How to Put Christmas Lights on Your Truck or Car
Many folks light up the cold and dreary days of winter by adding Christmas lighting to their homes and even the trees and shrubbery in their yards. However, more and more people are making their holidays mobile as well as merry with vehicle Christmas lights. Putting Christmas lights on your car can be a creative and cheerful way to celebrate the season that will grab the attention of others wherever you go. If you want to add some Christmas cheer to your car or truck, learn how with these free and easy tips from The Inverter Store.
Vehicle Christmas Lights Installation
When it comes to Christmas lights for cars, you have several choices. Because your car or truck uses direct current, you will need to use a system that can power your lights properly.
So, how do you power Christmas lights on a vehicle? One option is to purchase battery-powered lights that supply their own power, but these can be expensive. They must also be outdoor-safe for your car, and they are only available in a limited selection of styles. Additionally, due to the need for extraneous battery power, you’ll need to worry about powering up your lights separately and maintaining each battery.
There are also direct-current Christmas lights available that can run off your vehicle’s DC current as-is. These lights also tend to be costly, and the selection will be limited as well. It will be hard if not impossible to find DC holiday lights with options like chasing lights or changing colors, so if you’re looking for a versatile and fun solution to lighting up your car this Christmas season, you might have some trouble. While this may seem like the most straightforward option when it comes to the usage of power, creativity can be important when applying car Christmas lights – especially if you’re trying to win over neighbors or show off your decorating skills!
For most folks, the traditional AC-powered exterior Christmas lights used for homes are the best option. They run on the alternating current supplied by household outlets. These lights are affordable and available in a wide range of lengths and features. However, these types of lights won’t hook right up to your car. While some vehicles out there have outlets built right in, many of us will have to find another solution. The good news is that an easy solution exists!
If you choose to use AC lights, you will need an inverter. These electronic devices can change the DC power your vehicle creates to the AC power standard Christmas lights use. This can make it so you can run traditional AC-powered exterior Christmas lights with your car or truck. Fortunately, there is a wide variety of power inverters available that you can use for this exact purpose.
How to Attach Christmas Lights to a Vehicle
Once you have selected the lights you want to use, you may be wondering how to hook up Christmas lights on the vehicle. Learning how to install Christmas lights on vehicle bodies is easy, but you should take a few precautions before getting to work.
Duct tape is the cheapest and easiest solution for attaching holiday lights to your truck or car, but it will leave a sticky residue after you remove it and will generally be visible from the outside, which may interfere with your look. You can remove this residue with Goo Gone or another brand of adhesive remover, though these types of adhesive removers may cause damage to your vehicle. If you are worried about duct tape permanently damaging your vehicle’s paint job, put a small piece on an inconspicuous place and let it sit overnight. If you see damage after removing it, don’t use it.
A good alternative is gaffer’s tape. Although more expensive, this tape leaves no residue, which is why it’s often used in the movie and TV industry as well. Attaching the lights with gaffer’s tape in clever places will allow you to create a clean and effective look without any additional issues. Zip ties and suction cups can also provide some additional insurance to make sure your lights stay put on your vehicle.
How Do You Power Christmas Lights on a Vehicle?
Once you have your lights set up, plug them into your inverter and connect your inverter to your car’s DC power using a cigarette lighter receptacle. Many folks use inverters ranging from 150 watts to 1,500 watts. It’s easy to determine just how much power you need if you have an idea of the voltage required by your Christmas lights.
To figure out how big your inverter should be, first find out how much wattage your car’s cigarette lighter can handle by multiplying voltage by amps (volts x amps = watts). Add up the total wattage your Christmas lights will be using. It’s wise to include a margin of safety when selecting your inverter, meaning that selecting an inverter with twice the power capabilities of your needed wattage will result in a safe and creative experience. If you have any questions, call or email us for help.
Remember to Be Safe with Your Application
Please note that laws about using Christmas lights on your car or truck vary by locality. It is illegal to drive with these lights in some places and perfectly legal in others. Check with local law enforcement before driving. If the answers online are unclear, contact law enforcement directly via email or phone so that you don’t inadvertently break the law and receive a fine.
If you plan to drive rather than leave your car or truck parked in some conspicuous place, it’s wise not to move at excessive speeds. Keep in mind other drivers’ needs while on the road, as you don’t want to be a distraction. When starting out, you should also pull over occasionally to stop and check that your lights are on securely and safely.
With these tips, you now know how to put affordable Christmas lights on your truck or car and even how to power them! How creative you want to get with your designs is up to you, however – whether that means a couple simple strings of lights or creative patterns and color-changing lights. With some unique designs and a little imagination, you can create a moving Christmas lights show for your whole neighborhood.
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