Rechargeable Work Lamp Brightens Your Night

Portable power station has DC, AC and Light on board.

Most of us tinkerers will at some point find ourselves needing electrical power in a remote area. Cordless tools are an option, but what if you need more than that? [Garage Monkey San] set out to solve this problem by creating a portable power station that has on-board AC outlets, 12v and 5vdc outputs and an integrated spot light.

This project is housed in a plastic ammo case that’s large enough to contain all of the necessary parts and has a convenient carrying handle. The 12vdc sealed lead acid battery power source is kept topped off by a car battery float charger. Light is provided by an LED off road fog lamp mounted to the top of the case that has a small appetite for power, ensuring long battery life. An easy addition at this point was a 12v car accessory outlet which only adds to the versatility of the project.

With 12vdc energy storage, charging and light out of the way [Garage Monkey San] decided to add some AC outlets. Starting with disassembling the off-the-shelf DC to AC inverter, the AC outlet wires were extended and mounted flush in the ammo box. The inverter also happened to have a USB port so that was extended to mount on the case as well, just in case your phone needs a charge out on the job site.


  1. John says:

    For an extra hundred bucks you could put a 20W solar panel and a charge controller so that it keeps itself charged just by leaving it outside.

    • Dra says:

      Or you could just…have the charge control er mounted on the back of the solar panel, along with two coils of cable and a DIY kickstand leg. At that point, you flip the lid of this device open, hook up the proper wires, and presto.

    • fartface says:

      Hundred bucks? I bough a 25W monocrystalline one from ebay for $55 with free shipping. Solar is a lot cheaper if you search around ebay.

  2. Don't fux with dux says:

    You could use waste heat from LEDs to heat your toilet seat in the morning. Nothing like doing number 2s on a warm seat.

  3. pcf11 says:

    It really has never come down to it for me at any point. I suppose if it did though that box might come in handy.

  4. Robert says:

    Have done something like that myself:
    – 2x 12V 15Ah batteries, resulting 12V 30Ah
    – 300W DC/AC converter
    – 10A solar charger
    – 12Vout/in (for external charging)
    – solar in
    – 230V AC out
    – custom wooden case (particle board)

    -> result: box is heavy but works well in charging my car/motorcycle battery or providing power to LED light when I work on car/motorcycle in my underground carpark

    – find a lighter and water tight case
    – add AC in
    – add battery charger (currently I have an external charger)
    – make that build-in charger also charge external batteries (car, boat, motorcycle etc.)
    – add two more 12V out
    – add meters for current, voltage and battery level
    – far far future: switch to Li batteries instead of lead

  5. Dave M says:

    I had a similar idea when making a portable floodlight project.

    I used two lights similar to that, they were $50ea instead of $25. Iooks identical in the picture, I’m wondering if that’s a lower output knockoff or if I just got ripped off? 10Ah LiPO4 runs both the lights for a little over 3 hours, pretty cool. I’m kind of impressed with the price he found on that battery too. I guess I should shop around more..

  6. Liard Nelson says:

    always nice to see people buy waterproof cases, just to drill holes into them…. :D

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