Survivalist Forum

Advertise Here

Go Back   Survivalist Forum > Survival & Preparedness Forum > DIY - Do It Yourself
Articles Chat Room Classifieds Donations Gallery Groups Links Store Survival Files



Advertise Here
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-07-2011, 08:39 PM
juicerkatz juicerkatz is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Southeast PA
Posts: 118
Thanks: 25
Thanked 21 Times in 14 Posts
Default 12 Volt interior lighting for home?



Advertise Here

Anyone ever attempt this? Seems like a great idea for cutting electric bill costs. Nowadays they have the LED 12 volt light fixtures; back in the 80's when we were RVing we had the "dual-light" fixtures which used the good old 1157 bulbs!

I always thought they put out a decent amount of light for what they were. I would guess that the LED's are even more efficient/bright.

I am thinking of designing a 12 Volt house lighting system using these fixtures powered by a few batteries which will recharge during the day using solar panels. Doesn't seem like it should be all that difficult to do...

Anyone have any experience with this at all?

Comments/suggestions welcome!
Old 05-07-2011, 08:54 PM
Fepony's Avatar
Fepony Fepony is offline
Totally off grid
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: WAY off grid in NM.
Posts: 2,527
Thanks: 3,227
Thanked 5,459 Times in 1,571 Posts
Awards Showcase
Outstanding Thread 
Total Awards: 1
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by juicerkatz View Post
Anyone ever attempt this? Seems like a great idea for cutting electric bill costs. Nowadays they have the LED 12 volt light fixtures; back in the 80's when we were RVing we had the "dual-light" fixtures which used the good old 1157 bulbs!

I always thought they put out a decent amount of light for what they were. I would guess that the LED's are even more efficient/bright.

I am thinking of designing a 12 Volt house lighting system using these fixtures powered by a few batteries which will recharge during the day using solar panels. Doesn't seem like it should be all that difficult to do...

Anyone have any experience with this at all?

Comments/suggestions welcome!
My whole house is wired for 12vdc...i have NO 120vac at all. I use RV fixtures that use car taillight bulbs. These will easiest to find when TSHTF.

Here is a link to my build. http://www.survivalistboards.com/sho...d.php?t=165121
The Following 9 Users Say Thank You to Fepony For This Useful Post:
Old 05-07-2011, 09:00 PM
juicerkatz juicerkatz is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Southeast PA
Posts: 118
Thanks: 25
Thanked 21 Times in 14 Posts
Default

Awesome!

I started reading through your thread a few days ago, but I guess I didn't get as far as the electrical. I will be sure to go through it in detail!
Old 05-07-2011, 09:04 PM
Fepony's Avatar
Fepony Fepony is offline
Totally off grid
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: WAY off grid in NM.
Posts: 2,527
Thanks: 3,227
Thanked 5,459 Times in 1,571 Posts
Awards Showcase
Outstanding Thread 
Total Awards: 1
Default

I wired the whole house for 12vdc. RV water pump to supply pressurized water to both a shower and kitchen sink. I use Bosch 1000p hot water on demand unit that requires NO POWER....just LP. We also use 12vdc refrigerator/freezer and the wife is begging for a 12vdc microwave.
Old 05-07-2011, 09:21 PM
juicerkatz juicerkatz is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Southeast PA
Posts: 118
Thanks: 25
Thanked 21 Times in 14 Posts
Default

I just finished reading through your thread (for the most part, lol) Very inspiring indeed!

We have a double wide (24x48) on approx. 15 acres of woodland. It is in a valley with somewhat limited sun & not much wind. We would have enough sunlight to recharge batteries though, I am sure.

Would you have a link to the electrical boxes/power panel/junction box/etc. that you used? I am sure I could figure it out with a little trial & error, but if you already have the perfect setup I would appreciate the details.

At first I was just thinking of lighting, but now I am considering the fridge too after reading your thread. Also, the water pump; is that a pressurized system? How much pressure?
Old 05-07-2011, 09:31 PM
Fepony's Avatar
Fepony Fepony is offline
Totally off grid
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: WAY off grid in NM.
Posts: 2,527
Thanks: 3,227
Thanked 5,459 Times in 1,571 Posts
Awards Showcase
Outstanding Thread 
Total Awards: 1
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by juicerkatz View Post
I just finished reading through your thread (for the most part, lol) Very inspiring indeed!

We have a double wide (24x48) on approx. 15 acres of woodland. It is in a valley with somewhat limited sun & not much wind. We would have enough sunlight to recharge batteries though, I am sure.

Would you have a link to the electrical boxes/power panel/junction box/etc. that you used? I am sure I could figure it out with a little trial & error, but if you already have the perfect setup I would appreciate the details.

At first I was just thinking of lighting, but now I am considering the fridge too after reading your thread. Also, the water pump; is that a pressurized system? How much pressure?
I'm gonna be lazy and again, link a post for a small system i put together for less than $1000 for another member here. It CAN be upgraded if needed, but if you need more than that, start there (at your needs) and leave room to grow.

Look here please http://www.survivalistboards.com/sho...d.php?t=168124

The pump we use delivers 45 psi.
Old 05-10-2011, 03:14 PM
victorm victorm is offline
Newbie
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Northern Ireland
Posts: 8
Thanks: 2
Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Default

I like the LED idea a lot. What I discovered when moving to NI was how much you can lower the bills and dependency on electricity if you have roof windows and a conservatory.
You can use that as a greenhouse as well, when things that will happen happen.
The Following User Says Thank You to victorm For This Useful Post:
Old 05-10-2011, 03:47 PM
Daelith Daelith is offline
Hiker
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 583
Thanks: 130
Thanked 968 Times in 348 Posts
Default

Normal incandescents are brighter per purchase dollar, but LEDs are cheaper per dollar running and live much longer lives. Just don't get cheapy LEDs, because you'll be disappointed by the light output as I recently found out. After experimenting for so long with LEDs out of other light fixtures (rope lights, LED bulbs, etc), I finally ponied up for 1W, 72 lumen component LEDs @ $7 each to experiment with and the difference is night and day: 4 of those LEDs will light most of my living room whereas 4 whole rope lights ($15/each) previously did not. The color change is nice too (harsh blue-white to warm white).

As for a complete solar/12v house system, it's not difficult, but does require a fair amount of investigation and work.
The Following User Says Thank You to Daelith For This Useful Post:
Old 05-10-2011, 03:54 PM
WSierra's Avatar
WSierra WSierra is offline
RESET CONGRESS!!
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Midwest
Posts: 9,465
Thanks: 13,489
Thanked 12,413 Times in 4,749 Posts
Default

Nothing wrong with 12 volt systems! If you've spent time in RVs, campers, ... 12 volt systems work great.
Even better since LED lighting has become common. Low voltage, very low current.
I could (theoretically) run my home off a car battery and some solar panels.
The heavy power usage would be heating and cooking. But that can be accomplished by our plentiful natural gas and coal reserves.

Check this guy's ideas out...

The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to WSierra For This Useful Post:
Old 05-10-2011, 04:01 PM
Shorebird's Avatar
Shorebird Shorebird is offline
Research, Learn, Share
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: NJ Shore
Posts: 746
Thanks: 965
Thanked 762 Times in 384 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daelith View Post
Normal incandescents are brighter per purchase dollar, but LEDs are cheaper per dollar running and live much longer lives. Just don't get cheapy LEDs, because you'll be disappointed by the light output as I recently found out. After experimenting for so long with LEDs out of other light fixtures (rope lights, LED bulbs, etc), I finally ponied up for 1W, 72 lumen component LEDs @ $7 each to experiment with and the difference is night and day: 4 of those LEDs will light most of my living room whereas 4 whole rope lights ($15/each) previously did not. The color change is nice too (harsh blue-white to warm white).

As for a complete solar/12v house system, it's not difficult, but does require a fair amount of investigation and work.
Can you tell me the brand of the LEDs you are using, and where you got them? I am currently working on designing a backup lighting system for my house and they sound like just the thing for it. I'll be starting really simple, a 15W panel, 1 deep cycle marine battery, charge controller. If I could run just 1 light to each of the 7 rooms, I would be a happy gal. Not that I'd have them all on at once - can only be in one room at a time.
Thanks.
Old 05-10-2011, 05:14 PM
juicerkatz juicerkatz is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Southeast PA
Posts: 118
Thanks: 25
Thanked 21 Times in 14 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by WSierra View Post
Nothing wrong with 12 volt systems! If you've spent time in RVs, campers, ... 12 volt systems work great.
Even better since LED lighting has become common. Low voltage, very low current.
I could (theoretically) run my home off a car battery and some solar panels.
The heavy power usage would be heating and cooking. But that can be accomplished by our plentiful natural gas and coal reserves.

Check this guy's ideas out...

YouTube - Simple Solar Homesteading: Introduction
That is a nice setup he has there, I am inspired by watching all these vids! I have been watching quite a few solar project vids over the past few days & one thing strikes me; why does everyone have a tangle/ "bird's nest" of wires, lol...

that bugs the heck out of me! sure, when you are setting up & experimenting that's okay, but the final install should be neat & clean.
Old 05-11-2011, 07:23 AM
73scamp's Avatar
73scamp 73scamp is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
Posts: 70
Thanks: 162
Thanked 32 Times in 22 Posts
Default

Great job...........
Old 05-11-2011, 05:08 PM
TProSporting's Avatar
TProSporting TProSporting is offline
TProSporting.com
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: NorthEastern Ct
Posts: 7
Thanks: 15
Thanked 6 Times in 4 Posts
Default

You can actually run an entire home on 12VDC, as long as you know ho to do it...

The 12 VDC can also be used to step up to 120 volts if you need it for a certain appliance or even a TV, (Its all about OHMs Law. And calculations)
Like a door bell transformer.
You put 120 volts in and get 16volts out AC, (Now if you put 16 or 12 volts in you are going to get 110 to 120 volts back out.) You just need to make sure the correct size transformer for what you are powering up.
(LEDs are very efficient and use less electricity than incandescent and fluorescent lamps.)

Electricity is a great invention, and you can do allot with it. (It’s how you use it)
Also be careful some time if you get bit by the wrong voltage, you will not get a second chance.
(BE SAFE)
Old 05-11-2011, 11:23 PM
aagelder aagelder is offline
Jack of many trades
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Somewhere North of Atlanta...
Posts: 134
Thanks: 39
Thanked 99 Times in 52 Posts
Default

For LEDs, I typically suggest Nichia, Cree, and Lumileds, in that order. All three of these manufacturers make high quality LED die and phosphor combinations, which means you get efficient light of good quality. Now for LEDs, remember the keys are heat dissipation (yes, LEDs generate heat, and if you want them to last you need to get rid of it), and a DC constant current power supply. Basically, if you want to go this route, see if you can get a pre-made driver for your configuration. LEDs do NOT like AC power, and a little voltage over their design can mean a huge difference in current, it's easy to accidentally overdrive them and fry them.

If you do have some incandescent types, see if you can go with some halogens. Low voltage incandescent is more efficient than line voltage for incandescents, the same goes for halogen (which is more efficient than incandescent anyways). There are a ton of bulbs out there for landscape lighting which would work great in a low voltage lighting system.

One side note is that bare halogen capsules are a no-no... they occasionally pop, which can send hot quartz flying... so keep a globe / cover on it.

Last note, for now, is that when dealing with low voltage, use large wire, and if you're drawing a lot of power, you have to worry about voltage drop over distance.
Old 05-12-2011, 12:11 PM
blackwolf911's Avatar
blackwolf911 blackwolf911 is offline
Dust of the Earth
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 757
Thanks: 781
Thanked 943 Times in 399 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fepony View Post
My whole house is wired for 12vdc...i have NO 120vac at all. I use RV fixtures that use car taillight bulbs. These will easiest to find when TSHTF.

Here is a link to my build. http://www.survivalistboards.com/sho...d.php?t=165121
LEDs are a great invention, but I find the spectrum grates on my eyes. The old school headlights were a nice way to go, but expensive and getting harder to find. Taillight bulbs are perfect IMO. Not to mention very easy to scavenge if need be.
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to blackwolf911 For This Useful Post:
Old 05-12-2011, 12:13 PM
Fepony's Avatar
Fepony Fepony is offline
Totally off grid
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: WAY off grid in NM.
Posts: 2,527
Thanks: 3,227
Thanked 5,459 Times in 1,571 Posts
Awards Showcase
Outstanding Thread 
Total Awards: 1
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackwolf911 View Post
LEDs are a great invention, but I find the spectrum grates on my eyes. The old school headlights were a nice way to go, but expensive and getting harder to find. Taillight bulbs are perfect IMO. Not to mention very easy to scavenge if need be.
That was my thoughts exactly. I can find junk cars anywhere and get bulbs.
The Following User Says Thank You to Fepony For This Useful Post:
Old 05-15-2011, 11:17 AM
LongInTheTooth LongInTheTooth is offline
Recent Blog:
Hunter
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: New Jersey Shore Area
Posts: 1,692
Thanks: 7,514
Thanked 3,492 Times in 1,125 Posts
Default

I've thought about this a lot..off-setting electrical cost usage with some type of self-contained system. The problem is that a lot of providers have a minimum usage fee. In our circumstances, we are not running high-usage appliances, we don't have every light in the house on, we don't operate appliances during peak hours...we rarely exceed the minimum usage allocation...the summer being the exception, but not continuously 24/7...A/C when temperature-humidity is unbearable.

Where we live in Central, Shore Area of NJ, and with all of the restrictions in place as to what you CAN'T DO, with reference to BUILDING CODES and
CERTIFICATES OF OCCUPANCY, they make it impossible to engage in ANY off-grid living. Like I indicated, the POWER COMPANY has minimum usage fees.
The best one can do is try not to exceed that level. Its obvious that there is collusion among Government Agencies and POWER COMPANIES...its all about the money.

As an illustration of this...I never really looked into it because it never affected me, but I would not be surprised...proportedly, when Whitman was Governor it became ILLEGAL to live on a boat, moored/docked at a MARINA even though you pay the MARINA FEES and utilities hook-up fees, as your permanent residence...because you're not paying PROPERTY TAXES. You can live in a TRAILER PARK, but not at a MARINA.

I agree, especially in this current and inevitable economic melt-down, anything we can do to off-set rising costs is a plus for us...but what do you do when the system is so structured that you are restrained within parameters set up by CONTROLLING INFLUENCES? I know...move to a more accomodating area, but realistically, with the daily worsening of the economy, easier said than done.
Old 05-15-2011, 01:20 PM
hedley's Avatar
hedley hedley is offline
Survivor
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: so cal
Posts: 3,806
Thanks: 2,504
Thanked 1,953 Times in 1,162 Posts
Default

The kelvin to get is 6500K. It produces the light most like the sun. Doesn't matter which fluorescent, incandescent, or led you choose. But with the emitter types there are now I am a bit unclear as I have only seen them in flashlights. I don't want to spend a $100 per fixture.
Old 05-15-2011, 03:15 PM
Shorebird's Avatar
Shorebird Shorebird is offline
Research, Learn, Share
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: NJ Shore
Posts: 746
Thanks: 965
Thanked 762 Times in 384 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by LongInTheTooth View Post

Where we live in Central, Shore Area of NJ, and with all of the restrictions in place as to what you CAN'T DO, with reference to BUILDING CODES and
CERTIFICATES OF OCCUPANCY, they make it impossible to engage in ANY off-grid living. Like I indicated, the POWER COMPANY has minimum usage fees.
The best one can do is try not to exceed that level. Its obvious that there is collusion among Government Agencies and POWER COMPANIES...its all about the money.
Jersey North Shore area here. I read last year that the state government has instructed municipalities that they cannot forbid solar or wind power unless the construction is deemed completely unsafe. I don't have the exact information, but I was glad to see in the newspaper article that we weren't being shut out of the process entirely. If you can install your solar panels off the roof or if you use a VAWT that does not require a tall pole, you should be able to produce some of your own power. Of course, you need to research the exact conditions before you start anything, but there seems to be a way you can have your off grid power in NJ. (Unless, of course, they've changed their minds - as you know they do with sickening regularity.)

I would suggest that you not tie either system into the power grid. But, that's just my opinion. I don't believe the cost of that installation and all of the inspection hoohah is worth the payback from the power company for unused and returned power that you generate.
The Following User Says Thank You to Shorebird For This Useful Post:
Old 05-15-2011, 03:18 PM
Shorebird's Avatar
Shorebird Shorebird is offline
Research, Learn, Share
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: NJ Shore
Posts: 746
Thanks: 965
Thanked 762 Times in 384 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by hedley View Post
The kelvin to get is 6500K. It produces the light most like the sun. Doesn't matter which fluorescent, incandescent, or led you choose. But with the emitter types there are now I am a bit unclear as I have only seen them in flashlights. I don't want to spend a $100 per fixture.
They sell those curly bulb lights in 6500K - calling them 'daylight'. You can get them for between $6-$8 in RiteAid or CVS. Of course, you'd need an inverter on your 12V system to use them.
Reply

Bookmarks



Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
How to cleanse the interior of old jerry cans? Exit Strategy Disaster Preparedness General Discussion 19 10-04-2010 11:04 PM
Gun safe with interior exit AK47THUG Urban Survival 61 02-09-2010 01:09 PM
Exterior home lighting - motion sensor or timer? meangene714 Urban Survival 25 11-27-2009 01:28 AM
Greetings from the interior... littleinger New Member Introduction 9 05-20-2009 12:24 AM
Heading into the wilderness interior MT Patriot Wilderness Survival, Hiking and Camping Forum 12 04-17-2009 07:59 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:28 AM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2014 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright Kevin Felts 2006 - 2012,
Green theme by http://www.themesbydesign.net