A 1200 watt inverter gives you a nice balance of decent power output without getting too bulky or cumbersome.
It’s a good choice for your off-grid electrical system!
If you’ve got any questions about 1200 watt power inverters, then you’re in the right place.
I’ve written this first hand guide on the subject to help you get started. So if you want to know what a 1200W inverter can run, the best products on the market, or simply what size battery you’ll need then keep reading.
Together we’ll cover it all (and much more) in simple to understand terms, so you’ll be an expert by the end.
👇 Feel free to jump to sections using the table of contents below 👇
What Will a 1200 Watt Inverter Run?
Let’s start with what you can power with a 1200 watt inverter. You’ll be happy to know that there’s enough oomph to run most small to medium sized home appliances, plus charge devices like phones, laptops, and tablets.
You’ll be able to run appliances that draw less than 1200 watts in total. That means you could run one large appliance or multiple smaller ones such as TVs, games consoles, computers, lighting, printers, refrigerators, small tools, fans, and much more.
One thing to note is that inverters are not 100%. You should not try to draw more than 80% of an inverter’s capacity for very long. So it’s best practice not to exceed 1000 watts for a 1200 watt inverter.
To give you a better idea, here’s a handy chart of appliances and their average wattage.
|32 inch TV||50-80|
|60 Watt Light Bulb||60 (duh…)|
|Games console (PS5)||70-200|
|Orbital sander||400 – 700|
|Coffee maker||1200 – 1500|
To find the wattage of any electronics you can check the technical specification which is often listed on a sticker on an appliance. Plus you can look in the user manual or contact the manufacturer.
For live accurate readings, I like to use a wattmeter which will give you an instant power reading. They’re super easy to use, and very useful if you’re running power inverters.
How Many Amps Does a 1200 Watt Inverter Draw?
A 1200W inverter will draw a maximum of 100 amps from a 12V battery and a maximum of 50 amps from a 24V battery.
The actual number of amps you will draw depends on the appliance you are running and the input voltage of the inverter. This is because amps are decided by the watt divided by voltage. And remember, you won’t always be drawing 1200 watts, your appliance might only need 300 watts to run. Let’s do some example calculations.
The formula is watts ÷ volts = amps.
Let’s say you have a 12V inverter drawing a maximum of 1200 watts. Here’s the equation:
1200W ÷ 12V = 100A.
Now we can see what happens if you only draw 300 watts from your inverter:
300W ÷ 12V = 25A.
It’s always useful to know how many amps a 1200 watt inverter pulls as it enables you to decide battery, wire, and fuse sizes. (We’ll discuss these further down).
Best 1200 Watt Inverter Reviews
Now you understand what you can run with a 1200 watt power inverter you will know whether it’s right for you.
Ready to buy your inverter? Then take a look at the top options reviewed below.
BESTEK 1200W Pure Sine Wave Power Inverter
Let’s kick things off with one of my favorite brands BESTEK. The brand always delivers well-designed high-quality products.
This inverter is a true all rounder giving you a 12V to 110V pure sine wave output in a portable briefcase-style. Don’t be fooled by the design, it stands up as a true workhorse as well.
You could happily run this in an RV or hook it up to your car to run tools on your projects. With 2 AC outlets, you can run multiple appliances at once like a TV and fan. In addition, the 2 USB ports mean your phone and tablet can be kept topped up all day.
It’s outstandingly easy to use too! Grab the alligator clips and connect to your battery terminals in seconds, then just hit the power button, and off you go. All the while, you can keep an eye on the output via the crisp digital display.
When you push things hard, the silent cooling fans kick in to keep things running smoothly depending on the power draw. Along with this in-built fuses and safety guards protect you from overloading, voltage changes, and short circuits.
A hard-working yet portable unit, everything you could need!
- Pure Sine Wave
- Easy to use
- Can’t mount in place
- No O-ring lugs
Victron Energy Phoenix 1200 Watts Inverter
Looking for the best of the best for your self-built camper or RV? Then this is it!
Hook this up to your leisure or car battery for a smooth 12V DC to 120V AC pure sine wave conversion. The Phoenix 12 even pumps out a peak power of up to 2200W for a few seconds to cover any power surges. Plus it drops right down to a 1W draw in eco mode to reserve energy.
You can mount this sleek and modern inverter in your camper and then control it with a PC or smartphone. To be honest, there are not many bells and whistles with this neat design. It’s compact, ready to be mounted, hooked up to a battery, and left to do its thing. This makes it very popular with self-build campers.
The only big drawback is that it doesn’t arrive with any battery cables so you’ll have to find them separately.
- Good for self-build and leisure use
- Mount in place and leave to run
- Pure Sine Wave
- Control from phone
- No battery cables
- No LCD screen
AIMS Power 1200W Pure Sine Inverter with Transfer Switch
Now it’s time to move on to a heavy-duty, industrial, monster. A no-frills choice, perfect for commercial setups.
AIMS power always delivers inverters with industrial-grade quality. They may not be as user friendly but they won’t let you down.
Of course, this still brings you all the functions you’re looking for with a 12V to 120V AC output, which is pure sine wave. You can still use this with RVs and boats, but you’ll need to hardwire your electric system directly to the terminal block. In addition, the transfer switch means it will automatically switch between battery and on-shore/mains power.
You’ll still be protected against overload, short circuits, and other faults thanks to a handy resettable breaker.
Finally, you can buy with confidence thanks to the included 2 year warranty. That’s always peace of mind.
Food trucks, boats, and work trucks will all love this one!
- Industrial quality
- Transfer switch
- Pure Sine Wave
- 2400W surge
- Resettable breaker
- No screen
- Not user friendly
- No USB
MrPow 1200 Watt Pure Sine Power Inverter
One of the newer offerings in the market is this good-looking guy from MrPow
I love the way this unit looks, I don’t know why, it just does it for me. Don’t worry, it still packs the performance we’re looking for here. 12V to 120V, pure sine wave, smart fan, and plenty more.
It only has one AC output but the universal plug style means you could use this with most appliances around the world. Perhaps useful if you’re touring in a camper or boat? Plus there’s a USB port to charge your phone up on the go.
It’s pretty neat and compact weighing in at around 3KG, so you should find a nice space to mount it permanently. All the relevant safety protections are in place to protect you from overvoltage, undervoltage, overload, and short circuit.
A no-fuss inverter ready for your off-grid adventures.
- Pure Sine Wave
- Smart fan
- Universal AC plug
- USB port
- LCD screen
- Only one AC outlet
- User manual hard to understand
SUDOKEJI Pure Sine Wave Power Inverter 1200W
This product makes it into the list of best 1200W inverters thanks to its versatility. It’s a fabulous option to use in any situation from solar panels to car camping.
What I really like is the 3 AC outlets which allow you to plug-in multiple appliances at once. With the 12V to 120V conversion, you could run a TV, PS5, and fan all at once, plus charge your phone from the USB. You shouldn’t have a power problem thanks to the 2400W surge capacity.
A nifty wireless remote control makes it super easy to switch on your electricity from up to 100 meters away. Once you get a little closer, you can monitor input and output power readings from the clear digital display.
Dual cooling fans and in-built safety protections keep everything running for a long time without risk to your appliances or personal safety.
A user-friendly product to keep you plugged in at all times.
- Pure sine wave
- Digital display
- 3 AC output
- USB port
- Wireless remote
- No alligator clips
Hoenjuno 1200 Watt Inverter with Remote
Finishing off this list is another pretty versatile option.
You get a whopping 4 AC outlets to draw your 120V of pure sine wave power. In addition, a USB port is ready for small gadgets. It does come with mounting plates which are fine but as a portable sized unit a carry handle would be nice.
To be honest, you could happily use this in a number of situations including running tools, camping, boats, or emergency backup. It includes everything you need including o-ring cables, additional mounting plates, and wired remote.
You can sleep easy thanks to the requisite safety protocols, LCD screen, and 18 month warranty.
Plenty of outlets to run all your electronics at once!
- 4 AC outlet
- Pure sine wave
- Mounting plates
- LCD screen
- 18 month warranty
- No carry handle
- No alligator clips
1200 Watt Power Inverter Buying Guide: What to Consider?
By now you will have a better idea of what products are available. You might still have a few questions when it comes to deciding which is best for you. Let’s go through the different factors to consider before making your purchase.
Pure vs Modified Sine Wave
There are two types of power inverter for you to consider. Pure sine wave and modified sine wave.
Pure sine wave is the better of the two as it allows you to run any type of electronics including motorized appliances like tools, compressors in refrigerators, and delicate devices like LED TVs and medical equipment. This is because pure sine wave replicates the smooth flow of current you get from the mains grid at home.
You can also get modified sine wave inverters which are cheaper but have lower performance. The voltage steps less smoothly between positive and negative which means you can’t run motors, inductive loads, and delicate electronics. Plus you will get a buzz or humming while in use. You would still be able to power things like phones, tablets, laptops, along with other easy-going appliances.
The number and style of outlets on your inverter are crucial, after all, you want to easily plug in all your appliances. Most units will have a choice of AC and USB outlets. This can vary from one to 4 or 5 AC outlets, if you want to run multiple appliances then multiple AC plugs are useful.
Adding to this, USB ports tend to come as standard now. You will usually get at least one port, but if you want to charge lots of phones or tablets then look for a few extra. You might even find fast charging facilities too!
Ease of Use
I’m always a big fan of easy to install and use products. This can vary quite a lot when it comes to inverters. Some are portable, almost plug and play, while others need a hardwired installation.
If you want a unit to use in a portable fashion for use with cars or camping then features like alligator clips and carry handles prove super useful.
On the others hand, heavy duty inverters can be a little more tricky to install and use but are robust for commercial use in things like food trucks. You will benefit from transfer switches and frequency settings.
As with anything you buy, durability is an important factor. You don’t want your equipment to break or fail when you need it the most. This is as true as ever when it comes to your off-grid electricity supply. It would be awful to go to your energy power source only to find it doesn’t work
Take the time to assess the quality of the product. Look for reputable brands and strong materials like aluminum shells. Adding to this, it’s prudent to read other customer reviews for hands on feedback.
Make sure you buy the correct voltage inverter. Double check the input voltage is the same as your battery! This will usually be 12V, 24V, or 48V. Most consumer deep cycle batteries will be 12V or 24V.
Never try to use a 12V inverter with a 24V battery as this will lead to an overload. Plus never use a 24V inverter with a 12V battery as this will lead to undervoltage.
There should be a standard set of safety features to protect you against short circuit, undervoltage, overvoltage, overload, and overheating. These are very important as they protect you and your appliances from faults in the system. You should also check for components such as in-built fuses and smart cooling fans for the safest performance.
So how much does a 1200 watt inverter cost?
Well, the price can vary depending on the quality of the products. You should expect to pay at least $100 and up to $400. You can pick up a portable pure sine wave option for just over $100 these days. For a more substantial unit, you’ll be looking at over $300.
Anything cheaper than this price range should be checked carefully as you likely lose features sure of a pure sine wave output.
Here’s a selection of other features to consider:
- Digital screen
- Remote control
- Bluetooth App
- Wireless charging
- Mounting plates
- Carry handle
- Eco mode
What Size Battery for a 1200 Watt Power Inverter?
You will need at least a 100Ah battery, probably bigger, for your 1200W inverter.
To work out how long a 12V battery will run your inverter you can use this simple formula I have created:
(10 x battery capacity in amp hours) divided by (appliance load in watts) = runtime
So let’s say you use a 100Ah battery and draw a max load of 1200W.
(10 x 100Ah) ÷ 1200W = 0.83 hours (50 minutes).
But remember your inverter won’t always draw 1200W. The amount of watts you draw is determined by the appliance so you might just use 300W, which would result in this:
(10 x 100Ah) ÷ 300W = 3.3 hours.
Use the above formula to work out your runtime for different battery sizes and energy requirements.
What Gauge Wire for a 1200 Watt Power Inverter?
A 4 gauge wire is most commonly used for a 1200 watt inverter.
Most products arrive with the correct cables so you could compare them to these if you want to replace them. This is not a set rule as wire size changes depending on the length of cable. You should always try to keep the cables as short and thick as possible. The longer a cable becomes the more the voltage will drop so a thinner cable is needed.
What Size Fuse for a 1200 Watt Power Inverter?
As we know from earlier, a 12 volt 1200W inverter will draw a maximum of 100 amps. So you will need a fuse with a larger capacity than this. You could use between a 120 and 150A fuse.
Many people choose to add an in-line fuse to their inverter in permanent setups. This helps to protect the cables between the battery and the inverter. The in-built fuses will only protect the inverter and protected appliances.
Can You Use a 1200 Watt Power Inverter with a Car?
Yes, you can easily use a 1200W inverter from a car starter battery. A product like the BESTEK 1200W inverter can be connected to a car battery using the included alligator clips.
To hook up your inverter you simply need to connect the red cable to the red terminal (positive to positive) and the black cable to the black terminal (negative to negative). Then start the engine to draw power. (It’s just like jump starting!)
Just be sure to keep your car engine running. If you try to draw power from your starter battery without running the engine you will deplete it very quickly. This will cause damage to the battery and leave you stranded.
1200 Watt Inverter Final Words
There you have it!
If you’ve read this far you’re officially an expert on 1200 watt power inverters.
You should know what you can run, the best products, plus all the other head scratching questions.
With your equipment you should get a nice balance of performance and size which is perfect for use with cars, RVs, trucks, vans, and camping. All you need is a battery with the same voltage to get yourself up and running.
Thanks for reading.
Hi, I’m Michael, the editor here at Watt A Lot.
After years of experience with off-grid power like solar panels, inverters, and batteries I decided I should share my hands-on knowledge with you. In my professional and personal life, I’ve needed to find electrical solutions for remote situations from owning a food truck, to running events at the top of mountains, to my converted campervan. So whether you’re looking for the best products or fixing an electrical problem, you can rest assured my advice comes from real hands-on experience.