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LEDs at night on batteries

Rick Gates

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We are trying to light a barn in a remote location at night. Even at over 100 feet, the generator is too loud to allow us do noise-reduction on the dialogue.


All our lights are LEDs. The main 3 lights we want to use are the Aputure 300D (300w), and 2 Aputure Lightstorms (120w each).


We are thinking about trying to hook together a couple of deep-cycle batteries with an inverter. The numbers say that we should be able to power all 3 lights for a few hours.


But I thought we should ask the pros before making the purchase.


I hate ADR!!!



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That's a pretty reasonable approach, though I believe it's possible to run those lights directly from batteries if you make up the right cables.


Total load is 540 watts, so a large 12V, 220Ah leisure battery will in theory give you four hours. However, that's a load of 45A, which is quite high, and you will get much less than that in practice. It's better to use several batteries in series to create a higher voltage, say four for 48V, and using an inverter designed for 48V input. This distributes the load and reduces current to 10-12A, which is much kinder to all the electronics and will produce a more efficient setup.


There are significant safety concerns with all this. Wear eye protection and heavy gloves when making connections, and ensure everything is isolated properly for transport and while rigging. High power, low voltage systems like this will react energetically to being shorted out. Use heavy cable, as 12A is not a small load.


Your battery purchase should include good quality chargers. Lead acid batteries are a primitive and ancient technology but they are very difficult to charge well, and may explode (venting boiling acid and lead shrapnel) if mistreated. Charging them will tend to take more hours than there are between wrap and call, so if you need to do multiple days in a row, you may need more than one set.


Hope that helps.



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