The 12-volt accessory socket that is seen in almost every vehicle today is an evolution of technology. Cars, trucks, boats, RVs and campers, trailers and various other mediums of transportation have these DC powered sockets for countless uses. Originally, these power sockets were only seen in vehicles with a single purpose: heating up a lighter for cigars and cigarettes. With the advancement of technology, however, the 12-volt socket has transformed.
Thanks to the eventual need for a true electrical system within modern vehicles, things such as cellular phones and tablets, portable music or video players, digital cameras and camcorders and many more can be easily powered on the go. Originally, the 12-volt socket was designed only to accept and heat a cigarette lighter in the car, however, the use of adapters and inverters easily made the power of these sockets readily available to serve a multitude of purposes. It is important to note that many of today’s 12-volt sockets in vehicles are only to be used as accessory sockets and cannot accept a cigarette lighter. This is a huge change compared to the fact that these sockets would only heat a lighter in the past.
Nowadays, vehicles and vessels of travel often have multiple sockets available to power any portable device known to man. Some SUVs, RVs, and campers even sport built-in inverters that allow for direct AC power as well. With 12v sockets, most folks have an adapter that transforms the socket into readily available USB power, which is used to power literally thousands of different types of portable electronics. It is also handy to keep a 12v-powered compressor on-hand to make any needed tire changing or inflation an effortless job.
Furthermore, these 12v sockets offer survivability options for emergency situations or even just the family camping trip. Small stoves and burners can be powered with these auxiliary power sockets, even making cooking hot food a possibility. This versatility continues to grow as technology continues to make more and more battery-powered portable devices. Even options to power larger devices such as laptops are becoming more commonplace in today’s vehicles and recreation vessels.
It’s worth mention that most car cigarette lighter sockets can be used as an auxiliary power socket, but many 12v accessory sockets cannot be used to hear a car cigarette lighter. In the best case scenario, attempting to use an accessory socket to heat a car lighter simply wouldn’t produce any results. Adversely, however, the plastic internals of the socket may not withstand the lighter’s heat and could cause severe issues.
All in all, the car cigarette lighter socket became standard equipment in vehicles as early as 1925. Originally it had a single, simple use. Since that time, the 12v power socket has become a source of power for countless of today’s devices. Many people charge their phones in their cars every single day through that same standard issue power socket.