Solar powered down lights

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I have a project ongoing posted on diynot projects " replace decrepit garage etc". I have some textured white panels I would like to have a single blue down light shining down from the soffit onto each panel at night. I have googled and keep coming up with cheap deck light set ups. They sound questionable especially as they seem to be 20/30 quid!

I have a nearby shed that has a lean to roof facing south that I wanted a remote panel on. It would power the lights during the night. It doesn't need to be bright but most cheap set ups sound Like they only work properly in Ibiza.

Any help will will be much appreciated
 
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With solar power it's down to the regulator used.

The cheap regulators start charging a 12 volt battery when the volts reach around 13 volt and will normally convert anything over 13.8 volt to heat.

The more expensive regulator turns the DC from the panel to AC and transforms it to the charge voltage required then back to DC so starts charging earlier and stops latter. They can also have a set charging system where to start with the unit pumps as much into the battery as it can until around 16 volts is reached then holds at 16 volts until the amps drops to a pre-set level then it drops to a float of 13.2 volts.

Some even go further than that and have a pulse charge system.

The good regulators will allow the volts from the panel to rise and fall to the point of maximum output while supplying the battery with a steady supply. It would seem clouds are a problem with some units altering better then others to the odd passing cloud.

Read this report on HRSi regulators the other point is the type of battery for this work a car battery is no good you need a traction battery like used in mobility scooters and golf trolleys these are more expensive but will stand deep cycling. Also the battery may need matching to regulator.

Many of the regulators will work with either wind or solar power or both. Maybe wind would be better. I have seen where a hub dynamo from a bike has been converted into a wind charger. Note although called a dynamo they are not really dynamos they are AC generators and will require a rectifier to work with LED's. Since you are after effect a wind generator may be better with lights varying according to the wind?

As a PS the leisure battery is half way between car and traction battery and is often used as a cheap alternative to full traction type.
 
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I have seen a combined system for 100w panel and 500w turbine. I like the idea albeit in a built up area. How many mobility batteries would suit this system.
I know there's a load of questions but would it be a trial and error system or 2 be enough I could start at.
 
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"If in doubt, chicken out" or use LED downlights.

And use a car battery discharged about 50% just once to get some idea of what you're up against. Battery unloaded voltage or a hydrometer will tell you the depth of discharge.
Perhaps there are battery rental places.
 
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One way to get the most light from the avialable stored power is to pulse drive the LED element(s).

Provided the average current is less than the maximum continuous current for the LED element then supplying the LED with short pulses of a current several times its rated continuous current and less than its maximum peak current will make the LED appear to be much brighter. The light is a series of flashes but if fast enough the human eye will not realise this and see the light as continuous. Only if the LED moves across the flield of vision will it appear as a series of dots and not a continuously lit lamp.

It will not work with cameras unless the pulses to the LED are synchronised to the cameras shutter.

Extending battery life up to 10 times with the same apparent illumination is possible if the LED's rated peak current is 10 times its rated continuous current.

edit to add "short pulses"
 
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Surely when your having to buy a controller/charger and a big lead acid battery and a solar panel etc, it ends up many times cheaper just to power them from the mains....

What are you trying to achieve by having them solar powered?
 
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Surely when your having to buy a controller/charger and a big lead acid battery and a solar panel etc, it ends up many times cheaper just to power them from the mains....

What are you trying to achieve by having them solar powered?

Yep, that was going to be my question too! Sledgehammer to crack a nut springs to mind. Loads of technology just to switch a few lights on, sorry, doesn't make any sense at all.
 
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Surely when your having to buy a controller/charger and a big lead acid battery and a solar panel etc, it ends up many times cheaper just to power them from the mains....

What are you trying to achieve by having them solar powered?

Yep, that was going to be my question too! Sledgehammer to crack a nut springs to mind. Loads of technology just to switch a few lights on, sorry, doesn't make any sense at all.

The price for the spark to put power down the garden from the front of the house fuse box is far more than the cost of the wind/solar kit. I still have to pay for powering the lights. I'm I missing something here!
My original idea for down lights would be external and very little power hopefully but with the wind/solar combination I think it may be possible to run internal lights also?

I do like a wee challenge and I don't know a lot about it so it could be a bit more fun than just just plugging in!
 
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The price for the spark to put power down the garden from the front of the house fuse box is far more than the cost of the wind/solar kit. I still have to pay for powering the lights. I'm I missing something here!
My original idea for down lights would be external and very little power hopefully but with the wind/solar combination I think it may be possible to run internal lights also?

The building will comprise a large room insulated, carpeted, etc ...
... the main social space ...
... the leisure space ... leisure room ...

An insulated, carpeted social space leisure room.

With no electricity.

FFS.
 
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Another way if the lights are only on a few hours each day is to have a battery in the shed powering the lights that is trickle charged from low voltage wiring from a charger in the house.
 

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