Makita 18v to 12v system

Hi guys, I have a ton of makita 18v 5aH batteries that I’d like to use to power some 12v usb strip lighting for camping.

It seems from reading that Makita lxt batteries usually run anywhere from 20v to 12v depending on charge. What would be the best way to step down this voltage to 12v? I was thinking of buying a makita accessory and rewiring the internals, hopefully preserving the auto-cuttoff low voltage feature to protect the battery.

The output would then be a cigarette style 12v socket

Any advice would be greatly appreciated

Hi Julian,

Seems like a cool project and a great use for spare batteries! You can use a buck (step-down) converter to regulate your battery voltage down to 12V provided your application doesn’t need more amps than the converter can provide, and that the battery doesn’t have any fancy circuitry that needs to talk to a skin in order to function.

Would something like this fit your needs?

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Hi Julian
Worth looking at dedicated LED drivers. I think they are constant current things and accept a wide range of input voltages. Just got to do your thinking in current instead of volts.
Core have some of various flavours.
Cheers Bob

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Hi Julian
Add on to previous post.
I am not certain but you may find the battery management system including low voltage shut down is built in to the Makita battery pack. May be wrong but worth while checking.
Cheers Bob