Power Inverters for Your Car

A small 12V power inverter can be a great tool to have on hand in your car. It can be handy to be able to charge your small electronics in your car.  This way you can take long road trips without concern for your cell phone battery dying.  Or, your passenger can work on their laptop during a drive.  You could perhaps go as far as hooking up a video game console to keep your passengers entertained, although this would likely require a more complex solution.

Use your cigarette lighter
A 12V car power inverter plugs right into your vehicle’s cigarette lighter or 12 volt outlet (which is really the same thing, but that’s a story for another day).  It will have a regular outlet on the side, like you would see on a wall in your house.  The plug for your device goes right in and you will be getting power to your device.  It’s as simple as that.

Usually 100 Watts
Usually these are referred to as a 100 watt power inverter.  This means that they can handle electronics up to a maximum rating of 100 watts.  Electronic devices will usually list on a safety sticker how many watts they require.  Similar to a light bulb that will list 50 watts or 75 watts right on the bulb, other devices should have a listing on them.  If they don’t, it will be in the product’s manual.  If you’re not sure, it’s best not to guess for the sake of your own safety.

Don’t use for
Speaking of safety, it’s important really important not to overload the power inverter.  While it should hypothetically not draw more than 100W, it will try to accommodate the devices that are plugged into it.  This is a bad scenario for both the inverter and the device trying to power itself.  Televisions, other large electronics, and anything that produces a lot of heat will likely not be able to use such a small rated inverter.

Other inverters are more well suited for larger or higher powered electronics.  These will generally have to run straight to the battery of the vehicle rather than an interior outlet.  However, it’s not necessarily as difficult as it sounds.  It can be worth a look if you have these requirements.

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