Although you may not smoke, fitting a cigarette lighter inside your car
could be more useful than you think. Car accessory shops are now selling a
variety of helpful, practical electrical accessories that are designed
especially to work from a cigarette lighter socket.
Examples include map reading lights, inspection lamps, car vacuum cleaners
and personal cooling fans. All these simply plug into the lighter socket and
you may wish to fit such a lighter simply to power these accessories.
Fitting a cigarette lighter has the further advantage of cutting down on the
number of holes you need to drill into the dashboard or centre console to fit
accessories, since a number of different accessories can be run off the same
Ways of fitting
On many cars, if a lighter is not included as a standard fitment, you may
well find that there is already a hole in the dashboard designed to accept
You will probably find that the hole has been blanked off with a plug. To
fit the lighter, all you need to do is to prise out the plug and fit the
lighter in its place - the necessary wiring for the lighter will usually be
already built-in round the back of the hole.
Older cars, however, may not have a special hole ready to accept a cigarette
lighter. In this case you will have to cut your own hole, either in the
dashboard or in the centre console, fit the lighter socket and wire it up.
You will find that there is a wide range of aftermarket cigarette lighters
in car accessory shops. A point to watch out for when buying one is that some
have a built-in light, often a small ring around the base of the lighter. You
may find this useful in the dark, particularly if you are fitting the lighter
in the rear passenger compartment. Otherwise, there is little to choose between
different aftermarket lighters.