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. But more people are making their holidays mobile as well as merry with vehicle Christmas lights. 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 your vehicle, 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. These can be expensive, must be outdoor-safe for your car and are available in only a limited selection of styles.
Direct-current Christmas lights are 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.
For most folks, the traditional AC-powered exterior Christmas lights used at 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.
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.
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. You can remove this residue with Goo Gone or another brand of adhesive remover. 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, 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 too. 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.
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. If you have any questions, call or email us for help.
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 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. When starting out, you should also pull over occasionally to stop and check that your lights are on securely and safely.