EcoRenovator  

Go Back   EcoRenovator > Improvements > Lighting
Advanced Search
 


Blog Register 60+ Home Energy Saving Tips Recent Posts Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-02-19, 03:33 PM   #1
The Pool Man
Lurking Renovator
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: California
Posts: 12
Thanks: 1
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Outdoor Lantern Solar Solution needed

Greetings,

I've been all over Amazon and AliExpress looking for a type of product that boils down to an LED bulb connected to a solar panel. Almost all options are a dim bulb with a tiny solar panel.

I don't understand is why someone doesn't offer way brighter bulbs with a way bigger solar panel. (Is it a battery storage issue?)

So I visit here under the presumption I may need to hire an electrician to 'make' the product I'm seeking. That is: I take a lantern and bulb combo I already use and juice it (somehow) with a larger solar panel.

I'm going to include links to my bulb and lantern. I must stick with these because I'm in a condo complex using only this fixture. (What I'm doing is adding a lantern where no electricity ever was set up.)

This is not spam. It's just so that anyone who has spec questions can simply go to the links.

The lantern --

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Acclaim-...W-FR/204204459

This Dusk Till Dawner bulb (7 Watts) -- (edited, explained way below)

https://www.amazon.com/Sensor-Lights-Lighting-Automatic-Outdoor/dp/B07KFML3CH/ref=pd_sim_60_3?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B076CN463G& pd_rd_r=708b4f24-1065-11e9-a4fb-b1d8f98b2ea8&pd_rd_w=WnFrk&pd_rd_wg=jXLfp&pf_rd_p= 18bb0b78-4200-49b9-ac91-f141d61a1780&pf_rd_r=XP9K00YH4MRRENJKQ6X2&refRID=X P9K00YH4MRRENJKQ6X2&th=1

So I'm looking for a way to set up a large enough solar panel/battery/convertor situation to power this.

In this picture I show where I'd like to run the exposed wiring.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/MJ378Vd5SPSvj2Sx7

The panel would run to a California rooftop typically bathed in light.

So is this possible? And reasonably affordable?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Last edited by Daox; 01-08-19 at 11:55 AM..
The Pool Man is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-19, 07:21 PM   #2
NeilBlanchard
Journeyman EcoRenovator
 
NeilBlanchard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Maynard, MA Eaarth
Posts: 383
Thanks: 78
Thanked 38 Times in 32 Posts
Default

I would think the battery and charger are the hardest part?

Are you going with an all DC set up?
NeilBlanchard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-19, 08:23 PM   #3
The Pool Man
Lurking Renovator
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: California
Posts: 12
Thanks: 1
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by NeilBlanchard View Post
I would think the battery and charger are the hardest part?

Are you going with an all DC set up?
If you're asking would I use the wires that come out of the lantern, yes. Since I'm (frankly) unaware of alternatives. Frankly = clueless on electricity.

My concern about a battery is that in summer it can get HOT where I am. I can come up with schemes of where to hide it but my concern is if a battery can simply spend weeks at a time over 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

When you say 'charger' do you mean a mechanism that instructs the solar to be saved to the panel? Or from the panel to the lantern/bulb? Or both?

Thanks for your response.

(By the by, I'm originally from Brockton.)
The Pool Man is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-19, 09:57 AM   #4
NeilBlanchard
Journeyman EcoRenovator
 
NeilBlanchard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Maynard, MA Eaarth
Posts: 383
Thanks: 78
Thanked 38 Times in 32 Posts
Default

Hi,

The solar panel produces DC - direct current - electricity. The battery also is DC. The bulb could be DC, but many are AC - alternating current; which is what your house is. The battery charger regulates how much power goes into the battery. The wiring for DC is quite different than AC - it has to be larger gauge to reduce losses, the longer the wires are.

It looks like the bulbs you have chosen are AC. So, you need an inverter to get AC from the DC battery.
NeilBlanchard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-19, 11:30 AM   #5
jjackstone
Helper EcoRenovator
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Sacramento,Ca
Posts: 72
Thanks: 4
Thanked 28 Times in 20 Posts
Default

Other pertinent questions. Is it being used for security? How many hours per night does it need to be on(battery size)? How much space do you have for a solar panel before the condo people get upset?

JJ
jjackstone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-19, 02:54 PM   #6
The Pool Man
Lurking Renovator
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: California
Posts: 12
Thanks: 1
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjackstone View Post
Other pertinent questions. Is it being used for security? How many hours per night does it need to be on(battery size)? How much space do you have for a solar panel before the condo people get upset?

JJ
Great questions.

The security aspect is to augment existing lighting which is nearby. And so if there's a few days of the year the light doesn't really come on, that's okay.

I'd like the bulb to work all night but a definite minimum of 6 hours. This is a rooftop and so a panel size restriction in unnecessary. I don't know if a panel that's like 4 by 2 feet (or whatever) will cover this.

Is there a panel kit on Amazon that fits this bill?
The Pool Man is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-19, 02:55 PM   #7
The Pool Man
Lurking Renovator
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: California
Posts: 12
Thanks: 1
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by NeilBlanchard View Post
Hi,

The solar panel produces DC - direct current - electricity. The battery also is DC. The bulb could be DC, but many are AC - alternating current; which is what your house is. The battery charger regulates how much power goes into the battery. The wiring for DC is quite different than AC - it has to be larger gauge to reduce losses, the longer the wires are.

It looks like the bulbs you have chosen are AC. So, you need an inverter to get AC from the DC battery.
Thanks for the Solar Schooling.

Is this project do-able?
The Pool Man is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-19, 08:36 PM   #8
NeilBlanchard
Journeyman EcoRenovator
 
NeilBlanchard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Maynard, MA Eaarth
Posts: 383
Thanks: 78
Thanked 38 Times in 32 Posts
Default

Typical solar panels are 200-300 watts. The light you linked to is 5W, and depending on where you are, and how much sun you get on average - it should be very doable. But, it may or may not be "worth" doing.

It depends on the cost - if you can find a small (say 20-100 watt panel), for under $50, and a workable battery system for about the same - then would that be worth it to you?

A 5 watt bulb is a very small load. With a motion detector built into the bulb, it may only operate a few minutes a day - or maybe it won't run at all?

The expensive parts are the solar panel, the battery, it's charger, and the inverter - and the labor to install it all.
NeilBlanchard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-19, 12:28 AM   #9
The Pool Man
Lurking Renovator
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: California
Posts: 12
Thanks: 1
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by NeilBlanchard View Post
The expensive parts are the solar panel, the battery, it's charger, and the inverter - and the labor to install it all.
The good news is that the labor will be cheap. Under $200 for the rest would be acceptable. I've got California sun and no trees in the way and rarely clouds.

But that light isn't a motion detector -- it's meant to come on each night for as long as the battery can handle it. Minimum six hours.
The Pool Man is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-19, 01:05 AM   #10
jjackstone
Helper EcoRenovator
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Sacramento,Ca
Posts: 72
Thanks: 4
Thanked 28 Times in 20 Posts
Default

The light you linked to is a motion sensor light. Neil has pretty much got you lined out. That bulb runs on AC. As he said you would need a very small inverter to turn the DC from the batteries into usable AC for the bulb. There are a number of other lamp solutions out there that do exactly what you want but not with that housing. If you must use that housing you will need the solar panel, a battery pack, the battery charge controller, an inverter and probably a small enclosure for the electronic items. You might try to find a direct DC LED bulb that will fit in the housing, remove the AC socket and find a way to mount the DC bulb. That would eliminate the need for an inverter.

Something like this could work.

https://www.amazon.com/GLW-Waterproof-Outdoor-Security-Equivalent/dp/B00DI3N0QM

JJ


Last edited by Daox; 01-08-19 at 11:52 AM..
jjackstone is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:13 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Ad Management by RedTyger
Inactive Reminders By Icora Web Design