Inverter 240 instead of 12 volt

Submitted: Monday, May 19, 2008 at 20:45
ThreadID: 57781 Views:3994 Replies:4 FollowUps:4
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I have a camper which is wired for both 240 and 12 volt. The 240 light is a 11 watt high energy flouro bulb and lights the camper real well. But when I am on 12 volt it has a 21 watt bulb in the same light fitting and is near to useless. My question is ... if I get a small inverter say 150 watt and feed the 240 into the camper 240 supply socket I can then run the internal light on 240 with a great light at 11 watt. The total power used would be the 11 watt lamp plus the inverter inefficiences and I would dare to say that the total load would be equal to or less than running the 21 watt lamp on its own. By only using a low output inverter the inefficientcies of the unit percentage wise would be less than using say a 300 watt one or would it be proportional to the load.
With my set up the 3 way fridge works real well on gas and this light is the only 12 volt gear I use and have a 100 watt solar panel for charging
Any comments constructive or derogerty would be greatly appreciated

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Reply By: Steve - Monday, May 19, 2008 at 21:11

Monday, May 19, 2008 at 21:11
yes mate - the power used by the inverter is proportionate to the load, so you'll have to get you calculator out

we have a similar issue - the 12v lights are just enough but not brilliant. It all depends on your usage but for us, rather than bugger about with the inverter we make do/sometimes have the LED worklight on(particularly outside) and use LED headlamps for a read in bed.
AnswerID: 304756

Reply By: AndrewX - Monday, May 19, 2008 at 21:26

Monday, May 19, 2008 at 21:26
The lights in my van are all 12v lights. They light the van brilliantly. When I have 240v they run via a transformer and if I'm on 12v they run from the battery. There are downlight type reading lights at the bed, range hood and seating, three circular fluoros in the ceiling and outside. The ensuite, boot and door handle have normal 12v globes. There is no difference between 12v and 240v operation as they are all 12v globes.
AnswerID: 304761

Reply By: Ianw - Monday, May 19, 2008 at 22:53

Monday, May 19, 2008 at 22:53
It may work, but be aware that flouro lights dont like inverters and most inverters dont like flouros. The flouro will probably run hot and will have a short life.

Best to get a 12v 11watt compact flouro and if necessary, put in another light fitting for it. These lights are just as efficient as 240 volt ones and only pull about .8 amp from battery.

AnswerID: 304782

Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Monday, May 19, 2008 at 23:33

Monday, May 19, 2008 at 23:33
Caravan accessory shops carry various styles of high efficiency flouro lights. Some have circular tubes, some 2D tubes and some straight PL tubes. You should get one of these for under $60 which will be cheaper than any inverter. They also seem to be better efficiency when run off 12 V with the 25 kHz frequency driving them. my 17 W 2D tubes only draw 1A from the battery. If you have a 100 W panel and only use it for your light you have no need of 240 V mains.

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FollowupID: 570840

Follow Up By: oldtrack123 - Thursday, May 22, 2008 at 21:36

Thursday, May 22, 2008 at 21:36
Flouro liigts don't like MOD sine wave invertor ,but ok with pure sine wave.
Best option is get 12v flouros as per Peter D
FollowupID: 571355

Follow Up By: Ianw - Thursday, May 22, 2008 at 23:10

Thursday, May 22, 2008 at 23:10
Agreed about the sine wave thing but if you had read my follow up all the way thru I said that 12v flouros were best !!!!!
FollowupID: 571365

Reply By: GaryInOz (Vic) - Wednesday, May 21, 2008 at 11:24

Wednesday, May 21, 2008 at 11:24
Get some high efficiency LED's. 1 or 2 watts would be all you need for an equivalent 20-40 watt incandescent.

Basically would exist on the "waste" power needed by an inverter to make a 9-11 watt CFL work (12v or 240v) in other word FAR more efficient.
AnswerID: 305040

Follow Up By: Ianw - Thursday, May 22, 2008 at 23:24

Thursday, May 22, 2008 at 23:24
LEDs cannot possibly hope to compare with the lumens per watt output of a CFL. CFLs are acknowledged to be the most efficient light. Even 11 x 1watt LEDs do not have the light output of an 11w CFL. LEDs appear to be bright only because they concentrate all their light thru a magnifying glass to a single
spot. Ideal in some situations, but this is not suitable for efficient lighting of a room or camper.

FollowupID: 571367

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