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Solar Landscape Lights

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  • Marc
    I have a very large, nicely landscaped and dark yard. I want to install some good quality LED landscape lights to light up the yard nicely. But I don t want
    Message 1 of 6 , Apr 20, 2009
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      I have a very large, nicely landscaped and dark yard. I want to install some good quality LED landscape lights to light up the yard nicely. But I don't want the wimpy lights that have their own little solar panel on them. These tend to only last a few hours at night and fade away really fast. I don't want the low quality stuff that you can buy at your local home improvement store. I want to have a real solar panel attached to some real 12 volt battery(s) that will last all night at full power.

      Can someone help me plan such a project or point me in the direction of a place that sells kits like this?

      Thank you in advance for any help.
    • Bill or Dorothy Swann
      The first step is to estimate the watt-hours of the set of LEDs. From that, determine the battery size, allowing a margin to assure battery life. Then, and I
      Message 2 of 6 , Apr 20, 2009
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        The first step is to estimate the watt-hours of the set of LEDs. From that, determine the battery size, allowing a margin to assure battery life. Then, and I have never done it, specify a panel and charge controller to connect the batteries to the panel. There is an estimator for what you might expect to get from some solar panels in Houston here <http://www.promotingevs.com/CaseStudyForCars.html>
         
        Thanks,Bill S
        Ph 832-338-3080
        www.hstech.biz
        www.promotingevs.com



        From: Marc <marc.morgan@...>
        To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Monday, April 20, 2009 11:31:01 PM
        Subject: [hreg] Solar Landscape Lights

        I have a very large, nicely landscaped and dark yard. I want to install some good quality LED landscape lights to light up the yard nicely. But I don't want the wimpy lights that have their own little solar panel on them. These tend to only last a few hours at night and fade away really fast. I don't want the low quality stuff that you can buy at your local home improvement store. I want to have a real solar panel attached to some real 12 volt battery(s) that will last all night at full power.

        Can someone help me plan such a project or point me in the direction of a place that sells kits like this?

        Thank you in advance for any help.

      • jay.ring@ymail.com
        For this project, I would: Ignore the solar aspect for the time being. Build it with buried cable. Once the system is built, -then- take it off-grid. Solar
        Message 3 of 6 , Apr 21, 2009
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          For this project, I would:

          Ignore the solar aspect for the time being. Build it with buried cable. Once the system is built, -then- take it off-grid.

          Solar landscape lights are appropriate for long paths far away from power sources - more than say 200ft from the nearest outlet. In a high-quality landscaped yard you have better looking options.

          Get some quality landscape lights and bury low voltage cable. You can buy them anywhere - the hardware store has some okay options, and a quick google search for "LED landscape lights" found many more. These products have a much more finished look. Buried cable looks better than panels and can deliver the power you will need.

          I agree that LED technology is an excellent choice for the most part. It will save you money before you go solar, and it will make going solar easier when/if you get to that step.

          Once you have buried the cable, use a regular low voltage transformer to power it up. This will get you started.

          Once this has been accomplished, come back here and post the system wattage, and I (or someone else) will help you size the battery and solar panel that would be required to take this system "off-grid".

          It will probably be more expensive than you think, and you will have to find a place to mount the panel. The panel will probably be about 3 feet wide and about 5 feet tall, so plan on mounting that. The battery will be about the size of an automotive or marine battery, so think about where it is going to go. The battery needs to be out of the weather, and the panel will need to be nearby. You will want to have the main run of low voltage wire go from the transformer, around the landscape, and end at the location where the battery/panel will be. That way, when it is time to switch over, you can disconnect the transformer and connect the battery, and be done.

          Although, I would not go to that trouble either. The best solution is to just stay with the transformer and take the house solar. In the end it does the same thing.

          Good luck with the project!


          - Jay



          --- In hreg@yahoogroups.com, "Marc" <marc.morgan@...> wrote:
          >
          > I have a very large, nicely landscaped and dark yard. I want to install some good quality LED landscape lights to light up the yard nicely. But I don't want the wimpy lights that have their own little solar panel on them. These tend to only last a few hours at night and fade away really fast. I don't want the low quality stuff that you can buy at your local home improvement store. I want to have a real solar panel attached to some real 12 volt battery(s) that will last all night at full power.
          >
          > Can someone help me plan such a project or point me in the direction of a place that sells kits like this?
          >
          > Thank you in advance for any help.
          >
        • Larry Weber, Sales
          Marc, We have new LED landscape fixtures. http://www.naturallighting.com/web/shop.php?crn=835 Will email other items not listed on website. Also, we have all
          Message 4 of 6 , Apr 21, 2009
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            Re: [hreg] Solar Landscape Lights Marc,

            We have new LED landscape fixtures.

            http://www.naturallighting.com/web/shop.php?crn=835

            Will email other items not listed on website.

            Also, we have all types of LED bulbs that can be used in standard fixtures.


            Larry Weber


            Naturallighting.com
            1414 FM 646 RD E
            Dickinson, TX  77539

            Phone   281.559.4900
            FAX      281.559.4900

            http://www.naturallighting.com

            ®







            On 4/20/09 11:31 PM, "Marc" <marc.morgan@...> wrote:


              

              

            I have a very large, nicely landscaped and dark yard. I want to install some good quality LED landscape lights to light up the yard nicely. But I don't want the wimpy lights that have their own little solar panel on them. These tend to only last a few hours at night and fade away really fast. I don't want the low quality stuff that you can buy at your local home improvement store. I want to have a real solar panel attached to some real 12 volt battery(s) that will last all night at full power.

            Can someone help me plan such a project or point me in the direction of a place that sells kits like this?

            Thank you in advance for any help.

              
                


          • Solar Energy
            The first thing you need to know is: what power light bulbs do you want to use.  Do you want to use 15 or 25 watt light bulbs?  I believe 10 watt light bulbs
            Message 5 of 6 , May 14, 2009
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              The first thing you need to know is: what power light bulbs do you want to use.  Do you want to use 15 or 25 watt light bulbs?  I believe 10 watt light bulbs would be sufficient otherwise 15 watts.

              Install a temporary 10 or 15 watt light bulb in your yard, stand far away from it & see how you like it.  You should be able to tell how many you would need and how far apart you want to place them. 

              If you need ten light bulbs of 10 watts each then you will need a battery that would put out 100 watts for 14 hours (winter nights are longer + making up for cloudy days).  For this you might need a 120 to 140 watt solar panel.  If you have twenty light bulbs then you would need one (or two) batteries and two solar panels that would produce twice as much power as you would need for 10 bulbs.

              If you need ten light bulbs of 15 watts each then you would need a battery (or two batteries) that would put out 150 watts for 14 hours (winter nights are longer + making up for cloudy days). For this you might need a 180 watt solar panel.  If you have twenty light bulbs then you would need one (or two) batteries and two solar panels that would produce twice as much power as you would need for 10 bulbs.

              Don't try to install bulbs with more power.  Remember the Christmas light?  One tiny light does not illuminate much but when you install a string of these lights they almost light up the sky.  Therefore be conservative and don't over do it.

              So how many watt light bulbs you want to install?  Would it be 10, 15, 20, 25, ,,, 40watt light bulbs?  If you have that then we may be able to calculate how many batteries and solar panels you would need.


              --- On Mon, 4/20/09, Marc <marc.morgan@...> wrote:

              From: Marc <marc.morgan@...>
              Subject: [hreg] Solar Landscape Lights
              To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
              Date: Monday, April 20, 2009, 11:31 PM

              I have a very large, nicely landscaped and dark yard. I want to install some good quality LED landscape lights to light up the yard nicely. But I don't want the wimpy lights that have their own little solar panel on them. These tend to only last a few hours at night and fade away really fast. I don't want the low quality stuff that you can buy at your local home improvement store. I want to have a real solar panel attached to some real 12 volt battery(s) that will last all night at full power.

              Can someone help me plan such a project or point me in the direction of a place that sells kits like this?

              Thank you in advance for any help.


            • greentechfusion
              Your on the right track on this however I would stay with higher end LED lighting since they are low watt, not low voltage yard lighting due to the higher
              Message 6 of 6 , May 15, 2009
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                Your on the right track on this however I would stay with higher end LED lighting since they are low watt, not low voltage yard lighting due to the higher watts they need. You would need that much larger solar panel if you use standard yard lighting. We have done a couple projects like this for friends as well for ourselves on a large scale. The SohoDecor LED lights are very nice, we have them on our Amazon store if you want to check out and other project parts we put together. Then get some low voltage wire and wire them all together (some soldering), removing the rechargeable batteries in them. You will need a decent sized deep cycle battery with enough Amp hrs to run during the night but nothing to big. Then you need to size a good PV solar panel. Something on the lines of 20-50Watt. 100-120watt is fine as well if you want to spend that much. You mainly want to keep the battery topped up with the solar and let the battery do all the work. You will also need a DC controller or regulator made to manage the DC voltage from the battery to your LED lights. Your lights only need about 5-6 VDC each to run. Your battery is 12 VDC and depending on how long your low voltage wire run is, you will have to adjust the DC output of your battery to your lights to get the right glow. Do not burn out the LEDs though.
                It sounds complicated but it really is pretty easy and it will work very professional. The DC regulator is prob the most difficult.

                John P Matznick
                Renewable Energy & Sustainability Consultant
                GreenTechFusion.com

                --- In hreg@yahoogroups.com, Solar Energy <WhySolar@...> wrote:
                >
                >
                > The first thing you need to know is: what power light bulbs do you want to use.  Do you want to use 15 or 25 watt light bulbs?  I believe 10 watt light bulbs would be sufficient otherwise 15 watts.
                >
                > Install a temporary 10 or 15 watt light bulb in your yard, stand far away from it & see how you like it.  You should be able to tell how many you would need and how far apart you want to place them. 
                >
                > If you need ten light bulbs of 10 watts each then you will need a battery that would put out 100 watts for 14 hours (winter nights are longer + making up for cloudy days).  For this you might need a 120 to 140 watt solar panel.  If you have twenty light bulbs then you would need one (or two) batteries and two solar panels that would produce twice as much power as you would need for 10 bulbs.
                >
                > If you need ten light bulbs of 15 watts each then you would need a battery (or two batteries) that would put out 150 watts for 14 hours (winter nights are longer + making up for cloudy days). For this you might need a 180 watt solar panel.  If you have
                > twenty light bulbs then you would need one (or two) batteries and two solar panels that
                > would produce twice as much power as you would need for 10 bulbs.
                >
                > Don't try to install bulbs with more power.  Remember the Christmas light?  One tiny light does not illuminate much but when you install a string of these lights they almost light up the sky.  Therefore be conservative and don't over do it.
                >
                > So how many watt light bulbs you want to install?  Would it be 10, 15, 20, 25, ,,, 40watt light bulbs?  If you have that then we may be able to calculate how many batteries and solar panels you would need.
                >
                >
                > --- On Mon, 4/20/09, Marc <marc.morgan@...> wrote:
                >
                > From: Marc <marc.morgan@...>
                > Subject: [hreg] Solar Landscape Lights
                > To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                > Date: Monday, April 20, 2009, 11:31 PM
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                > I have a very large, nicely landscaped and dark yard. I want to install some good quality LED landscape lights to light up the yard nicely. But I don't want the wimpy lights that have their own little solar panel on them. These tend to only last a few hours at night and fade away really fast. I don't want the low quality stuff that you can buy at your local home improvement store. I want to have a real solar panel attached to some real 12 volt battery(s) that will last all night at full power.
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                > Can someone help me plan such a project or point me in the direction of a place that sells kits like this?
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                > Thank you in advance for any help.
                >
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