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Help with battery powering 5m 12v LED strip Answered

So its Halloween time again and I decided to up the ante this year and make the Tron robe Jeff wears from the new movie. Costumes are nothing new to me, but I have almost no electrical skill. I've been googling and searching forums, but all the cases differ from mine, and I want to be 100% certain about my set up.
So first off, I have 5m of 12v Leds from here.      http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0085UPTT4/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i00
I would like to battery power them for at least 2 hours at a time minimum, and I was considering splitting the strip into two 2.5 strips and putting a battery pack on each. But I know nothing about electricity and math has never been my strong suite for figuring amps and whatnot. I've heard that I will need a resistor and batteries weighing pounds to run just a few hours!
Help would be greatly appreciated.

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steveastroukBest Answer (author)2012-10-21

For every hour of operation, you need 2Ah of battery capacity. You don't need any resistors- they're all built in the rope.

So you need a sealed lead acid battery of 4Ah capacity, which isn't THAT big. Here's a sample., it weighs around 4 pounds.
http://www.rapidonline.com/Electrical-Power/Haze-12V-5AH-SLA-Battery-HZS12-5-18-1157

The alternative is 20 1.5V cells - and they'll weigh close to the same.

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7poiNt (author)steveastrouk2012-10-22

Would making smaller circuits improve battery length or would that not be significant enough? I don't know the equations. And would lantern batteries work in place of the lead acid. (safety concerns) Do Leds really drain that much power?

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steveastrouk (author)7poiNt2012-10-22

SLA are perfectly safe. They are SEALED and can be used anyway up.

Steve

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7poiNt (author)steveastrouk2012-10-22

Cool. I've been reading and do ing the math and think I'm gonna cut back as many leds as I can to cut amps. Regardless, my last question is, can I attach simple 22 gauge wire to a sealed battery? Do I need anything special?

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steveastrouk (author)2012-10-23

The batteries usually have 1/4" slide-on terminals, which need crimps.

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7poiNt (author)steveastrouk2012-10-23

Cools. Thanks for all the help!

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bwrussell (author)2012-10-21

Not sure on how the power source compares but it seems that most people would prefer EL wire for a task like this. Beyond any electronics advantage it glows evenly as it's not made of a bunch of point sources.

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steveastrouk (author)bwrussell2012-10-22

Yeah, I agree. The brightness isn't great though, and they already bought the LEDS....

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7poiNt (author)steveastrouk2012-10-22

I've worked around that. I'm using polyethylene and cotton fabric to diffuse the light. It works remarkably well for about two inches wide.

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