View Full Version : LED string lights

03-09-2013, 11:04 AM
So, I am about to finally start making some modifications to my Tacoma. It has a rooftop tent that I want to install lighting into. My plan is to run a wire from the auxiliary battery (installing that later this month) to the bed of the truck and then up to the tent.

My question is: Can I just take a regular old LED light string from MalWart, cut off the AC outlet, and wire it directly to the wire from the auxiliary battery (but via a fuse obviously). I mean, LEDs are all DC right? There must be something to convert the AC to DC in the plug on most LED light strings, right?

Thanks for helping someone with about zero knowledge of electricity.

03-09-2013, 12:16 PM
How big is the plug you're cutting off? Is a wall wart sorta looking thing?

Also, how many LEDs are in the string? Are we talking a dozen maybe or more like 100?

My first thought is that no, you would not be able to do this. Yes, LEDs are DC devices, making DC from AC is one of their primary uses. What is likely is that the string won't light.

Good news is depending on how the string is made you might be able to re-wire it to work like you want.

03-09-2013, 12:50 PM
I would run the stock LED light string from a small DC-to-AC inverter - you wouldn't need a big one to run that small string. If you buy a bigger inverter, though, you could run radios, lamps, your razor, etc. Big picture - you might enjoy a 400watt 110v source in your tent.

03-09-2013, 01:54 PM
Here's a link that explains the process. Looks like the inverter would work well, or get a string that is preset to run off of 12 volts.


03-09-2013, 04:07 PM
An easy way to take care of this is to co to a RV supply store and buy a set of strings madefor 12v. You can keep the plug and go to the hardware store and buy a wall style receptacle wire it to the battery and plug in the lights. That way you can also plug in any other 12v device like coffee maker or ????

03-10-2013, 11:49 AM
You can pick something like this up at most auto parts stores in the accessory department for $15-20 bucks. I have one with 6 led's attached with zip ties to the center bar of my RTT with a thumb switch from an old lamp in the wire to the trailer battery.

03-11-2013, 08:42 AM
It's easiest to use DC. Go to this place----> http://www.superbrightleds.com/

03-11-2013, 12:03 PM
it's Easiest To Use Dc. Go To This Place----> http://www.superbrightleds.com/


03-11-2013, 02:36 PM
Thanks for all the help folks! Looks like the options are to get LEDs made for 12v or use an inverter. I do plan to install a 400w inverter in the near future, but that's gonna be in the cab, and I don't want to have to run an extension cord up into the tent every time. I think I'll pick up some of the purpose built 12v LEDs mentioned above.

03-11-2013, 08:21 PM
Mike (TreerootCO) has some cool LED light bar/tube things in his RTT that dim. Maybe he will post up.

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03-15-2013, 07:29 PM