

        Thanks, Peggy

        • I checked the specs on it and it has a 51 amp/hour battery so you would be able to get about 7-8 hours out of it before they battery runs down and shuts off. The Xantrex has the advantage of being 'turn-key" in that all you have to do is plug it in to recharge, and plug in your light cords to run the lights. By comparison a 125 amp/hour battery runs about $125 at Auto-Zone or Sam's Club, a charger can be picked up for around $30, and an inverter can be picked up for anywhere from $25 to $60 depending on what you need. The type of inverter you need doesn't need to be large, around 200 watts is big enough, and should be around the low end of the price range which is probably about $30. You would get over twice the power (about 2.5 times as much) for less than half the price, but not nearly the convenience of having it in one package with a handle and wheels.

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