I've searched hobby sites like SparkFun, Digikey, BGMicro, and Jameco. I'm starting to wonder if I'm calling this item by the wrong name. What I'm looking for, exactly, is a 12V female car adapter with leads/wires or tabs I can solder.

I'm trying to make a bunch of 12V power supplies from 8xAA series connected battery holders putting out 12V and maybe 2000mAH w/Eneloops. I'd like to use these to power some car appliances I have, including some 12V, 0.25A max (3W) lights.

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    \$\begingroup\$ But 8x Eneloop isn't 12V, is it? 8 x 1.2V = 9.6V. But the actual voltage will differ based on the level of charge. \$\endgroup\$
    – Al Kepp
    Commented Dec 30, 2012 at 22:16
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    \$\begingroup\$ "Where can I purchase" questions are closed quickly. I suggest you re-word your question to reflect the fact that you're looking for the proper name for the part. Hint: search for "cigarette lighter socket". \$\endgroup\$
    – HikeOnPast
    Commented Dec 30, 2012 at 22:21
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    \$\begingroup\$ You could purchase a "Y" adapter and simply cut the cable; yields 2 sockets with leads for $4US: allelectronics.com/make-a-store/item/CLP-Y/CIGARETTE-LIGHTER-Y/… \$\endgroup\$
    – JYelton
    Commented Dec 30, 2012 at 22:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ @AlKepp - good catch, I was thinking 1.5V for some reason (Alkaline? Lithium?). I will put 10 in there but I wonder what the voltage drop off will look like. Still, I imagine these lights should handle it well enough. \$\endgroup\$
    – rcampbell
    Commented Dec 30, 2012 at 22:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HikeOnPast - thanks, I updated the title, but your search term was spot on and I found what I'm looking for. Thank you! \$\endgroup\$
    – rcampbell
    Commented Dec 30, 2012 at 22:36

1 Answer 1


In 1921, the Morris U.S. Patent 1,376,154 was issued for a so-called "wireless" or "cordless" lighter. This lighter eliminated the cables and the mechanism for winding and unwinding them. The igniter was heated in the socket then removed for use.

Twelve volt automobile plugs are standardized in the United States by UL Standard 2089 regarding vehicle battery adapters. This standard covers plugs and cord sets that insert into cigarette lighter receptacles.

The sockets and mating plugs are defined in the ANSI/SAE J563 specification

Those three are listed in wikipedia. Turns out that these don't really have a fixed name past lighter receptacle/socket/assembly/etc. Anyone knows what you mean by just calling it a cigarette lighter assembly. Even the above standards don't give them a special name, but you have to purchase the standard to read the entire thing so they might have a name buried in them.

Digikey has them as "cigarette lighter assemblies" under the batteries category (doesn't make sense I know) http://www.digikey.com/catalog/en/search?filters=18648


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