What Are Some Uses for a Car's Lighter Socket?


Quick Answer

The 12-volt direct current cigarette lighter socket in a car can power many different devices, including appliances, tools, entertainment equipment, navigation gear and charges for cellphones and other mobile electronic devices. Plugging a converter into the socket converts the power supply to alternating current, allowing it to power many conventional home electronic devices.

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Full Answer

Many camping and travel appliances are designed to plug into a car's lighter outlet, including refrigerators and freezers, cooking ovens and stoves, beverage warmers, coffee makers and blenders. Seat warmers and electric warming blankets are also available. Several convenient power tool options are also available, including portable vacuum cleaners, cordless drills, air compressors, rechargeable flashlights and utility lights. Navigation gear, such as mobile global positioning satellite units, typically operate by using the lighter port as well.

Conventional cellphone, tablet and laptop chargers, USB chargers and multi-port varieties of both types of chargers are commonly used with car lighter plugs. Television sets are also available that require only a lighter port to operate. There are also expansion devices that convert one lighter plug to two or more outlets.

Inverters that convert the 12-volt DC power to 120-volt AC current allow users to plug in a multitude of peripheral devices for television sets, including DVD players and video game consoles.

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