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Old 04-30-2010, 09:11 AM   #1
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Converting outdoor gas lamp to solar?


I have a post lamp out in my front yard which was gas for the longest time but has recently had its gas line removed. I'm wondering if anyone knows of a kit out there that would allow me to convert this into a solar powered lamp?

And if not, what are my options as far as converting this into a simple electric lamp?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 04-30-2010, 09:36 AM   #2
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Do you have a picture? I see no reason why you could not retrofit a solar light to it.

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Old 04-30-2010, 04:24 PM   #3
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I think I could definitely retrofit a light onto it, the problem is that the lamp is under a big oak tree. I would need to install a light in the lamp and the solar receiver short distance away where there is more direct sunlight. Is there anything on the market like that?

Sorry, I should been more specific in the original post. And I can work on a picture later on but its raining today.
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Old 04-30-2010, 05:27 PM   #4
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I would test it under the tree. You would be surprised at how much charge there is even in the shade.
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Old 04-30-2010, 07:35 PM   #5
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You might get 100 watt-hours out of a one-square-meter panel for 5 hours/day.
This would power a 60w bulb for 8 hours of nighttime. At 12v you'd need at least a 40 amp-hour deep cycle battery.
For long periods of sunless days the battery would need to be much larger.

Your minimum bulb wattage is probably 4w for this application but you can test this with small household bulbs and an extension cord.

Last edited by Yoyizit; 04-30-2010 at 07:39 PM.
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Old 04-30-2010, 07:37 PM   #6
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No way I would run a 40 watt bulb on solar. It needs to be LEDs.
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Old 04-30-2010, 07:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joed View Post
No way I would run a 40 watt bulb on solar. It needs to be LEDs.
In that case a 4w omnidirectional LED array is probably equal in lumen output to a 20w incand. The conversion is on Wiki somewhere. For max efficiency the OP would need an LED driver circuit. That same battery will then keep this lit for ~120 hours of no sun.

Last edited by Yoyizit; 04-30-2010 at 07:52 PM.
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Old 04-30-2010, 08:49 PM   #8
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I, once converted a 120 volt light to solar.
I bought a solar light at Home Depot and transferred the parts from it, into the original light.
The original light was a cast iron antique, that I wanted to keep!
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