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How long will your batteries power my lights?

battery powered led light strips Here at HitLights we sell battery packs to power our strips and LED products. They're relatively simple, you charge them and plug them in, and your lights turn on! A little more complicated, however, is figuring out which battery you need, and how long it will power your lights for. Today, we're going to figure that out. All of our strips draw a certain amount of Watts, or power, from either a power supply, or in this case, a battery. The capacity of batteries is measured in mAh (milliamp hours) or Ah (amp hours). One mAh is one thousandth of one Ah. The batteries we sell have a capacity of either 3800 mAh (3.8 Ah) or 6000 mAh (6 Ah). But how do they relate to Watts?

670px-Calculate-Wattage-Step-1-Version-2

That's also relatively simple. The electrical power formula states that Watts = Amps x Volts. Our lights run on 12 Volts. So if we plug that into the formula we realize one amp is the equivalent of 12 watts of power. Thus, our two batteries actually contain 45.6 Watt Hours (12 x 3.8) and 72 Watt Hours (12 x 6) respectively. From here, your total battery capacity in time is pretty easy to calculate. Start with the total Wattage of your strip - let's say the Standard Density Luma 10 strips at 32 Watts, and divide that battery capacity by that number. From these we find that the 3800 mAh battery can power this strip for 1.425 hours (45.6 / 32) and the 6000 mAh battery can power this strip for 2.25 hours (72 / 32).

Those times are good enough for most applications, but if you do the math and you're looking for more run time, then the only answer is more capacity. There are a range of 12V batteries available, but they're mostly large. A car battery, for example, will be in the 60 Ah (720 Watt Hour) range, which is more than most people will ever need. More realistically, you can get smaller power tool or yard equipment batteries in the 10-15 Ah range that will power most LED strip set ups for quite some time!

Want to learn more? Contact a friendly HitLights customer service representative today:
customerservice@hitlights.com
1-855-768-4135

Comment

  • Tom
    Tom
    Great article. Now can you please tell how this relates to A, AA, and AAA batteries you would buy from the store for a more concrete example?
    • An alkaline Double A (AA) battery typically carries a capacity rating of 2500 mAh & 1.5V. You'd need at least 8 AAs to get enough amperage to actually make the lights come on. Then you would plug these numbers into the same formulas as above. One AA battery contains 3.75 Watt Hours ((2500/1000)*1.5). So, (8 x 3.75Wh) / 32W = .9375hrs (or 56minutes). This is all theoretical of course. In reality you'd be better off using some 9V batteries.
  • ken
    ken
    how many hours can I run 25 metres of led stips on a car battery
    • Ken,

      It would depend on the size of the battery (in Ah) and the current (in A) or wattage (in W) of the strips. Please contact our customer service team at customerservice@hitlights.com with those numbers and they'll be glad to help you out!
  • Jenny
    Jenny
    can a 12 volt car battery support the 4 led lights?
    • Dylan Wilbur
      Dylan Wilbur
      Jenny - Yes, car batteries can run our 12V LED light strips, no problem!
  • Mike
    Mike
    Hey...I have about 4 feet of led strip lighting...I was using a 9v and it seems to do a pretty good job...but I'm thinking of switching to a 12v rechargeable 1800 mah battery (found on eBay called the blue brick)...is that too much or too little...I don't want to burn them out.....I would only need a few hours or solid run time before a recharge...but obviously the longer the better....e mail me when you can....and thanks
    • Dylan Wilbur
      Dylan Wilbur
      Mike,

      We definitely recommend the 12V battery. 9V is too low for our strips to run on reliably!
  • Nite
    Nite
    I want to run a 96 12VLED Taxi Dome light for about 10-12 hours - would one of your batteries do the trick? I hope so, and if so, I'll need about eight of them.
    • Dylan Wilbur
      Dylan Wilbur
      Nite, we'd need to know the wattage of those Taxi Dome lights. You can contact our customer service team at customerservice@hitlights.com and they'll be happy to help you out!

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