Author Topic: Help me power LED Christmas lights  (Read 2794 times)

Offline CagedFeral

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Help me power LED Christmas lights
« on: August 09, 2016, 04:09:44 AM »
I'm very ignorant about solar power but want to start learning.

What's a good stand alone one piece unit I can power about 42ft of led Christmas lights all night?.
I've had these up for years plugged into an electric timer. Lights up the porch just right.

In this picture the end of the porch is full sun south. I'm looking for something I can mount on the 6x6 or rail maybe. Will be under the roof but wind blown rain will hit it. I'm not wanting anything big here. I figured I'd start by getting my porch off-grid  :-[ .



Oh, and I'm in Southern Ohio. We get plenty of sun but we also have many cold grey days.

Offline Carl

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Re: Help me power LED Christmas lights
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2016, 04:57:27 AM »
It will really be less costly to buy a ready made set as your current lights probably are wired for 120 volts AC
and a solar panel plus charge controller and battery would be way more than the cost even without an inverter
to provide 120 Volt AC and for less than $20 you can buy a complete set like this 200 light example:

https://www.amazon.com/Ucharge-Christmas-Waterproof-Curtains-Decoration/dp/B00YXSGZ72/ref=sr_1_4?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1470739580&sr=1-4&keywords=solar+christmas+lights

or this 100 LED example :

https://www.amazon.com/Powered-Amir-Ambiance-Lighting-Christmas/dp/B00T1P632E/ref=sr_1_3?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1470740160&sr=1-3&keywords=solar+christmas+lights

Offline CagedFeral

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Re: Help me power LED Christmas lights
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2016, 01:15:58 AM »
Carl, thanks.
That second one looks like what I need. I'm not sure why I was thinking I'd need anything more.

We've had those solar walk lights before so I should'd knew someone must make these.

Any advice on making the panel last? These cheap walk lights only last a couple years. Panels fade and blocks light.

Offline Carl

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Re: Help me power LED Christmas lights
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2016, 03:23:31 AM »
Carl, thanks.
That second one looks like what I need. I'm not sure why I was thinking I'd need anything more.

We've had those solar walk lights before so I should'd knew someone must make these.

Any advice on making the panel last? These cheap walk lights only last a couple years. Panels fade and blocks light.

I have sucessfully used some headlight rejuvenator to clear a small solar panel but also use auto paste wax as a test to keep one clear longer but the low cost plastics used degrades about as fast as the non replaceable batteries age and often the lights are good for only 2 or 3 years.There are 'quality' sets made of better components and replaceable batteries but cost is more.

Offline CagedFeral

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Re: Help me power LED Christmas lights
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2016, 03:56:50 AM »
Really appreciate in Carl. I'll look into the more expensive ones but as cheap as these are,  I'll probably just order 2. I'd like to test and see how they do.
  I read something somewhere about coating small panels like this with clear nail polish. I have no idea if that works. Seems like the sun would still fade the plastic. If only they would use glass.

Offline Carl

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Re: Help me power LED Christmas lights
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2016, 04:06:16 AM »
Really appreciate in Carl. I'll look into the more expensive ones but as cheap as these are,  I'll probably just order 2. I'd like to test and see how they do.
  I read something somewhere about coating small panels like this with clear nail polish. I have no idea if that works. Seems like the sun would still fade the plastic. If only they would use glass.

I have though of UV resistant material ,like auto tint or spray...but have yet tested to see if it degrades solar performance much and or extends the plastics life,