Last year I connected several strings of LED Christmas lights to a 12V
inverter in my car for Christmas. I quickly learned that the police
do not appreciate having Christmas lights turned on inside a car when
driving down the road.
Ok, I promised him I would not turn on the lights while I was driving
on a public road. However, we have a local park that people drive
thru from Thanksgiving until New Years Eve. This park has something
like 3 millions lights as well as live entertainment and other holiday
events. The roads in the park are not considered "public roadways"
during the holiday season, so the police do not mind that I light up
my car in the park (yes, I asked them).
Anyhow, here's the problem. When the weather is warmer, like from 20
degrees (F) or warmer, the inverter works fine. But when the outdoor
temperature is below 20F especially when below zero, the inverter
simply refused to work until the car warms up for quite awhile. I
quickly learned to take the inverter in the house when I get home, and
that helps a lot.
But, I don't understand why this inverter does not work in the cold
weather. It's a relatively new unit, purchased in 2008. It's fully
semiconductor made. It's rated at 250 Watts and my sets of LED lights
are only rated at about 40W total, so I'm far from the limit.
I should mention that during other times of the year I use this same
inverter to operate my laptop computer without problems. Of course
this is generally in warmer weather, because I'm not going to sit in
my car in severe cold weather to read my email when I can do that in
my warm house.
Anyone know why this inverter wont work when it gets cold?