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What is a car lighter plug according to SAE-J563

SAE J563 is a US standard that specifies the specifications for 2-pin 12V cigarette lighter connectors and power outlets. The standard outlines the form and dimensions of the cigarette lighter, as well as the requirements for accessory plugs that are used in these devices. This standard ensures the compatibility and reliability of cigarette lighter connectors and accessories across different vehicles and regions in the US.

The use of car cigarette lighter sockets has evolved beyond just lighting cigarettes. These sockets now serve as a power source for various electrical devices while driving or parked. You can easily obtain a range of cost-effective accessories that are useful in both everyday life and on trips. For example, you can charge your phone or navigation device from the cigarette lighter socket. They can also be used to prepare meals or warm drinks. According to the SAE J563 standard, the sockets are approximately 21 millimeters in diameter. There are two types of sockets available on the market, Type A which is commonly found in American cars and Type B which is slightly larger by 0.4 mm diameter and found in European cars.

Car lighter plug used in SealAir2K kit

Where to find a car lighter socket?


The car lighter socket, also known as a power outlet, can typically be found in the front or rear of the vehicle, often near the center console, armrest, or in the trunk. In some vehicles, it may also be located in the rear seat area or in the glove compartment. The socket is usually identifiable by the symbol “cigarette lighter” or a similar symbol. The exact location of the car lighter socket can vary depending on the make and model of the vehicle, so it’s best to consult your vehicle’s owner manual or contact the manufacturer for specific information on your car’s electrical system.

Many companies now produce devices that use a plug compliant with the SAE-J563 standards. It is relatively easy and inexpensive to determine the type of car socket you have in your car and replace it with a different type if necessary.

For our TMK, we have incorporated a newly designed car plug that is suitable for the majority of new car sockets, unless the car manufacturer has not included a cigarette socket in the car design. It doesn’t cost a lot to buy adapters available on the market that can convert USB to cigarette plugs.

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