weatherproof on/off switch recommendation?

bmetbmet Solar Expert Posts: 630 ✭✭
I like the remote on/off function of the Morningstar 300w TSW inverter. I'd like to be able to use that with an exterior switch, to turn-on the interior lights (after dark) from the outside of my shop.

What sort of weather-proof switch or push-button contact would anyone recommend to connect to this inverter? Thank you.

Comments

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,223 admin
    Re: weatherproof on/off switch recommendation?

    Any weather proof switch from a Home Depot to a boating supply shop should work... I would guess that the nominal circuit rating is 12 VDC and a few milliamps.

    If you are looking for something ultra reliable--Go by a electronics store and look for low voltage/low current rated switches (may have gold contacts). With low voltage/low current, the wiping action on standard 120/240 VAC rated switches may not be able clear lubricant/oxides reliably (12 volt is right on the margin of "low voltage"). You may have to clean/replace 120 VAC switches after a couple years (but they are cheap and easy to get).

    Weather proof low voltage switches may be harder to find (or make something up yourself with a magnet and reed switch--for example).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,129 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: weatherproof on/off switch recommendation?

    Any normal switch in a weather proof box, with a gasketed cover should work fine. As Bill suggests the current is tiny.

    Tony
  • bmetbmet Solar Expert Posts: 630 ✭✭
    Re: weatherproof on/off switch recommendation?

    When I went to Home Depot I got sidetracked into the lighting section because I saw this 12V LED Light, rated at 4 watts / 170 Lumens

    http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1vZ1xh4/R-202022934/h_d2/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053

    I also purchased a low-voltage submersible housing, and replaced the stock 20 Watt Halogen with the LED. All I can say is WOW. 4 watts never looked so bright. It will make the perfect entrance light, and it's almost as bright as the Halo.

    I got so sidetracked I forgot to look for a switch :p
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: weatherproof on/off switch recommendation?

    if it is a low current application well under an amp then it may be possible to use a weatherproofed ac switch with the ac ratings in the 15-20a range as these tend to be cheaper in price than their dc counterparts. do that only if you don't find a suitable dc switch.
  • bmetbmet Solar Expert Posts: 630 ✭✭
    Re: weatherproof on/off switch recommendation?

    The packaging doesn't specify AC or DC, only that is a 12V lamp. If this was meant for low voltage AC, and I am feeding it from the 'load' terminal of the charge controller, will the 12VDC kill the lamp prematurely?
  • bmetbmet Solar Expert Posts: 630 ✭✭
    Re: weatherproof on/off switch recommendation?

    Powered by the Load terminal of my charge controller, the DMM is placed in series with the 12V, 4W LED. When engaged, it measures 280 milliAmps. I can't believe how bright this lamp is at 4 watts, but at less than 300 mA of current draw it is my guess it won't burn out right away. Also, the submersible housing has a 12 ft., 14AWG cable.

    It sort of makes a nice walk-around spot light for the area immediately in front of my shed.
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: weatherproof on/off switch recommendation?
    bmet wrote: »
    Powered by the Load terminal of my charge controller, the DMM is placed in series with the 12V, 4W LED. When engaged, it measures 280 milliAmps. I can't believe how bright this lamp is at 4 watts, but at less than 300 mA of current draw it is my guess it won't burn out right away. Also, the submersible housing has a 12 ft., 14AWG cable.

    [email protected] V, is less than 3.4 watts, so for sure you're not driving it too hard. In all probabilities, it is a DC unit.
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