Energy usage caused by malfunctioning security light?

softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,146 ✭✭✭✭
The LED light is rated at "25 watts" though it seems awfully bright for 25 watts. The light used to be motion activated. Now it shines all the time as noted in more edit. During daylight hours the gears work constantly in moving the light head back and forth. 

So it is malfunctioning in two ways. I have no easy way of ascertaining power consumption by the gear that constantly move the light head - which might weigh a bit over one pound by my estimation. 

EDIT: The light is on 24/7.
First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries

Comments

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,520 admin
    The motion security lights you buy at Costco seem to last around 3-5 years before they go bad... Say your light is now drawing 30 Watts 24x7:
    • 30 Watts * 24 hours per day * 30 days per month * 1 kWH / 1,000 WH = 21.6 kWH per month
    • 21.6 kWH per month * utility rate (say $0.20 per kWH) = $4.32 per month
    In around 10 months, a new unit will break even in power usage (~$43.20 in 10 month power costs).

    Is this what you were looking for?

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,146 ✭✭✭✭
    BB. said:
    The motion security lights you buy at Costco seem to last around 3-5 years before they go bad... Say your light is now drawing 30 Watts 24x7:
    • 30 Watts * 24 hours per day * 30 days per month * 1 kWH / 1,000 WH = 21.6 kWH per month
    • 21.6 kWH per month * utility rate (say $0.20 per kWH) = $4.32 per month
    In around 10 months, a new unit will break even in power usage (~$43.20 in 10 month power costs).

    Is this what you were looking for?

    -Bill
    Thanks - gives me an idea on the light. The gears are always turning the head and I wonder about that power usage as well. These were pricey security lights. They are motion activated and turn the light towards the motion when working properly. Plus they record video of the motion on Micro SD cards. They are no longer available. I bought a lot of $pare$ but many things disappeared when I left my shipping container open one fateful night. 

    If it wasn't for thieves, my life would be so very different. 
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,146 ✭✭✭✭
    Have mentioned that I see electronics do a lot of odd stuff. This light is slowly functioning better. The light is now off from to time. The head has quit rotating 100% of the time. Ughh. Intermittent problems are really the worst. 
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,520 admin
    edited May 2019 #5
    Moisture and "real bugs" would be my first guess.

    Second guess, the motion detectors (vs an actual camera based motion detector), use a thin semi-transparent white "lens" that focuses IR onto the sensor... And as the living object moves, the focus walks across the IR sensor. After a few years, I wonder if the plastic lens becomes opaque to IR light from UV solar exposure...

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,146 ✭✭✭✭
    BB. said:
    Moisture and "real bugs" would be my first guess.

    Second guess, the motion detectors (vs an actual camera based motion detector), use a thin semi-transparent white "lense" that focuses IR onto the sensor... And as the living object moves, the focus walks across the IR sensor. After a few years, I wonder if the plastic lense becomes opaque to IR light from UV solar exposure...

    -Bill
    So cleaning the lens may help. My headlights also need refurbishing. I'll order supplies.

    This makes sense. That light gets the most exposure to sunlight. 
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,520 admin
    I don't know that cleaning will help. On my lights, the lens just shattered when I tried to clean (UV turned brittle?).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • TecnodaveTecnodave Registered Users Posts: 418 ✭✭✭✭
    There is a product that is marketed for something entirely different purpose that works excellent on plastics....it will clear up modern automobile headlites that "fog out" and others such as dash dials on older automobiles.....
    Happich SemiChrome Polish......this is marketed for maintaining chrome on automobiles......it cleared all the dash gauges on my 1957 Volvo 444 in a few hours rubbing,they were so fogged that dials could not be read.. these parts are very rare and could not be found. This polish is very fine and does not leave scratches, not at all expensive and found in auto parts stores...... 
    2 Classic 150, 2 Kid, 5 arrays 7.5 kw total  2ea.  2S6P Sharp NE-170/NE-165, 1ea. 12P Sanyo HIT 200,  2ea. 4/6P Sanyo HIT 200, MagnaSine MS4024AE, Exeltech XP-1100,  2 Banks L-16 battery, Rolls-Surette S-530 and Interstate Traction, Shunts with whizbangJr and Bogart Tri-Metric, iCharger i208B  dc-dc buck/boost converter with BMS for small form lithium 8S 16650 or LiFePO4,
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,146 ✭✭✭✭
    Trying this - https://www.ebay.com/itm/332638540265

    Should know how it works in a couple months. 
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • mcgivormcgivor Solar Expert Posts: 3,407 ✭✭✭✭✭
    What works as well is toothpaste, the third world headlight polish.
    1500W, 6× Schutten 250W Poly panels , Schneider MPPT 60 150 CC, Schneider SW 2524 inverter, 400Ah LFP 24V nominal battery bank 
    Second system 1890W  3 × 300W No name brand poly, 3×330 Sunsolar Poly panels, Morningstar TS 60 PWM controller, no name 2000W inverter 400Ah FLA 24V nominal used for water pumping and day time air conditioning.  
    5Kw Yanmar clone single cylinder air cooled diesel generator for rare emergency charging and welding.
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,146 ✭✭✭✭
    What is working very well so far is Deep Woods Off - for cloudy acrylic headlight lenses. Just rub it in with a cloth. No idea how long it will last. 

    I heard that stuff eats up your skin in about 20 years of steady usage FWIW. 
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • TecnodaveTecnodave Registered Users Posts: 418 ✭✭✭✭
    I tend to stay from using toxics, much better for your health.  I have used toothpaste as a polish, it's very fine abrasive, Happich SemiChrome polish just works better, it's way thicker than toothpaste 
    2 Classic 150, 2 Kid, 5 arrays 7.5 kw total  2ea.  2S6P Sharp NE-170/NE-165, 1ea. 12P Sanyo HIT 200,  2ea. 4/6P Sanyo HIT 200, MagnaSine MS4024AE, Exeltech XP-1100,  2 Banks L-16 battery, Rolls-Surette S-530 and Interstate Traction, Shunts with whizbangJr and Bogart Tri-Metric, iCharger i208B  dc-dc buck/boost converter with BMS for small form lithium 8S 16650 or LiFePO4,
  • littleharbor2littleharbor2 Solar Expert Posts: 1,517 ✭✭✭✭
    BB. said:
    I don't know that cleaning will help. On my lights, the lens just shattered when I tried to clean (UV turned brittle?).

    -Bill
    +1 on BB,  The translucent "lens" are very fragile and will most likely crumble at the slightest touch. I've been through a bunch.

    I recently bought a couple new style motion lights which don't have the lens and just have a small sensor opening. They seem very well made. Unfortunately I couldn't get them to work right and they would only come on when you literally touched the sensor opening. They are very bright though. I was refunded my purchase price on them and now I think I will hard wire them to a switch. 

    2.1 Kw Suntech 175 mono, Classic 200, Trace SW 4024 ( 15 years old  but brand new out of sealed factory box Jan. 2015), Bogart Tri-metric, 700 ah @24 volt AGM battery bank. Plenty of Baja Sea of Cortez sunshine.

  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,146 ✭✭✭✭
    The security light has healed itself. Probably just dried out now that snow melt is no longer trickling into it. I did originally seal the top with silicone but outdoor seals tend to require periodic maintenance. 
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 4,478 ✭✭✭✭✭
    It's been my experience that silicone won't stick well to much of anything (including itself once cured).  It works okay as a sealant if it can be compressed a bit like a gasket after it sets up, but seems to invariably fail if surface applied.
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
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