If you have a device that runs on 12 volts and can be powered through a cigarette lighter in your car, you might want to know how to wire it up correctly. The process is not that difficult, but it is essential to ensure that you don’t damage your car or the device you are trying to power. In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about wiring a 12-volt cigarette lighter plug.
What is a cigarette lighter plug?
A cigarette lighter plug is a device that plugs into your car’s cigarette lighter port and provides power to your electronic devices that require 12 volts to operate. This type of plug is commonly used for GPS devices, phone chargers, and other small devices that can be powered through the car’s electrical system.
The cigarette lighter plug has two components: the plug itself and the wiring that connects it to the car’s electrical system. The wiring consists of two wires: a positive wire and a negative wire.
Wiring a 12-volt cigarette lighter plug
To wire up a 12-volt cigarette lighter plug, you will need the following tools and materials:
|12-volt cigarette lighter plug
|Tape or shrink tubing
|12-volt power source
Follow the steps below to wire up your cigarette lighter plug:
Step 1: Prepare the wires
Start by stripping about 1/2 inch of insulation from the end of each wire. Use your wire strippers to do this carefully, so you don’t damage the wire underneath. You should have a red wire and a black wire.
Step 2: Connect the wires to the plug
The cigarette lighter plug has two terminals: one for the positive wire and one for the negative wire. The positive terminal is usually marked with a plus (+) sign or a red color, while the negative terminal is usually marked with a minus (-) sign or a black color.
To connect the wires to the plug, insert the positive wire into the positive terminal and the negative wire into the negative terminal. Use your wire cutters to trim any excess wire being careful not to cut too close to the terminal.
Step 3: Insulate the wires
Once the wires are connected, cover each connection point with electrical tape or shrink tubing. This step ensures that the wires don’t touch each other, causing a short circuit.
Step 4: Test the plug
Plug the cigarette lighter plug into a 12-volt power source, such as your car’s cigarette lighter socket. If the device you are trying to power does not come on or is not receiving power, check your connections on the plug and redo any that are loose or not connected properly.
FAQ about wiring a 12-volt cigarette lighter plug
Q: Can I use any wire to wire up a cigarette lighter plug?
A: No. You should use wire that is suitable for 12-volt power. The recommended wire gauge is 16-18 AWG. Using wire that is too thin can cause overheating and damage to your device or your car’s electrical system.
Q: Can I wire up multiple cigarette lighter plugs in my car?
A: Yes, you can. However, you need to make sure that the total power consumption of the devices connected to the plugs does not exceed the maximum current capacity of your car’s electrical system.
Q: Can I wire up a cigarette lighter plug to a battery?
A: Yes, you can. You need to connect the positive wire of the plug to the positive terminal of the battery and the negative wire to the negative terminal of the battery. However, you need to make sure that you use an appropriate fuse to prevent overloading and damaging the battery.
Q: Can I wire up a cigarette lighter plug without using a plug?
A: Yes, you can. You can cut off the plug and directly wire the positive and negative wires to your device. However, this method is not recommended as it can be hazardous, especially if the wires are exposed.
Q: Can I wire up a cigarette lighter plug to an AC-powered device?
A: No, you cannot. Cigarette lighter plugs are designed for DC-powered devices only. If you need to power an AC-powered device, you need to use an inverter to convert the DC power to AC power.
Wiring a 12-volt cigarette lighter plug is not difficult, but it is crucial to do it correctly to avoid damaging your device or your car’s electrical system. Follow the steps outlined in this article, and you should have no problem wiring up your plug. If you have any questions or concerns, consult a professional electrician.