I'm trying to build one of these myself (TLDR; It's a lighting setup for outdoor usage to illuminate a pingpong table).

I would like to know what sort of batteries are available that might help me power this. I'm a novice and the only types of batteries I'm aware of are AA/AAA batteries, button cells and car batteries. Are there batteries that lie somewhere in the middle of this spectrum and are easily available? I'm looking for a rechargeable battery that can power this setup for 2-3 hours. I'm suspecting that the LED lamps might require somewhere around 20-30 watts.

As for the rest of the setup I'm thinking of using PVC pipes to build the stand that holds up the lights and some sort of clamps at the bottom to clip it onto the net of the pingpong table, while the battery itself can rest on the ground.


2 Answers 2


The next size up from AA is C. The next size up from C is D. You can get both of those in rechargeable, and a sufficient stack of them will cover you just fine.

Over in the lithium world, we have the common 18650 size which about the size of two C-batteries with more energy storage for their size.

Do not underestimate the design challenges of working with LEDs. Your best bet is to use lights designed to a standard voltage such as 12V "LED strips" and then use 12V batteries. For instance three lithiums or 10 NiMH batteries will give 12V. Most 12V LED assemblies are tolerant of 11-14V, since those are voltages that will come off a car battery at different times.


The important aspect of this project is the current draw and the supply voltage. Conventional (ordinary) AA/AAA/C/D cells do not provide for extended power although you can probably make them work if you purchase enough. Missing in this instance is the ability to recharge.

For rechargeable batteries, your best options may be to look for a source of 18650 cylindrical lithium cells and a charger. The ampere-hour capacity of the cells vary and you can connect them in series to get the voltage level you require. This is the same type of battery commonly used in laptop computer. I enjoy to dismantle (carefully) dead laptop batteries to cycle (charge/discharge) to find individual cells capable for various projects, including LED flashlights.

Another advantage of this type of power source is light weight and compactness.

Amazon sells an 8-bay charger that can handle the 18650 cells as well as other chemistries. Depending on the power requirements for your lights, you may be able to configure a source that will run on a single set for the required period of time.

8-bay battery charger

Amazon is being used in this example as a representative source. Batteries and chargers of this type are common enough to be found in many other resources. For easier wiring, one would also search for "18650 battery holder." Some models of the holder are designed for high current and may be a more suitable choice for your project. This type tend to ensure good contact between cells, avoiding overheating and resultant damage.

No representation is being made for the quality of the referenced products.

  • Using Amazon as a reference for quality seems like a rather terrible idea. Almost everything on there is cheap junk that did not and cannot clear US safety standards. Lithium batteries are nothing to fool with. Nov 1, 2020 at 1:35

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