It’s important to do your research before buying a power inverter, especially if you’re not overly familiar with electronics. For example, different power inverters provide energy at varying levels. This means you have to know how many Watts are required by the products you wish to power.
This is why DC to AC power inverters are available in a large variety of sizes. You can find them as small as 50 watts to up to 5000 watts! In order to find the right size for your inverter, you need to keep in mind the power output of the devices you want to use. This information can usually be found directly on some products, if not in their user manual.
Let’s use a laptop as an example. If it generates 450 watts, you need an inverter that is at or larger than 450 Watts—500 Watts would be a good choice.
Some tools have two different levels of Watts: A ‘Continuous’ and ‘Peak-Surge’ level. Some devices give off a greater surge of power when starting up, then run at lower levels. Power inverters will have the capacity to handle these large initial surges, but only for a short period of time, so don’t judge the power of an inverter on the ‘Peak-Surge’ level.
We recommended that most users get a power inverter rated under 300 Watts. This is because when using a 12-volt cigarette lighter socket, which is found in most cars, you won’t need and shouldn’t use, much more than 300 Watts. This is because the fuses in the car are at risk of being damaged if too many Watts flow through.
You should also consider the physical size of the power inverter. Since you’re going to be using this for your car, you want a small, compact size that is going to fit comfortably.