Cigarette lighter or cigar lighter is an essential part of all automobiles. The cigarette lighter is initially designed for drivers to light cigarettes in car. But nowadays the cigarette lighter is mainly used as an electronic device to power up electronic accessories in or near an automobile.
History of Cigarette Lighter
Cigarette lighter was first used for smoking in cars. While with the decline of smoking, the electronic cigarette lighter as a DC power connector were designed to provide useful power supply for electronic accessories.
In the early 1880s, Friedrich Wilhelm Schindler, a German inverter, invented the world’s first electronic cigarette lighter. In 1890s, cigarette lighters were started to be sold as electronic tools. The cigarette lighter was once changed its name as Zigarrenanzuender but later renamed cigarette lighter in 1920s in sales market. In 1921, the US patent Morris released cordless lighters with a removable socket. From then, the lighter can be heated by the socket and the socket can be packed up when not be used. Until 1925~1926, the cigarette lighter officially became an automobile equipment in the United States. In 1928, a new cigarette lighter version was designed by the Connector Automotive Specialty Company in Bridgeport patented. This lighter version used a cord and reel, and was connected with a source of current by a cable. The circuit could be closed by pressing a button or removing the lighter from the socket. And in 1956, Casco designed the first modern removable automotive cigarette lighter.
How Does a Cigarette Lighter Work?
Generally speaking, the cigarette lighter for car is mainly used in places where fires are explicitly banned, like factory and workshop. Cigarette lighter splitter is somewhat similar to household power strip with multiple charging stations. Both are an electric device than can distribute current and supply power for each charging port when connected to the power source. The mains input of a cigarette lighter is 12 volt which is the same with car battery voltage. The cigar lighter commonly connected with a single power cord that can’t be mixed up with other cables. For the case of security, the lighter has a single fuse. When using the cigarette lighter, it should be inserted and pulled out up and down or vertically without any shaking for fear of short circuit or looseness that may damage the fuse and electronic devices. The housing of a lighter is the negative pole of power and the inside fuse is the positive pole. When the lighter is inserted and locked up, the heating element will be heated by the lighter socket of the positive pole. When the element is heated to a certain temperature level, the snap spring will be variant and release the cigarette lighter plug, then the lighter can be used for ignition. When returned to the socket, the heating element will cool down gradually. To avoid causing fire, remember to return the lighter to the socket once you don’t use it. A cigarette lighter is a DC connector that can be used for DC power operated electronics. When used in car, a cigarette lighter can be used along with a power strip that can convert in-car DC 12V, 24V or 48V current into household 220V/50Hz for common appliances.
Application of Cigarette Lighter
Though smoking inn car is banned, cigarette lighter is still featuring ignition function. Some high-end automobiles are equipped with a special lighter in the back seat. While with the developing of automobile industry, all sorts of add-on car electronic accessories can be used in car with one cigarette lighter that provides power from car battery. When choosing a cigarette lighter, 4 things you need to take into consideration, USB port, max output and current, personal requirement and appearance. Cigarette lighter connector may a USB port, a cigarette lighter or an AC outlet. Cigarette lighters are not only applicable for electronics by car power sockets, but also can be converted into car battery via computer USB port or household 220V power interface. As for the number of ports, it is not the more the better because the more holes a cigarette lighter has, the more hidden safety hazards there will be. Car users need to choose based on personal requirement. Each cigarette lighter has the max output and max current rates. The whole current of all using car electronics can’t be more than the socket’s max current and output. Finally, personalized car dress up is quite popular these days. Fashion designed cigarette lighters are more attractive. So a nice cigarette lighter not only needs high performance but also needs excellent appearance.
Cigarette lighters is a portable electronic device that came to life early and has become an essential part of automobiles for powering in-car electronics. When using it, remember return it to the socket once you don’t need it.