cabin security lighting

mwwilleymwwilley Registered Users Posts: 8
Hey guys- I have, quite simply, a 60w panel, a 10 amp controller and a fused 100 ah lead acid battery. So far, all I'm doing is powering lights while weekend camping. I'm there every weekend but I want to leave a couple of lights on during the week to discourage curious drive-bys. (the cabin is 40 yards off a seldom travelled road) I'm talking maybe 15 watts of 12v cf bulbs. My knowledge is limited and I'm concerned about leaving anything unattended. Suggestions? Thoughts? Oh BTW, I'm in western new york state. Thanx

Comments

  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: cabin security lighting

    Welcome to the forum.

    Good ol' Upstate NY. Right near that city known as "The Cloud Capital of The World." :p

    That is one of the concerns: the low sunlight availability.

    See here's the thing: if you leave a 15 Watt bulb burning for 24 hours that's 360 Watt hours. For 12 Volts, that's 30 Amp hours of power right there. Whereas a 100 Amp hour battery can supply that with no problem, can you get it back with one 60 Watt panel in a day? No. First of all a 60 Watt panel will put out an average of about 46 Watts. Second, there is usually only a 4 hour window of "equivalent good sun" which means the total panel production for a day would be roughly 184 Watt hours. Those gray Winter days will be far worse than that. This is your concern.

    I'd suggest you look in to programmable 12 Volt DC timers like this: http://www.solar-electric.com/fldctico.html That way the light(s) would not be on all the time. This helps fool would-be burglars too, as changing lights could be a timer or someone in residence.

    Another question is: does your charge controller have a low Voltage disconnect like this one: http://www.solar-electric.com/ss-10l.html That way the lighting system can be shut off automatically if the battery Voltage should fall too low, keeping it from completely discharging the battery.

    Finally (for now) I'll just mention that you should be looking to increase your PV because 60 Watts is quite low for charging even a 100 Amp hour battery (and I hope that's a true deep cycle not a RV/Marine or automotive battery). Really you should have at least double that much PV, if not triple.
  • mwwilleymwwilley Registered Users Posts: 8
    Re: cabin security lighting

    I'm sorry- I failed to mention that the controller has a timer and its set to 8 hours on. Also yes the controller has a low v disconnect. thanx
  • rgs03833rgs03833 Registered Users Posts: 16
    Re: cabin security lighting

    Hi,

    I would go the CHEAP way, plus you will save a lot of Energy too... lol. Just use 12V DC Motion Sensors and 12V Car h7 102 SMD LED.

    1. DC 12V 8A PIR Motion Sensor Switch for lighting light (Ebay # 180685787042)

    2. H7 12V 102 SMD LED Head Light Bulb Lamp White 4800K (Ebay # 230670458607 - About 400 Lumen and it's only 3.7 Watt - AMP usage is .31)

    I use to use CFL, but the inverter they get HOT if you leave it on all night, but for 24 hours... I would be scared!

    If you decide to go the LED way, you will need a dome to enclose the exposed LED incase of rain, in my case I took the CFL DOME and put the new LED in.

    A cheap Solar light with glass dome @ home depot would work too, big enough to fit the LED in it. Just drill a hole on top and attached solder +/- wire to the LED so you can hang it ( Rain Proof - I have sample, just need to take a pix later lol).

    Now I use the CAR H7 102 LED and it works great all night long, LOW heat I LOVE IT.

    I have 16 LED's in a 6BR House, I have 4 LED's always on running from about 8pm - 6AM because of the Stairs / Hallways and 12 LED's on Motion and the Energy usage is around 16-22 AMP's per night with 5 people in the house. Before i put in the LED it was around 24-36 AMP's per night. I only have a 180 Watts Solar Panel, 30 Amp Solar Controller, 115AH Battery. Pretty Self-Sustainable.

    Also, Cariboocoot have good suggestions :) Take his idea with a Timer if you can afford it cause you have more control. Also, if you have a Timer built in, I use that first and see.

    See pix below how I did it.
  • 2manytoyz2manytoyz Solar Expert Posts: 373 ✭✭✭
    Re: cabin security lighting

    I'm using a Morningstar Sunlight 10A charge controller. It has the added benefit of having a built-in light controller. You can select the number of hours you want your lights to run, or set it for dusk/dawn, which I've done so for years.

    http://www.morningstarcorp.com/en/sun-light

    If you use a low wattage 12V CFL, you can connect it directly to the light output (rated at 10A) on the charge controller, and you're done. The charge controller also has a built-in low voltage disconnect.

    I added a 12V 40A relay to the output of my charge controller, allowing the charge controller to turn on a 400W MSW Vector inverter. I connected a couple of CFL low wattage lights to the inverter. These are outside lights that operate all night, every night. There's no flicker or hum from using a MSW inverter with these lights. I did have to replace the fan after a couple of years, but it's still working great.

    Pics and details here: http://www.2manytoyz.com/cflinverter.html
  • The Original RalphThe Original Ralph Solar Expert Posts: 50 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: cabin security lighting
    rgs03833 wrote: »
    Hi,

    I would go the CHEAP way, plus you will save a lot of Energy too... lol. Just use 12V DC Motion Sensors and 12V Car h7 102 SMD LED.

    1. DC 12V 8A PIR Motion Sensor Switch for lighting light (Ebay # 180685787042)

    2. H7 12V 102 SMD LED Head Light Bulb Lamp White 4800K (Ebay # 230670458607 - About 400 Lumen and it's only 3.7 Watt - AMP usage is .31)

    I use to use CFL, but the inverter they get HOT if you leave it on all night, but for 24 hours... I would be scared!

    If you decide to go the LED way, you will need a dome to enclose the exposed LED incase of rain, in my case I took the CFL DOME and put the new LED in.

    A cheap Solar light with glass dome @ home depot would work too, big enough to fit the LED in it. Just drill a hole on top and attached solder +/- wire to the LED so you can hang it ( Rain Proof - I have sample, just need to take a pix later lol).

    Now I use the CAR H7 102 LED and it works great all night long, LOW heat I LOVE IT.

    I have 16 LED's in a 6BR House, I have 4 LED's always on running from about 8pm - 6AM because of the Stairs / Hallways and 12 LED's on Motion and the Energy usage is around 16-22 AMP's per night with 5 people in the house. Before i put in the LED it was around 24-36 AMP's per night. I only have a 180 Watts Solar Panel, 30 Amp Solar Controller, 115AH Battery. Pretty Self-Sustainable.

    Also, Cariboocoot have good suggestions :) Take his idea with a Timer if you can afford it cause you have more control. Also, if you have a Timer built in, I use that first and see.

    See pix below how I did it.

    can i ask where you got that exterior 12v bulb? just did a search and finding everything but those
  • mwwilleymwwilley Registered Users Posts: 8
    Re: cabin security lighting

    My 12v bulbs (3 @ 5w each) are straight from the controller, which has a built in controller/timer. I don't use an inverter. Just 60w panel to 10a controller to no-heat, 5w 12v bulbs. On at dusk and off at 2:00am. (Of course that time frame will increase rapidly over the next few weeks). Powered by a 100ah lead/acid deep cycle battery. With overcharge and low voltage protection and a 10amp fuse at the battery. Unless there are several days of cloud cover, we generally AVERAGE about 3 hours of sun a day. Should supply and safety during the 5 days I'm not there still be a concern? Per cariboocoot's suggestion, I do plan on upping the array. thanx again
  • rgs03833rgs03833 Registered Users Posts: 16
    Re: cabin security lighting
    mwwilley wrote: »
    My 12v bulbs (3 @ 5w each) are straight from the controller, which has a built in controller/timer. I don't use an inverter. Just 60w panel to 10a controller to no-heat, 5w 12v bulbs. On at dusk and off at 2:00am. (Of course that time frame will increase rapidly over the next few weeks). Powered by a 100ah lead/acid deep cycle battery. With overcharge and low voltage protection and a 10amp fuse at the battery. Unless there are several days of cloud cover, we generally AVERAGE about 3 hours of sun a day. Should supply and safety during the 5 days I'm not there still be a concern? Per cariboocoot's suggestion, I do plan on upping the array. thanx again


    Hi,

    From my point of view, you have everything you need. Don't go spending money with all them gadgets with such a simple system, save the money for another Panel so you can have more LEDs all over the place when you are enjoying your Weekends... Can I visit, LOL?

    All you need is the LED's I suggested and the DOME for Rain safety, 4 LED's Should be good @ 1.2 AH if you leave it on from Dawn to 2AM. That's only about 8+ AH per night and with the LED's you don't have to worry as much and it will last you 50,000 hours +++. No need to spend more money in the Future. Don't buy the CFL's, they are HOT if you leave them on all night and you will have to replace them after 6000 to 8000 + hours and I have like 3 out of 16 already bad, and I just started to use Solar about 3 months ago... Either MFRs defect or because I leave them on all night. Whatever it is... They are NOT only expensive compared to what I found, but worries... and Cost replacing them... With the LED's I don't have to worry and cost effective. Why bother spending money, just save it toward your new Panel :)

    As far as for the Inverters I mentioned, it's in the CFL itself. If you look at my Pix there is the Before and After Pix, you can see the Inverter inside the CFL even though it is hooked directly to the Battery. All of the CFL's regardless 110V AC or 12V DC I know, have its own Inverter in the Bulb.

    As for the DOME, if you are looking for the same one I have... It makes the Lights Prettier and also Rain Proof and the Defuser makes the light even and you won't go blind looking at the LED cause the LED is bright, LOL.

    NOTE: Inside the DOME, you have to put Silicon to cover the small Holes, since it was made for the CFL's because of HEAT :( to make it RAIN / SNOW proof.

    The Seller made a mistake on the Spelling, I just bought 12 more just for the DOME, LOL... It's easy to unscrew and modified it on your own. I just unscrewed the DOME and take out the 12V Inverter (Which I hate cause of HEAT). Then just use the Wire inside and solder it tight to my LED. That is it, done... About 2 - 5 mins. each bulb, 5 mins. if you are anal and you want to CENTERED the LED bulb, lol.

    Here is the DOME LIGHT INFO:

    6PK 5WATT 12VOLT DC FLORECIENT LIGHT BULB RV SOLAR 12V (Ebay #: 160619094349)

    The seller do have it in 1, 2 or 6 QTY, your choice.

    I would just buy 6, incase you need to replace the DOME in the Future because of Weather and the Sun. But if you don't care about the LOOK, just buy as you need and save your money.

    Pix below are the JUNK CFL's with the INVERTER in them I was speaking about. Also the Modified HomeDepot Solar Light hanging in action, it was $4 each but the Defuser is NOT as bright as the one I got from Ebay for $8.33 a piece, there is a glass DOME at HomeDepot, but cost more $$$ just as much as the 5W CFL DOME I liked on Ebay, LOL. I glued in a 1 Gallon Bleach CAP where the Stake was, to prevent Spiders nesting in there. I enclosed Pix of the 5Watt CFL and the LED in the DOME for light brightness comparison.

    You want the 5W CFL I got (Without Dome)? I sell it to you for CHEAP, LMAO. Trust me you don't want them...

    P.S. Don't worry about not being there. Just take extra precaution when setting up, use your head. Heat is your number one enemy, but if you use LEDs. Heat is LOW. Also, your Controller have Dusk / Dawn / Timer. You shouldn't have a problem, but you can't control everything. The extra precaution should make you at ease.

    P.S.S... You want to go the CHEAPEST way? Look at my the last Picture, I bought a Lipton Ice Tea and use the bottle as a Defuser / Rain / Snow proof, cut it in half, drill a hole to string my wire through and just Glue or Silicon the hole when all done. Plus you can enjoy the Ice Tea, be creative, use Poland Spring bottle if you don't like Tea LMFAO... But WARNINNG, opening under is NOT Dust or Spider Proof, hehehe

    If you have more questions.... Let me know... Learn it from my MISTAKES!
  • The Original RalphThe Original Ralph Solar Expert Posts: 50 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: cabin security lighting

    tks for the info - but i had wanted the dome enclosure for another application and it looks like it's going to be on the small side for what i need it for (security camera).
  • rgs03833rgs03833 Registered Users Posts: 16
    Re: cabin security lighting
    tks for the info - but i had wanted the dome enclosure for another application and it looks like it's going to be on the small side for what i need it for (security camera).

    Hi Ralph,

    The Dome is a Defuser, you won't beable to use it for Camera anyway. It has lines in them cause it defuses the light, you might see lines on your Cam, lol

    :)
  • mwwilleymwwilley Registered Users Posts: 8
    Re: cabin security lighting

    Thanx rgs03833- Good info and pics. I'll focus on panels and look more into LED.
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