How To Pick A Generator For Outdoor Events

Which generator should I buy now? Many people ask themselves this question after knowing what they want to do with the generator. What power should it have? How big should it be? How can I transport the generator? How often is it used? How expensive can it be or must it be so that it can do the right job for my project without flying around my ears?

We have tried to answer some important questions and give you some suggestions that you should consider before buying a generator. This article deals with the purchase of generators for a barbecue party, a small outdoor event such as tailgating as well as some bigger events.

Small example calculation of the power – A generator for a grill party or other small events

First, you should consider which devices you would like to supply? In most cases, the music system will play a role and in today’s world where every third person is a DJ, of course, a mixer, laptop or maybe 2 CD players or turntables are needed. Of course, the right lighting should not be missing. For the drinks, a fridge might be added.

If you know what you want to connect to the generator, you can estimate the performance by reading and adding the power consumption from the type plate on the device.

The power is indicated on the devices in watts ( W ) or kilowatts ( kW ). To understand briefly: 1 kW = 1000 Watt.

In total, your generator should have a reserve of at least 20% upwards so that the generator does not run all the time at the power limit and is fully utilized.

Example how to calculate the power for your generator:

You want to connect the following devices to the generator:

Mixing console: 60W

PA system: 1200 W

Notebook: 90W

Chain of lights: 600W

Refrigerator: 120 W

A total of 2070 W. With an extra reserve of 20%=414 W you should buy a generator that can do at least 2500 W / 2.5 kw.

What else should you keep in mind when considering the performance of the generators?

In conventional generators, the voltage produced, fluctuates and this fluctuating current is not suitable for sensitive devices such as smartphones and tablets.

An inverter generator with sufficient power can also help in this case. The inverter generators deliver a stable voltage and compensate for voltage fluctuations. 

There are also some features to consider. These include safety features as well as other features that make your life easier with generators. For example remote start.

Generators for a festival or larger events

If you want to buy a power generator for a “festival”, you will most likely have higher values than at a small party in the garden. You will probably end up with a 4-stroke or even a diesel generator.

Since we have used the term “festival”, it makes no sense to give an example here. Of course, it depends on which dimension you want to move in because there is a lot of planning behind.

The price of these generators can be very expensive, depending on their size. It might even be better to hire a company and rent very large generators.

Which generator do I buy now?

If you know now how much power you need, you should ask yourself the question of how often the generator should be used? A 2-stroke is usually cheaper than a somewhat smoother 4-stroke. In most cases, a  generator in these areas is not used daily and also mostly not weekly, therefore a gasoline generator would be sufficient.

Besides perhaps also small generators with sufficient watt should be considered if you want to freely and easily move your generator. Portable generators are primarily produced for this purpose. We would also recommend an inverter generator because of the sensitive devices.

Still not sure which portable generator to pick? Read this guide which is really helpful in picking the best portable generators.