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Easy Instant Portable Lighting for Craft shows

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Picture of Easy Instant Portable Lighting for Craft shows
Here in Sacramento we have an art-walk event each month called Second Saturday. Unfortunately a couple of the larger venues for an artist to set up and sell their goods have gone by the wayside (***If anyone in Sac has room for a vendor I'd love to hear about it!!!***) but when I was vending at the Midtown Bazaar I was in need of booth lighting. I took a look at what some of the other vendors were using (Power-Packs) but really did NOT want to spend $200+ on one that didn't 'scream' when they were under a load. I've been next to vendors who were using the cheaper ones and they had to unplug just to hear their customers. I think the noise actually drove shoppers away. Besides, I prefer to make my own! And I've noticed my homemade lighting lasts longer as well.

I found a couple tutorials but they were confusing or sounded like way too much work. So I made my own.

You will need:
            * 1 Deep-Cycle Marine Battery - these are meant to be run down and recharged repeatedly. Auto batteries will work but not as well and not as long so you're wasting your time and money. WallyWorld has these for less than $100 if you can turn in another battery (any type) and avoid the core charge.
            * 1 Pair small auto headlights. It doesn't matter what type car they fit. I paid about $18 for a set of 2 new ones. You may find them cheaper or free.
             * Wire. Take a look at the wiring coming off the headlights and use the same gauge. I used one package each of black and white because my booth is decorated in those colors. I needed enough wire to run them from the battery to each side of my 10x10 canopy I use for shows so I used 20 feet of each color for each light.
             * Wire cutter/crimper
             * Wire connectors that will fit the connectors on the headlights.
             * Small battery clamps
I spent a grand total of $120 and I bought everything new except the wire tool. (If we hadn't moved 5 times in the past 8 years I could have spent far less - I know I have a boat battery SOMEwhere!)
 
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Mikey85671 year ago
As far as getting the most (time) out of a full charge on the battery LED lighting would be the best. Low draw coupled with a deep cycle that you already have would mean maybe charging the battery once a month depending on how often you use them, Here's a link to some on Ebay.

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p3872.m570.l1313&_nkw=LED+driving+lights&_sacat=See-All-Categories

Basically some LED Driving lights would be the best bet, you can get them there on Ebay very cheap or you can find them at most automotive supply stores.
Mikey85671 year ago
The fact about the setting a battery on concrete is that a lead acid battery will "gas" during temperature changes even when there is no charger or draw (load) on it. In doing so it creates a liquid acid film on top of the battery, with this and dust and dirt that has settled on top of the battery it creates a natural load (a resistor if you were to put it into terms) between the terminals thus creating a draw on the battery. After enough time it will discharge the battery, So yes the Myth that leaving a battery on concrete will discharge a battery is just that 'A Myth". As far as using a lead acid battery at a show it's a safer method to get a plastic battery box (the type they use in boats) with it's cover and then you don't have to worry about acid ever leaking out onto the concrete during use or charging.
Lowriderpr1 year ago
Nice job love it :)
kenmnotts2 years ago
Just to help try replacing the bulbs in the lights with led’s or use day time running lights and the battery will give light for days instead of hours. I have one in my garage that gets charged one a month and this is used every evening when working on the car as garage light and lead light
oddartist (author)  kenmnotts2 years ago
I just needed something to light things up when night fell but I did a show in an old foundry last year where there were no windows and the lighting sucked so I had these little lights burning for about 8 hours one day. A week later I did an evening show outdoors and lit up my booth for about another 5 hours and never noticed any dimming. And I had forgotten to recharge between shows!
sounds like you could do nicely with a smaller lighter battery.
oddartist (author)  heathbar642 years ago
Walley-World only had one deep-cycle battery and I needed lights the next day for the foundry show. Do deep-cycles batteries come smaller?
iApple guy2 years ago
You could use a sealed lead acid battery to make things safer, then a battery that is releasing gases!
darkclaw422 years ago
This would work wonderfully as a independent lighting system if paired with one of those "car battery" solar chargers!

Great ible.
Here's some more info about the "car-battery and concrete" issue form the folks at Car Talk ~
http://www.cartalk.com/content/business-batteries-and-concrete-floors-needs-be
oddartist (author) 2 years ago
Insofar as the concrete and battery thing go, I figure it never hurts to go that extra inch and put something under it. I even put tape over the ends of smaller batteries if I store spares in a zip-lock bag. And yes, I store them in the fridge even though they don't need to be there. You see, I misplace things all the time (usually when I put them in a 'safe place') but at least I always know where to find a fresh battery!
l8nite2 years ago
great idea and nicely done "ible" We were just discussing doing somethink like this with red lights for this years haunt. I don't know why setting a battery on concrete kills the battery but it does, from experince
From the Wind & Sun Deep Cycle Battery FAQ (http://www.windsun.com/Batteries/Battery_FAQ.htm):

"The old myth about not storing batteries on concrete floors is just that - a myth. This story has been around for 100 years, and originated back when battery cases were made up of wood and asphalt. The acid would leak from them, and form a slow-discharging circuit through the now acid-soaked and conductive floor."
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