Tripp Lite
1111 W. 35th Street
Chicago, IL 60609
+1 (773) 869-1776
+1 (773) 869-1329

Inverter Buying Guide

Everything you need to find, buy and install your power inverter

What is a Power Inverter?

A power inverter is a device that converts low-voltage DC (direct current) power to standard household AC (alternating current) power. An Inverter allows you to operate household appliances and electrical equipment using the power produced by a car, truck or boat battery or renewable energy sources, such as solar panels or wind turbines.

how a power inverter typically works

How are Inverters typically used?

Inverters provide a source of household power for electrical equipment in RVs, cars, work trucks and boats. They are also used to protect your home and belongings during a power outage, by providing emergency backup power to essential equipment such as phones, freezers, sump pumps, or medical devices.

What type of inverter do I need?

Inverters are primarily used to provide normal AC power from a vehicle's battery.

portable inverter

Inverter/Chargers are typically used to provide backup AC power in an emergency, such as a power outage.


Inverters and their applications

Compact/Lightweight Inverters are used in cars, SUVs & mini-vans.

Ideal for powering:

Heavy-Duty Inverters are used in trucks, boats & RVs.

Ideal for powering:

Inverter/Chargers are used in homes & remote work sites.

Ideal for powering:

Medical-Grade Inverter/Chargers are used in healthcare environments and ambulances.

Ideal for:

What size of inverter do I need?

One of the key differences between inverters is how much AC power they produce. Add up the wattage of each device you will run simultaneously, and make sure the inverter will supply sufficient AC power.

what size inverter example

How long will my equipment run without AC power?

Small, in-vehicle Inverters
can run equipment indefinitely while the vehicle's engine is running and battery power is available.

Large Inverter/Chargers
can provide power for extended periods. Need more time? Just add more batteries.

What input and output voltage do I need?

Input Voltage (DC): Select an inverter that matches the voltage of the battery supplying power to it. For example, if you are using a 12V battery, choose a 12V DC inverter.

input voltages

Output Voltage (AC): Electrical devices in the United States, Canada, Mexico and much of Latin America typically use 120V AC power; devices in the rest of the world normally use 220-250V AC power.

plug icon

Do I need any special features?

sine wave

Models with sine wave output and fast transfer times are ideal for powering sensitive electronics like computers and network equipment.

high initial power graph

High initial power support devices with high initial power requirements such as motors, compressors and pumps.

high voltage icon

Models with GFCI outlets meet OSHA requirements for safe operation in wet or humid environments.

Power Inverters

Tripp Lite PV375 ultra-compact inverter

For Mobile Professionals

Get mobile power on the go from any cigarette lighter outlet. Perfect for cell phones, tablets and laptops.

Tripp Lite RV1012ULHW inverter/charger

For Boats & RVs

Provide AC power for RV/camping and marine equipment such as audio/video, appliances, pumps and more.

Tripp Lite APS1250 inverter/charger

For Emergency Power

If your power goes out every time it rains, these products are for you. Reliable battery backup power for generators and other AC power sources when utility power is unavailable.

Tripp Lite PV1250FC heavy-duty inverter

For Work Trucks and Industrial Applications

Get extended peak output (up to 200%) of utility (AC) power for heavy-duty power tools and work site equipment that require more startup power.

Tripp Lite APSX1012SW pure sine wave inverter/charger

For Sensitive Electronics

Provide pure sine wave mobile and backup power for sensitive electronics in RVs, over-the-road trucking, conversion vans, fleet service vehicles and other areas where utility power is unreliable or unavailable.

Tripp Lite EMS1250UL ambulance/ems inverter/charger

For Ambulances & EMS

Provide safe and reliable mobile and backup power for ambulance/EMS equipment such as ventilation, airway and monitoring equipment. UL458-Compliant.

Tripp Lite HCRK medical-grade inverter/charger

For Mobile Medical Carts

These Mobile Power Retrofit Kits add AC power to mobile medical carts in healthcare environments. UL60601-1-Compliant.

Clear List



Mon - Fri 8 AM - 5:30 PM CST
+1 (773) 869-1776

Mon - Fri: 8 AM - 5:30 PM CST
+1 (773) 869-1234

Tripp Lite
1111 West 35th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60609
United States

+1 (773) 869-1111 Main
1 773.869.1329 Fax

Business Hours
8 AM - 5:30 PM CST

See all contact options

Need help with your purchase?
We're always available to help with questions, including product selection, sizing, installation and product customization. Call us at +1 (773) 869-1776 or email