A large 12v battery would not work for me as it would be to large and heavy. Is there any way to use AA, AAA, C, 9v, etc.? If so, what parts would I need?
Your best option would be 10 nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) batteries in series. This will provide 12V. As for the size of batteries, almost any of the typical sizes would do (AAA, AA, C, or D), but, of course, the larger the battery, the longer the runtime. Assuming the light strip uses 1.2A, as advertised, you will get approximately the following runtimes with the following battery sizes:- 10 AAA’s in series: ~45 minutes (assuming the batteries have a capacity of 900mAh)- 10 AA’s in series: ~2hrs (assuming the batteries have a capacity of 2400mAh)- 10 C’s in series: ~6hrs (assuming the batteries have a capacity of 6000mAh)- 10 D’s in series: ~10hrs (assuming the batteries have a capacity of 12000mAh)If you need more runtime while using a given battery size, then adding another 10 batteries in series, and putting them in parallel with the original 10 batteries, will double the runtime.As for needed parts, look here: http://www.parts-express.com/wizards/searchResults.cfm?srchExt=Cat&srchCat=64. For example, if you use AA’s, then buy any configuration of AA battery holders that adds up to 10 batteries. For example, a 6-cell holder and a 4-cell holder. Or, an 8-cell holder and a 2-cell holder. You will also need the 9V battery clips shown on that page, to be able to easily wire the holders together. To wire it up, connect the battery holders in series (by attaching the red wire of one holder to the black wire of another), then connect it to the light strip. If you go with battery sizes other than AA’s then you’ll have to look elsewhere for the battery holders because PE only sells AA battery holders it would seem.Here’s a discussion of some other battery options:- As you said, a 12V lead-acid battery would not work. Lead-acid batteries have a low energy density, so they’re heavy and generally not good for portable applications.- Lithium-based batteries: unless you’re experienced with electronics, and have done thorough research on how to use lithium batteries (especially concerning safety), then stay away from lithium batteries! They can be very dangerous!- Nickel-cadmium would work just about as well as NiMH, but would have runtimes of about 40% less for a given battery size. Also, NiCads are now rare because they are being phased out, due to the fact that they contain toxic cadmium.- Alkaline batteries would not work well, unless you use a HUGE number of batteries (which then wouldn’t be very portable). Alkalines can only deliver very small currents with any reasonable amount of efficiency. If you try drawing a large current from an alkaline battery, it will die prematurely because a lot of its power will be wasted as heat within the battery. Generally, a AA alkaline can only reasonably deliver up to about 500mA, and a D alkaline can deliver up to about 2500mA. Also note, when putting batteries in series, the same rules apply for the current. So, a single AA can only effectively deliver 500mA, just as 2 AA’s in series can only effectively deliver 500mA. So, if you wanted to use alkalines for this light strip, you’d need 8 AA’s in series (to get 12V), and then have 2 (preferably 3) banks of those 8 batteries in parallel (16 − 24 AA’s in total), in order to ensure that none of the batteries are delivering too much current (3x500mA = 1500mA = 1.5A, which would be enough to be able to deliver the light strip’s 1.2A needs).- There are other battery types that could be used as well, but they are rare, so no point discussing them.- As for 9V batteries, do not use them for this application, no matter what battery chemistry they are (alkaline, NiMH, NiCad, etc). For one thing they won’t provide the right voltage (9V will probably light up the strip, but dimly). Also, 9V batteries can only deliver minuscule amounts of current. I believe that a 9V alkaline can only effectively deliver about 50mA, and a 9V NiMH can deliver about 250mA.
Date published: 2013-09-15