Discuss Offsite garage solar lighting - spec me up! in the Solar PV Forum area at ElectriciansForums.net

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solarimg

Looking to fit a solar lighting system to the interior of an offsite garage.

My plan is to use a solar panel to charge a 12v deep cycle battery then run a switched live to some light bulbs to light up in the interior.

I just need some help in sussing out what/where I should buy the kit from. The building itself is 17ftx8ft with a height of 8ft. I'd like to have it lit up pretty well.

The battery I have sorted but I'd like suggestions for what panel/bulbs/holders I should buy. I see there's endless places selling bulbs and holders but I don't want to end up with some cheap tat that I have to replace every month, like wise for the panel.

Appreciate any help, if you need any more info then just ask.

Cheers!
 

Worcester

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If you have limited storage power, and want long outputs - go for the 12 V LEDs they'll use 60% less power than the Confact Flouresct - so your battery charge will last up to 3 times longer.
- also check out your local caravan / caravan accesories dealer for fittings etc - 12V is of course what is used in cars / caravans / mobile homes. (unless hooked up)

You'll also need a charge controller for the panel / battery so that it doesn't get overcharged.
 

MicraShed

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^^^ WHS if its lighting only then try the SMD LED route. I have a touring caravan and run pretty much all my lighting now as LED. The colour output is a little off from incandescent and CFL bulbs, but shop about and there are different spectrum LED bulbs out there. I seem to remember the better ones for colour reproduction are about the 2000 Kelvin mark (though I might be making that up). I got all my lighting bits off eBay and they make a difference to how frequently we have to charge the 85aH leisure battery if we are off grid touring somewhere.

This thread in a caravan forum explains far better than I can about the use of 12v SMD LED lighting. And this may be worth considering for your install.
L E D - S M D Lights - Caravan Accessories - Caravan Talk
 
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Worcester

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@MicraShed - Is the #42 on your vehicle because you know the answer to the ultimate question?? :wink_smile:
 
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solarimg

If you have limited storage power, and want long outputs - go for the 12 V LEDs they'll use 60% less power than the Confact Flouresct - so your battery charge will last up to 3 times longer.
- also check out your local caravan / caravan accesories dealer for fittings etc - 12V is of course what is used in cars / caravans / mobile homes. (unless hooked up)

You'll also need a charge controller for the panel / battery so that it doesn't get overcharged.
LED it is then.

How much would I be looking at for a charge controller? I'll then shop around and find something suitabe, rather than paying too much or not enough for something substandard.

^^^ WHS if its lighting only then try the SMD LED route. I have a touring caravan and run pretty much all my lighting now as LED. The colour output is a little off from incandescent and CFL bulbs, but shop about and there are different spectrum LED bulbs out there. I seem to remember the better ones for colour reproduction are about the 2000 Kelvin mark (though I might be making that up). I got all my lighting bits off eBay and they make a difference to how frequently we have to charge the 85aH leisure battery if we are off grid touring somewhere.

This thread in a caravan forum explains far better than I can about the use of 12v SMD LED lighting. And this may be worth considering for your install.
L E D - S M D Lights - Caravan Accessories - Caravan Talk
Colour isn't that much of a concern, obviously I want to avoid any freaky boudoir associated lighting, as long as it's white to some degree I'll be happy.

I'll have a read of that thread now.

FWIW I will also have access to a ctek charger for the odd charge to keep the battery healthy.
 

moggy1968

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as per my link above, sunstore do everything you need including charge controllers, they are also pretty handy for advice!
 
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leexgx

make sure its SMD lights not Old LED lights (less then £1-2 for LED, SMD norm £3-8+ depending if your getting an Branded ones or Brighter ones) as LED have very poor light output compared to SMD lights (some places sell SMD lights as LED when listed you really just have to look at the images of the listings as LED vs SMD look very different)
 

danesol

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or if you wait a week, I will be able to get you a full review of the pros & cons of a 30W single LED floodlight, supposingly equal in all counts to a 300w halagon floodlight
 
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solarfred

I have supplied a lighting kit for stable block with 4 stalls using LED tubes, 50watt (proper)Floodlight and low 1 watt bulkhead lights. Just finished a simple light kit project using 50wp panel and 5 -10 watt LED which should be good for 4-5 hours continuous with programmable garden lighting off DC supply as an option. Cost should be sub £200. (That used to be the cost of one solar panel!) I am sourcing decent deep cycle batteries which are the key to any such installation.
Happy to discuss any "remote" projects.
 
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solarimg

They claim to get 60 amp hours in one day from a 100wp panel. Well I guess we can all dream. I do that kit for half that price and I supply all the connectors you actually need to connect to a battery including a fuse which is quite important. I'll never get rich!
What would you be able to supply me?

I already have the battery, fortunately this is one area I'm quite well versed upon so managed to get something adequate.

I basically need everything else now, was thinking of starting off with a small solar panel, 4 mr16 bulbs and holders alongside all the usual ancillaries to get it all working.

My lighting needs aren't mega, I'd prefer there to be multiple sources of light with a decent beam angle on each bulb.

A combined price would be lovely if you could.

Ta.
 

danesol

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or if you wait a week, I will be able to get you a full review of the pros & cons of a 30W single LED floodlight, supposingly equal in all counts to a 300w halagon floodlight

These are just amazing - available from Red Hot LED - Suppliers of LED Lighting

I cant recommend them enough and saves all that messing around with solar panels for lighting !!!

Just a 30watt LED and you get 500watt equiv' halagen light from it ...........
 

Vegelen

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Danesol,

It would be really useful if you could post a night time photo of your LED Floodlight in action to show us how bright it is....

Is your house now identifiable to the US military in North Cheshire via satellite imaging by a white blinding light? :)
 
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S

solarfred

I think we are talking 12 volt off grid system here so a mains fed Flood will need an inverter and a solar panel. Plus the fact a 30watt led flood will not give the same light output as a 500 watt halogen. You mentioned 300 watts but now it's 500 watts. Have you compared them ? LED sellers have an amazing ability to "see the light" . Reality needs to kick in so customers are not fobbed off with hype.
 

Vegelen

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With LED lights the equivalent power output of a light tends to be x5 - x6 the consumed LED power output.
Thus I'd expect a 30 Watt LED flood to output 180W equivalence if it is Warm White 3000K.
If the LED light is very white - 5000K i'd expect the LED light's equivalent power to look higher.
Many reviewers of these 30W LED Security lights are saying that they are equivalent to 300W which seems a tad high.
 

danesol

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With LED lights the equivalent power output of a light tends to be x5 - x6 the consumed LED power output.
Thus I'd expect a 30 Watt LED flood to output 180W equivalence if it is Warm White 3000K.
If the LED light is very white - 5000K i'd expect the LED light's equivalent power to look higher.
Many reviewers of these 30W LED Security lights are saying that they are equivalent to 300W which seems a tad high.
Well I'm impressed and also re-ordered I think personally they are that good - my three floodlights were 500watts each and Ive replaced with 3 x 30w LED floodlights - so vast saving when the cats go by every hour on the hour - lol !

The only real criticism I have is that the PIR unit is too close to the actual unit, so you cant get the total flexibility some may require ( although they say you should cross the path of light instead of the same direction if that makes sense ), so IMO in some circumstances it would be best to order a non PIR version and wire in a standalone PIR, the price differential isnt that much difference when you can get good PIR's for around a fiver now
 

danesol

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I think we are talking 12 volt off grid system here so a mains fed Flood will need an inverter and a solar panel. Plus the fact a 30watt led flood will not give the same light output as a 500 watt halogen. You mentioned 300 watts but now it's 500 watts. Have you compared them ? LED sellers have an amazing ability to "see the light" . Reality needs to kick in so customers are not fobbed off with hype.
If the OP has main electric in this barn/garage, Yes he would need to look at the solutions been put forward, otherwise if he has mains electric, its not worth all the messing about with IMO and would pay to get these mains LED units instead.........

Sorry when I was first looking at them, I looked at the 20watt LED version which they claim to be equil' to 300watts, I ordered the 30watt LED versions which they state are equil' to 500watts

IMO they are more or less the same and as stated above have 3 units now replacing 3 x 500watt ( very expensive ) floodlights !

Happy customer - just hope they last....................
 

danesol

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Could of brought one or more of these off the shelf, the unit inside and the solar panel outside facing South;

LIDL Northern Ireland - lidl-ni.co.uk

Were on sale in the UK 2 wks ago @ £29.99, so no longer on UK site, although some stores may still have some ?


Selling same units at Maplins - for nearly double the price;

LED Solar Floodlight with PIR : Solar Shed Lights : Maplin Electronics

After using for a few weeks now - these unit however arent as good IMO as the mains supply 30watt LED units mentioned above, but they would be OK for internal use, which you could do.........
 

Vegelen

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Prices on these 30W LED Security Floodlights are prohibitive for what they are. i.e £50+

Prices are certain to rapidly fall as they get embraced by the mass market.

Hopefully they will halve in price to £25+ as the market adopts them.

Once bought I can see their energy saving potential i.e 300W > 30W per floodlight.
 

Worcester

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The only real criticism I have is that the PIR unit is too close to the actual unit, so you cant get the total flexibility some may require ( although they say you should cross the path of light instead of the same direction if that makes sense )
That's the way PIR's work, they have a number of sensors pointing in different directions and look for changes between them, if you walk straight toward them up a 'sight path' they won't detect. It's a function of the way PIR's are built, hence why you shouldn't use them in corridors...

If you want line of sight interaction you need microwave sensors... Another reason why you should use microwave sensors in toilets and offices - sit still and the PIR doesn't see you. - every seen anyone waving above the cubicle to turn the lights back on :) :)
 

danesol

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Prices on these 30W LED Security Floodlights are prohibitive for what they are. i.e £50+

Prices are certain to rapidly fall as they get embraced by the mass market.

Hopefully they will halve in price to £25+ as the market adopts them.

Once bought I can see their energy saving potential i.e 300W > 30W per floodlight.

I'm doing this for you as I know you like a financial calculation/statement in backup - lol

500watt Halogen costs 7.5p/hr to run ( assuming most pay 15p/kwhr )

so to get initially your capitol back I recon' it would take say 4yrs as follows;


at 500watt thats 666hrs useage for £ 50.00

so if you have your timer set to 10mins on activation thats 666 x 60mins = 39,960mins

divide that by 10mins at a go so thats 3,996 activations

Should your floodlights come on say 3 times in the night at 10mins ago thats 1095 activations

Therefore 3996/1095 = time taken to recoup your money.... alone

30watt LED costs 0.0045p to run per hr, so funny enough it takes 33.3hrs to use up 15pence, as opposed to a mere 2hrs using the 500watt halagen !

So the ongoing costs are very low...........................
 
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