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I would like to run about 200W of incandescent light bulbs from a 6v battery.

I would like to run about 200W of incandescent light bulbs from a 6v battery. This is not my area of expertise. Do I have to worry about the amperage being quite high? Will these bulbs operate the same as if connected to a 110v AC power supply, or do modifications need to be made? I need them to operate at the same level to provide the same amount of light and heat. I would like to wire the battery to some AC outlets in series for this application (understanding that this does not make them suitable for other AC uses). Does this present a problem? Any help is appreciated.

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NachoMahma7 years ago
.  110 VAC incandescent lamps will work just fine with 110 VDC.
.  110 VAC incandescent lamps will not work with 6 V (AC or DC). There will be some current flow, but you won't make much (if any) light.
.  It will take 33-and-a-third Amps (not RPM heehee) to drive 200 W worth of 6 V lamps.
.
.  Do NOT, under any circumstance, connect batteries to mains voltage!
BigNateMI (author)  NachoMahma7 years ago
Yes, thank you, I wanted to know if 110 VAC lamps would run on 110 VDC, but was unable to phrase that correctly.

OK, have done more research. It looks like a 6v battery with 13000mAh will run 160W of light bulbs for about 0.5 hours with an inverter. That is less than I had hoped, but it is the answer I sought. This is actually for a display of scented wax warmers that my wife sells. I have devised a nice, compact, lightweight display which runs from 110v AC power. I had hoped to make a self-contained version for trade shows where power outlets are difficult to reach. It looks like the economical option is extension cord and some duct tape. Thanks, everyone for all the help.
rickharris7 years ago
For battery use I would suggest a bank of high brightness LED's is a better solution.

The battery will provide 6 volts (not 110v) at a certain current depending on the battery - this should be marked on it. you can calculate what this means in terms of watts by multiplying the Voltage by the Amperage.

So typically a car battery may be capable of producing 35 Amps for an hour (35amperhours)  so 6 x 35 = 210 watts for an hour (BUT at 6 volts which won't light your mains lamps) but will light LED's for a long time.


jeff-o7 years ago
What you're proposing, plain and simple, will not work.

I assume that you want the battery to act as some sort of battery backup?  If that's the case, you'll need another piece of hardware in there to take care of it.  At the very least, you'll need something called an inverter that converts the output from the battery to 110V.  However, most inverters are expecting 12V so you'll need to upgrade your battery, too.

If you want it all to be automatic, I suggest you invest in a UPS (uninterruptible power supply).  These contain a battery, a battery charger, and an inverter all in one neat package.  Simply plug in your lights to the UPS, and plug the UPS into the wall.  When the power goes out, the UPS will switch from wall power to battery power.  How long the lights last will depend on how big the UPS is (and, how much you spent on it!)
You cannot just hook up light bulbs intended for use with a 110 VAC supply to a 6 VDC supply and expect this to work.

However there are ways to run such loads from batteries, and the usual trick is to use a power converter, also commonly called an "inverter".  Speaking generally the specifications  for such a converter will include,  the kind of input power it is intended to run from (i.e. what kind of supply you plug it into), and the kind of output power it will supply (i.e. what kind of loads you can power with it).
See:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inverter_%28electrical%29

Probably the most common kind of inverter you will find in the Former U.S. is the kind intended to run from a 12 V (DC) battery, and intended for powering loads you'd normally plug into (110 V AC) mains power. Mostly people use these things for powering small loads in their cars, like charging laptops, cell phone charger, power tools, etc. These inverters are usually rated in terms of the biggest total load power they can supply (in watts), and the physical size and weight, and price tag, scale with this power rating.

Inverters that run from a 6 VDC input are much less common, so this may lead you use a 12 V battery instead, or maybe two of your 6 V ones wired in series.

The next consideration is finding a battery actually capable of comfortably supplying DC power to the inverter for how ever many hours your application requires.

As others have pointed out:  neglecting losses, the power on input side (Pin=Vin*Iin) be approximately equal to the power on the output side (Pout=Vout*Iout), and this will lead to large amount of DC input current from the battery, something like 20 amperes, for a 12 V battery.  Thus your battery is going to have to be something kinda beefy, to pull this trick off.  Maybe the same batteries they use for golf carts, or something similar.  More specifically the capacity of batteries is rated in units called ampere*hours, and that rating is at a certain discharge rate; e.g. 100 amp*hours, at the 10 amp rate.  Anyway, it is numbers like these that you'll have to consider for this, whatever it is, that you're thinking about building.