Battery Operated Lighting Systems

Hello All, I am looking for a battery operated lighting system for
use in outdoor shows. So far, I’ve been unable to find a resource
for the systems. Can you help?

Nancy Helmer

Nancy Helmer Designs
Custom Jewelry Creations in Sterling Silver,
Semiprecious Stones and Minerals

Hi Nancy,

In the event that you cannot find battery operated lights you might
want to consider using an inverter with a 12 volt battery. It will
change 12 volt into 110 volt so you can use ordinary equipment. I
used one for quite a while in outdoor settings. In addition to the
inverter device, you would need a deep-cycle battery (such as for
marine, or similar applications) and a plug-in battery charger. My
setup even operated a cash register. If your need for power exceeds
that of one battery, you could just carry an extra fully-charged
battery with you. Together, the equipment does not take up very much
room, especially if you drive a van or similar vehicle.

I hope this helps. It was a very good system for my needs.


I’ve seen a few setups that use the lighting heads from a
low-voltage outdoor lighting system, and one or more marine trolling
motor batteries with a carry case. They recharge them from either a
vehicle hookup, or a inexpensive battery charger. Some of these
heads are quite attractive, being made to look like lanterns and the
like, and the floodlights put out a substantial amount of light.

Ron Charlotte – Gainesville, FL
@Ron_Charlotte1 OR

If you are looking to use standard type lighting (non-halogen)
fixtures, then all you need to do is buy yourself a large car or
truck 12 volt battery (or borrow the battery from your neighbors
car). Take a regular extension cord cut off the plug end (the male
end). Put on a couple of alligator clamps big enough to work on the
post of the battery. Some batteries do not have post but you can put
a bolt in the battery threaded hole and clamp to the bolt. Buy how
many ever light fixtures you want and style. The metal shield ones
with the clamp work okay. Then go to the auto parts store and they
sell 12volt light bulbs that work in regular light fixtures. Also
Grainger sells them. Just plug the light fixtures in your extension
cord, connect the extension cord to the battery and you have your
light system. You probably want to buy a small battery charger to
keep your battery charged when not using. There also are those stick
on lights they sell on TV that you push on the lens. They use
regular C or D cell batterys and they work pretty good too, but you
have to invest in a lot of batterys.

Warren Townsend

Nancy Helmer asked for sources for a battery operated lighting
system for use in outdoor shows.

This company offers a system that will get a “few” hours of light at
outdoor shows from a 12 volt battery. They suggest the best type of
battery to use.

Daniel Kamman
Cambridge, MA

This is a link to Eclectic Lighting who has a wonderful 12v track
lighting system you can use with a deep cycle marine battery. It’s
the system I use.

HI all I just want to shed some light and experience with battery
outdoor lighting. Last year was my first in to show circuit and I
needed lights.

I used the Eclectic Lighting system -12v track lighting system that
can be used with a deep cycle marine battery. (s) Yes to have the
lights for a 2 day show, 7 hours each day I needed 4 batteries. Or
carry 2 back and recharge overnight. The reason is if you draw the
battery to zero you can not recharge it. They don’t tell you that.
My husband did the “home work” and spoke to the battery manufacture
rep. He told us you can only draw the battery down to about 25% then
it takes about 12 hours to fully recharge. When you calculate the
watts and the volt thing (I don’t understand this stuff!) you find
out 1 battery probably will not be enough. Here’s the down side
each battery weights 75 pounds, that’s 300 pounds of battery to

They worked great but I am not up to carrying that kind of weight.
So, if any one is interested I will be selling very soon. I want to
be able to share the max watts one can expect. I have both the
batteries and the track lighting system and a dc converter. If any
one is interested email me at and I’ll
get the specifics for you.

Good luck!
Barbara Smith McLaughlin - Handcrafted Jewelry
PO Box 793
Stratham, NH 03885

You might look at another way to do this. On the market now are
small generators that weigh about 28 to 30 pounds, deliver 1000
watts, and run for 7 hours on half a gallon of gas. The best thing
about them is that they are very quiet, about 47 to 50 decibels, or
about the noise from people talking. Honda, Yamaha, and Kawasaki
all have these on the market. The power delivered is 110, stable
and suitable for running computers and other stuff that can’t vary
much. If you are outside, the very small emissions shouldn’t be a
problem, and if indoors, you will likely have access to electricity.

Judy Hoch, GG

“Wired” magazine just reviewed 3 portable generators. You might also
check Consumer Reports. David Barzilay, Lord of the Rings

Just a note of caution about generators. Most art fairs do not allow
generators to be used. Check with the show before spending the

    You might look at another way to do this.  On the market now
are small generators <snip>     they are very quiet, about 47 to 50
decibels, or about the noise from people talking.  If you are
outside, the very small emissions shouldn't be a problem 

Ah, but they do still produce noise and emissions. Every year at one
certain street art fair, my father’s jewelry booth is next to that of
an artist who uses a generator to run lights and a fan to cool her
booth. It’s a very tiny generator, but it still makes noise and emits
fumes. By the end of the day we are dizzy from diesel fumes, and
slightly deaf. I suppose it’s not noticed by most of the customers
because they’re not standing next to it all day, but vending near it
is quite annoying. I wouldn’t inflict one on my booth neighbors!

–Kathy Johnson
Feathered Gems Pet Motif Jewelry