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Discussion Starter #1
I did a experiment on another forum about emergency lights that I though
you might enjoy. The bulbs used are all the way on the left side of this picture.
there SMDs sort of the next generation of LEDs. I have them in every room in my house
they are in camper fixtures with an added pull string switch.


These are super bright but use very little electric. I took one of these fixtures with
two bulbs in it and hooked it up to an old car battery that the local repair shop gave me.
The result was the lights ran very bright for 4 days 3 hours. so I got 99 hours of light from
one car battery. I had these for my solar set up when all I had was 1 100 watt panel
and two batteries. Now I have built onto my solar system and have more batteries and more
solar panels but I still have these in place (you just never know)
Even if you don't have any kind of solar set up this could work out for you. Just keep a battery
charged up with a trickle charger or battery tender. Take an old extension cord cut the ends off.
Put the lights on one end and alligator clips on the other end for the battery and your set.
Or just take the battery out of your car and use that. If you ran only one bulb you should
have 198 hours of light to use up. using one bulb for 9 hours a night you could have light for
22 days. from one car battery. If you live where there are hurricanes or something that can
knock out your power this could come in handy.

Note I used a car battery and not a deep cycle for a couple of reason. Car batteries will be easier to find
after TSHTF and deep cycle batteries don't like to be completely drained. Car batteries can withstand being
completely drained to 0 volts a lot better that a deep cycle. And in a SHTF world who knows how far you
may need to drain your battery. A small solar cell placed where the sun could shine on it even if it's just
through a window would really help. I ordered a bunch of these bulbs on eBay for trading after TSHTF.
When I am experimenting I like to use stuff that might still be available post TSHTF
No currency, no stores, no gas And your only resource will be you and what you can do.

The next test will be using a new kind of 100watt bulb called a cree. I guess they only use like 18 watts of power
but give off 100 watts of light. I'll be using a small inverter to get the 120 volts from a car battery to run
this bulb it will be interesting to see how long it will run on one battery. Let me know if you would like to see the results.

Oh we did another test and figured out that when using a 2-cycle $99 Harbor Freight 800 watt generator with 7 gallons of gas we could run one of the lights for 10 hours a day for a full year.
 

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Bravo Zulu
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My parents are currently using SMD LED flexible strip lighting as their main source of light. A 5m roll has 300 SMD LEDs and uses 72W @ 12VDC. They've got a 30W solar panel to charge batteries with and are using mainly car/truck batteries.
 

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Hey nice tests I have several of CREE's 40 Watt and 60 Watt Equiv lights and they work great. I've been running several since last fall and non have failed me. I don't think you'll really need a 100 watt equiv light though do you?
 

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LED lights are nice and consume a lot less power. If you get them in 12vdc (Bypass driver) you can run them directly off a Solar Panel. One solar panel can run several LED lights. Just check your wattages and remember that solar panel seldom run at their top rated output. The one downfall is if a EMP is employed they will burn out. All semi conductors will be destroyed by an EMP.
Check out these Panel lights
 

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Discussion Starter #7
You have it backwards deep cycle are best for draining not regular car batteries
Nope,,,Not if you are going to drain them down as far as we are.
Deep cycle batteries are great if you keep them at 11.8 volts and above.

We are going to go all the way down to zip. If you do this to a car battery
They don't get damaged too bad from this. But a deep cycle drained this far
Really takes it's toll on them.

I use deep cycle batteries with a small solar panel set up I have but
I keep them at 11.8 volts and above.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
This is a small solar set up I have it's only 300 watts but I use it to run all my lights
and small stuff like TV, Radio, Computer and stuff like that.

It will not run the heavy stuff like my refrigerator, washer/dryer, or well pump.
(I'm working on that) Right now I have to much battery storage and not enough
Panel watts,, In the summer I'm fine I can run stuff all day and night.But in the winter with shorter days and gloomy days I really need to keep an eye on the volts in the batteries. Some times I even need to go back to the SMD bulbs to save battery power.
But I have two 265 watt panels to put up that will give me about 830 watts with a total of 8 batteries I should be in good shape then but still no fridge or hot water or pump, But i know a way around that so I will have all that stuff just in a different way
(I will need 3 more batteries) to even things out.


These panels are adjustable to change the angle for different seasons or they will swing all the back under the steel
roof for protection from a bad storm. Makes it easy to clean the snow off also.
 

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Bravo Zulu
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This is a small solar set up I have it's only 300 watts but I use it to run all my lights
and small stuff like TV, Radio, Computer and stuff like that.

It will not run the heavy stuff like my refrigerator, washer/dryer, or well pump.
(I'm working on that) Right now I have to much battery storage and not enough
Panel watts,, In the summer I'm fine I can run stuff all day and night.But in the winter with shorter days and gloomy days I really need to keep an eye on the volts in the batteries. Some times I even need to go back to the SMD bulbs to save battery power.
But I have two 265 watt panels to put up that will give me about 830 watts with a total of 8 batteries I should be in good shape then but still no fridge or hot water or pump, But i know a way around that so I will have all that stuff just in a different way
(I will need 3 more batteries) to even things out.
You can never have too many batteries. :p

Get a killawatt meter and put on your fridge, you might be surprised at how little it uses. My fridge is about a year old and uses about 750Wh per day. My satellite modem, wireless router and laptop uses more electricity than my fridge does.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
My parents are currently using SMD LED flexible strip lighting as their main source of light. A 5m roll has 300 SMD LEDs and uses 72W @ 12VDC. They've got a 30W solar panel to charge batteries with and are using mainly car/truck batteries.[/

you may want to suggest they try using on of these SMDs they really light up a room much brighter than the LEDs. And they use about 0.3 watts a fully charged car battery will run one bulb for about 198 hours.
I just discovered this recently I was using LEDS too.
These fit in a standard tail lamp socket or camper light fixture.
 

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you may want to suggest they try using on of these SMDs they really light up a room much brighter than the LEDs. And they use about 0.3 amps
I'm interested in these lamps now that I've got 110 watts of solar.

Curious: Did you buy yours at an auto parts store? How much are they?
 

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Bravo Zulu
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you may want to suggest they try using on of these SMDs they really light up a room much brighter than the LEDs. And they use about 0.3 amps a fully charged car battery will run one bulb for about 198 hours.
I just discovered this recently I was using LEDS too.
These fit in a standard tail lamp socket or camper light fixture.
They are using SMDs. SMD LEDs. Surface Mount Device Light Emitting Diode.

SMD lights are a type of LED light. :thumb:

This is what they're using:
http://tinyurl.com/mjcjz4k
 

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Discussion Starter #13
ok I'm going to start a new post and new experiment with a cree bulb and a 800 inverter
to see how long it will run on one car battery.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hey nice tests I have several of CREE's 40 Watt and 60 Watt Equiv lights and they work great. I've been running several since last fall and non have failed me. I don't think you'll really need a 100 watt equiv light though do you?
Nope not really but lets push our luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I get them off eBay I think these were like 3 bucks each it's the biggest I could find each bulb has like 106 of these super bright things on them some are smaller and only run like $.35
 

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If you add a small vertical wind generator, even if it's only 400-watts that should add enough power to keep your batteries up durring the winter. My friend on his sailboat added a small wind unit and it was enough power to avoid buying a solar panel. I would buy another solar panel along with the wind unit, can't have enough power!
 

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I was at the home improvement store today (Menards) and hadn't seen these before. Since they have a standard, medium base, you'd have to be careful not to mistake them for a 120V bulb. A bit pricey, but it would avoid the expense and power loss from an inverter.
 

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SBs Resident Non Prepper
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Nope,,,Not if you are going to drain them down as far as we are.
Deep cycle batteries are great if you keep them at 11.8 volts and above.

We are going to go all the way down to zip. If you do this to a car battery
They don't get damaged too bad from this. But a deep cycle drained this far
Really takes it's toll on them.

I use deep cycle batteries with a small solar panel set up I have but
I keep them at 11.8 volts and above.
Car batteries won't hold up to that type of deep cycling
 
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