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Old 03-29-2013, 10:00 PM   #1
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Default off the grid shed lighting

Lets say I want to be cheap and practical and not pull permits.

I am thinking LED strip lights like I did on my kitchen undercabinet task lighting. They are great color temp and bright per unit length.





And how awesome would it be to power them with a solar-charged bank of batteries? They pull reasonable power for their brightness and they take up zero space. Probably less than 45 watts to light up the whole shed like daytime?

How long would a deep cycle battery do in that condition? A random optima yellow top like I had in my miata (D35) had a capacity of 48 amp hours.

the 5000 mm strip of 492 LEDs pulls 3.3 amps. so that's what, 16 hours of light absolute max for one battery?

Also how long does it take to charge a single car battery with a solar panel? I suppose it depends on size / wattage of the panel but... how long?

pimp my shack!
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Old 03-29-2013, 10:09 PM   #2
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Why not just run a car charger to it and plug it in every couple days for a couple hours?
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Old 03-29-2013, 10:26 PM   #3
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... U serious?
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Old 03-29-2013, 10:34 PM   #4
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I'm in need of some LED undercounter lights. Where'd you source yours?

C
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Old 03-30-2013, 08:31 AM   #5
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Circumventing a permit is not a very "democrat" thing to do.

BTW, the kitchen looks bomb.com.
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Old 03-30-2013, 09:31 AM   #6
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That is a very classy look you have there.

I have a client that has two solar powered gazebos out in the woods that powers lights, well, and an electric gate. It may be a month or so before I see him again. I will be sure to ask some of the basic questions you may have.

His off the grid is not DIY. He had a contractor build them, and they are BALLER! I remember there being some bugs that he was working out.
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Old 03-30-2013, 10:37 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curly View Post
Why not just run a car charger to it and plug it in every couple days for a couple hours?
because I will forget. double when I need it most.

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... U serious?
.... I very.

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Originally Posted by chriscar View Post
I'm in need of some LED undercounter lights. Where'd you source yours?

C
inspired led. I think it's just inspiredled.com


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Circumventing a permit is not a very "democrat" thing to do.

BTW, the kitchen looks bomb.com.
is a shed. the point is to be outside permit requirements. low voltage power systems also qualify I believe.

and thanks. I did it myself on the super cheap.
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Old 03-30-2013, 09:16 PM   #8
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so like no ideas for me? other than get some deep cycle batteries and a charge controller and some panels?
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Old 03-30-2013, 10:08 PM   #9
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Lol. My reply was to brain.
What ideas are you after you are going to run it from solar right?

Dann
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Old 03-30-2013, 10:13 PM   #10
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Lol, apparently I'm brain now.
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Old 03-30-2013, 11:01 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by y8s View Post
so like no ideas for me? other than get some deep cycle batteries and a charge controller and some panels?
That's pretty much what I was thinking.

Suppliers of RV parts are a good place to look for low-power solar systems targeted at 12 batteries, as RVers commonly use these as float chargers for their house battery.

Something like this: Nature Power Solar Battery Charge Controllers - 8 Amp - Rdk Products 600008 - Solar Panels - Camping World

and this: Nature Power Solar Battery Chargers - High Output - 80 Watt - Rdk Products 50082 - Solar Panels - Camping World


Homepage of manufacturer, where you can download datasheets and manuals: Solar Panels & Charge Controllers - Products - Nature Power

If you're only running 50 watts of lighting, you wouldn't need a big battery like an Optima. A small SLA battery would probably work just fine: Sealed Lead Acid Battery 12V 20AH, 240wh (S) That battery would run 50 watts of lighting for about four and a half hours. You could parallel a second one to double that.
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Old 03-31-2013, 12:26 AM   #12
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Sorry curly, i didnt check who I had replied to before I posted that and it eemed like a brain thing to post :P

Dann
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Old 03-31-2013, 12:42 AM   #13
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Quote:
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so like no ideas for me? other than get some deep cycle batteries and a charge controller and some panels?
I think you can get solar patio or walkway lights and hack them up to feed the LED strips. Stick the panels in the window or roof and wire them to the strips. I wonder what the current draw is on the strips and how they compare to the default lights of those kits.
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Old 03-31-2013, 01:01 AM   #14
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I always forget about ebay... Much cheaper panels:

100 w Watt 100W 100WATTS Photovoltaic PV Solar Panel Module 12V RV Boat | eBay

Grab the charge controller and SLA battery from the links I posted earlier. Combine with this panel (or one of the many like it.) Profit.



Sidebar: Commentary about the truthfulness of eBay vendors:



Really?
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Old 03-31-2013, 01:07 AM   #15
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A lot of LED strip runs on 12v, so a project like this could be really simple if you do what Joe suggested. A couple of deep cycle batteries in parallel, with a panel and charging circuit that is designed for charging a 12v system. It all falls together without any scary EE math.

Im currently involved in an art project involving battery power LED backlighting in some small paintings, that will show through the canvas, fading in and out.
Using 9V worth of NiMH batteries, running through a switching "step-up" to 12v, with the LEDs being PWM controlled by an ATTiny85 and a trusty 2N222 transistor.

Its awesome how cheap LED strip is. I bought 5 meters for ~20 bucks from a US distributor on ebay.
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Old 03-31-2013, 09:45 AM   #16
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I heard buried extension cords are pretty cheap and easy...
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Old 03-31-2013, 10:37 AM   #17
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I heard buried extension cords are pretty cheap and easy...
I gwar you for that drivel.

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Old 03-31-2013, 10:51 AM   #18
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and now we're getting somewere. Mostly I was just looking for Joe to provide links to sites he's probably been on in the last couple years because bicycle.

I need to figure out a realistic number of LEDs to wire up. The first internet link says 40 foot candles is good for garages (ie awesome sheds). or lumens per square foot. I have just under 200 square feet so... I need 8000 lumens total?

one LED on those strips is 4.1 lumens so I need 1951 LEDs. That's 6 and a half 10 foot strips of ultra-bright LEDs and would cost about $430.

I think those numbers will not work for me, but it'd be pretty glorious.
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Old 03-31-2013, 05:51 PM   #19
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Quote:
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Mostly I was just looking for Joe to provide links to sites he's probably been on in the last couple years because bicycle.
Sadly, bicycle doesn't teach me much about LED illumination.

The only experience I have there is with LED light strips (LEDs embedded in a flexible plastic strip) which we use for accent lighting in studio furniture- things like edge-lighting a piece of etched polycarb, or casting a glow under a countertop. These specific light strips would IMO, be too dim for use as general task lighting.
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Old 03-31-2013, 06:26 PM   #20
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I put a 3m strip of smd 5050 LEDs (180 in the string) in our tiny shed in our backyard because I didn't feel like running ac out there. I used an old car battery we had to power them. We hardly go out to the shed except to look for stuff we need so I stick the battery on the battery tender every month. I thought about a solar panel but it really isn't important enough for me. Total cost was $15, which includes the eBay LED string, a switch, and a junction box and switch plate from the hardware store. Stuff I already had was wire and the battery. Pretty simple and works well for me. For something used daily then a solar panel and/or multiple deep cycle batteries would be a good investment.
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