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Should It Be In Series or Parallel?

  1. Jun 12, 2009 #1
    The accumulator of a car produces 12 V. If the car lights at the sides and rear are
    each rated for 12 V, but the two interior lights are only rated at 6 V, how should
    the lights be connected — in series or in parallel?

    The answer is series but I said parallel. However, if you put them in series wouldn't the lights break because they are only rated at 6V?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 12, 2009 #2


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    If you connect them in parallel, then each light will get a pd of 12V, so then they would burn out or what have you.

    But if you have them in series, the 12V would be split into 6V for one light and 6V for the other light. So by Kirchoff's 2nd law, the sum of the emfs (12V battery) is equal to the sum of the pds (6V light & 6V light)
  4. Jun 12, 2009 #3
    Wow, that's different. Where is a battery called an accumulator?
  5. Jun 12, 2009 #4
    They should be in series. A quick check would be the voltage divider rule:

    V(out) = V(in)*[ R1 / (R1 + R2) ]
  6. Jun 12, 2009 #5


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    I didn't know what an accumulator was, so I wiki'd it...and well this is what it said

  7. Jun 12, 2009 #6
    Yeah. Apparenty the Brits use it.
  8. Jun 13, 2009 #7
    Im a brit, and an electrical engineer at that and to be honest its not a word i come across too often maybe deep down in an old text book.
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