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TANC 01-24-2010 07:53 AM

Solar Light - Suggestions Requested
I am looking a solar light or two that I can use in my shed, as I have no power going to it. The idea would be to have the solar panel on the outside wall of the shed, and run the wire to a light inside the shed. Making it one better would be if it could just store the juice until I turn the light on.

Looking for opinions, good or bad, on brands and types of lights I can find and use.

DangerMouse 01-24-2010 08:12 AM

i had this exact problem.... i needed to see the water level in the cistern way back in a dark corner of our tornado shelter. i already had 2 solar "cycle battery" chargers, so i wired a line from them, (upstairs in a window in the shed built on top of the shelter) to an LED flashlight that just hung above the cistern down below. if the sun was out, the flashlight was lit brightly. i could have easily placed a battery in the lineup too, but saw no need. the flashlight was only a few dollars and has lasted years, and i only see one LED bulb that has fried!
(thanks for this thread, it got me to go check my system!)


Billy_Bob 01-24-2010 09:42 AM

The key is total "wattage" of the lights you will be using AND how long at night you will want to have these lights on.

Solar panels are rated by "watts". This is the ability of the solar panel to "recharge" a battery. A very small wattage solar panel might take a week to recharge a small battery, but a higher wattage solar panel might be able to recharge a battery in a few hours.

Then there is a gizmo called a "charge controller". This regulates the charging of batteries.

And then there is a gizmo called an "inverter". This converts battery power into regular house electricity.

As to batteries, a small fully charged battery will power a small light all night, but might only power a higher wattage light for a few hours. Whereas a large battery might power several lights all night. Or several large batteries connected together would power more things. Or power things longer.

Here is all sorts of information on this...

Examples of Kits...

vsheetz 01-24-2010 10:49 AM

I bought one a few years ago online from Northern Tools I think it was. Was direct for your application. Consisted of a solar panel, a light with battery, and interconnection wire. Was not a whole lot of money if I recall, maybe $75 or so.

TANC 01-24-2010 02:26 PM

The all in one deal from Northern Tools sounds about what i am looking for, just an all in one deal I can buy and install.

Scuba_Dave 01-24-2010 03:06 PM

Lights will also last much longer if they are LED
I have (5) LED MR16 lights that point along my main room ceiling
They draw just under 2w each, with the power pack about 10w total
Each one has 32 LEDs, pointed down they light up a large area
I have 3 more over my peninsula in the kitchen
One power pack I have is good for 40w = about 20 of the LED lights

vsheetz 01-24-2010 07:37 PM


Originally Posted by TANC (Post 388254)
The all in one deal from Northern Tools sounds about what i am looking for, just an all in one deal I can buy and install.

Three such units on their website at this time:

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