How to Choose 12V Camp Lighting for Beginners

How to Choose 12V Camp Lighting for Beginners


(upbeat music) – Hey guys, it’s Ben
from Snowys here today. I want to give you a very brief rundown on 12-volt lighting for those who might be new to the products. In particular, strip lighting. Come in two types. The first
one I’m going to show you is this flexible strip light here. This plugs into your 12-volt power source. Many of these you can cut to length; great for going inside door jambs and places where you want
to permanently mount it. Maybe inside a storage box
in the back of your car. Good tip, though, make sure
you use quality 3M adhesive when you’re attaching this anywhere. Otherwise, it just peels off. Now, the other type you can
get is these stiff light bars, which is an LED strip contained
within an alloy casing. Now, these are great for hanging
wherever you want, really. They can go up in a gazebo,
under an awning, inside a tent. You can also string
multiple lights together. And they come as a kit of
two, three, four, five bars all together, often with different lengths of extension cords so you can set up a whole lighting system
all through your campsite. The last one I’m going to
show you is these light bars, which come with both
orange and white lights. They flick between the two. The orange light is great
for keeping insects at bay. The important thing to note here, though, is that the plugs for the
orange/white light combinations are actually a four pin plug, so between the light and the dimmer, you need to use a four pin plug, rather than the single pin
plug of the white bars. You may be wondering about
the quality difference between various brands on the market. Now, a good quality
light is going to put up with the rigours of four-wheel driving far better than a cheaper alternative. The terminations of the
wires in the ends are better, and the waterproof seals
are so much better as well. A good quality brand comes with
a whole range of accessories to customise your light set up. Extension cords, dimmer switches, wireless dimmer switches,
two 40-volt adapters. It gives you tonnes of options when you go for a better quality kit. Now, good quality kits are
also really easy to set up. They don’t require any
soldering or wiring. They’re all pretty much plug and play. They’ve got waterproof seals
on the end of all the wires. You plug them in, and you’re good to go. You also might be wondering if you can join different brands together. Possibly, but in reality,
you’re best sticking with the one brand to
make sure the performance and terminations of the plugs are all going to work really well. Now, how many light bars do you need? Well, it depends how much
light you want, really. A small bar like this is going
to give you about 300 lumens, which is enough to find your way around the side of the tent. But if you really want
to light the space up, you can string multiple bars
together in different locations to get light from different angles, make sure there’s no shadows,
and use extension cords to set them up in different
places around your campsite. So it depends on what your
custom set up needs to be. Now you will need 12-volt power to run your 12-volt lighting system. Now, this can be in the form of power from your car, or your car battery. Preferably, though, an auxiliary battery, because you don’t want to flatten the main car battery in your vehicle. You can get two 40-volt adapters for the better quality brands if you’ve got power at your campsite. Now it can get pretty tricky
working out how many light bars and how much power you can
run from one cigarette socket. Well, to give you an example, a factory-fitted cigarette
socket in most vehicles is rated to about 120 watts, or ten amps. Now, the total of all the
things you’re plugging into that socket can’t
go over that rating. Now you might think that
this light bar, for example, being 1.2 amps, great,
you can run eight of them off of that one socket, but
that’s not a good way to go, because you’re pushing the limits of the rating of that socket, and you’re going to start
to potentially melt wires, or at least they’re going
to get very hot in the car. Performance is going to reduce and potentially cause a fire. You’re best sticking well
below that total rating. Most light kits come with about five bars, which is enough for a standard socket to run for probably one to two days. If you’re running a five
bar light kit and a fridge and anything else from one socket, it’s a good idea to go and
consult your auto electrician, get the wiring in your
car upgraded to make sure you’re not pushing those boundaries. So that was a very brief rundown on 12-volt lighting, setting
up your 12-volt lighting. If you’ve got any questions,
give us a call: 1-300-914-007. Check out our range at snowys.com.au. We’ve got free delivery Australia-wide. Thanks for watching. We’ll see you next time. (upbeat music)


One thought on “How to Choose 12V Camp Lighting for Beginners

  1. great video, looking at making some setup for my van for camping with a tent etc, to travel aus for fun. much appreciated.

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