We exchanged emails with a customer who installed our 12-volt lights in his car for the Christmas season. The discussion touched on quite a few questions that we hear so we thought sharing the email thread might help other folks as well.
Here was the first question:
The cigarette lighter male end looks to be extremely long and space consuming and space in that area of mycar is very limited. Is there anyway I could hook it up to one of these and connect it to a cigarette port USB charger?
Here is what I’m thinking: USB A Male to 12V Car Cigarette Lighter Socket Female Converter
Here’s a photo of this converter courtesy of Amazon.com:
I THINK that this product might work with our lights but since we have no experience, I’m really unsure about how to answer your question.Our lights have a .1 amp current draw so it should be sufficient.I cannot with great confidence answer your question. <smile>If you try this and it works, please let me know. Have a Merrry Christmas!Shellie
Hey just a heads up, it works. Something to pass on to your customers in case they’re like me. Lights work great, thanks again!
That’s the other main reason I did it, I didn’t want to have to plug it and unplug it every time I turned my car on and off, respectively. I fished the wire under the center console through the shifter, underneath the glovebox, underneath the weatherstrip and trim past the A pillar and into the B pillar. From there I fished the wire through the weatherstrip in the crease or the rear passenger door and reinforced that section with heavy duty electrical tape to protect it from opening and closing door. Wrapped it around the roof bars after that. Except for that small piece of wire running to the roof bar, made for a near clean and hidden install. And the best part is when its time to take them down, I can store the end that connects to lights in the trim and tuck it away until next year instead of having to rewire everything again.
Thank you, likewise Merry Christmas to you as well.
Here are photos of the complete project:
I would be more concerned about the additional lighting added to your vehicle. I know some police do not like “auxiliary” lighting on automobiles. My son was ticketed for having wheel well lighting as being unnecessary auxiliary lights not approved by DOT or as “standard” equipment. I tried to argue it with the authorities by citing as an example, all the extra auxiliary lighting some semis have but since they are interstate only the state in which the truck was registered in can enforce whatever law / regulation / whatever code they have on the books. . . Just say folks.
Thanks for the good word. Who would have thought? I guess we’ll all have to check with our local authorities. It is good to know this before I drive to through other states with lights and garlands on my luggage rack!
I would also like to know if these wires can be cut and connected directly to a 12v rv light?
Because these types of lights are LED with low current rated wiring, we don’t suggest you cut them for installation.
You might consider a 12-volt female socket to clip adapter and connect directly to a battery. They can be found at some electrical supply stores and on amazon. (Be sure to check the reviews!)
Can these lights be directly wired into the parking lights wiring to come on with the parking lights or do you have to use the lighter adapter?
Most of our customers use the lighter adapter – either plugging it in directy or plugging them into a 1 to 3 or 4 adapter with a switch. We’re not sure what any kinds of codes or regulations are in your area regarding this type of lighting connected directly into your braking circuit so you might consider researching that as a first step. (Great question, by the way!)