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Low voltage vs. solar

Post in 'The Green Room' started by spot, Oct 20, 2006.

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  1. spot

    spot New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2006
    Messages:
    82
    I had low voltage path lights illuminating the sidewalk in front of my house since I moved in. They did a good job of lighting the path and looked great.
    After years of being out in the weather, plus repeated bashings with the lawnmower: I have to replace them. I have decided to go solar.
    Many of my neighbors are using solar path lights and I have always noticed how feeble the light is. Even after a full charge on a sunny day...the light is very weak.

    Are there any solar path lights out there that put out decent light??
    Perhaps comparable to the small 4watt low voltage bulbs??
    Lights built to burn brighter but not be on as long would be fine. I don't need them on all night, just from sundown 'til midnight would be ok.

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  2. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    2,153
    Loc:
    Midwest
    Since no one has responded, I will take a stab -

    I don't know of any specific brand of solar light that would be brighter than another. You might look for ones with larger solar cells (and probably more expensive models as well) - The theory being a larger solar cell would support a larger battery and a higher output light. In store displays would also be a good way to sample the light output. Of course if the mfr happens to list any wattage, milliamp, or luminance numbers, the higher the better.

    One other option (depending on your level of technical savy) would be to buy a solar pannel such as:

    http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=90599

    Then buy a set of normal landscape lights and a small lead acid battery. Replace the standard incandescent bulbs with LED's such as:

    Digikey part number 441-1009-ND http://www.sunbriteleds.com/images/pdf/SSP-01TWB9WB12.pdf Which has a wedge base, runs on 12V and puts out a whopping 11000 mcd!

    Then just scrap the 120V transformer in favor of your solar pannel/ battery.

    Corey
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