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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone have a solar powered chicken coop led light, or a 12 volt solar powered light in their chicken coop?

After I build the rest of the chicken coop and enclose the run, I am thinking about putting a solar power / battery powered hotwire around the edge of the run.

Since the coop is going to have 12 volt battery power with a solar charger, I thought about adding a light system, and a low powered night light.

A welding shop I used to work at used a 12 volt light system. We had some portable boxes that stepped the 110/120 wall voltage down to 12 volt dc. We then used 12 volt dc powered lights inside the pipes we were working in.

My first thought is to have a 12 volt light in the middle of the coop. That way I do not have to worry about running 110 out to the coop.

My second thought is to have a 12 volt led light. This would be like the lights used in RVs, or on boats with a cabin.

Lets see if we can break this down:

Solar panel will charge battery
Battery will power light and hotwire
Use either 12 volt or led lights in coop

Solar power for chicken coop

The one thing that I worry about is the solar cell not being able to keep up the hotwire and the light. In respect to power draw, I am thinking about going overboard on the hotwire system. Instead of buying a hotwire system for lets say 1 mile of wire, maybe go with a hotwire system for a 3 or 6 mile run.

Even though I only need about 30 - 40 feet of hotwire, the larger hotwire system comes with a larger solar cell.

I see it as a trade off, buy a larger solar cell / hotwire combination, then use the extra power for the chicken coop light system.

Tractor supply has some hotwire systems for various lengths of wire and various sizes of livestock. From what I understand this is supposed to be all-in-one units with solar cell and voltage regulator.

The area under the laying boxes is where I am thinking about putting the battery. From there I might run the wires in 3/4 inch PVC pipe.

I would also like something where I could plug a nightlight into so the coop will have a soft light at night. It would be nice not to leave the chickens in pitch black darkness for whenever a predator comes around.

The light inside in the coop does not need to be very bright, just bright enough to stick my head in, look around, make sure everything is ok, maybe even bright enough to collect eggs.

12 volt RV lights should be easy to find. Its the 12 volt LED lights that I am a little concerned about.

And what about the power consumption between LED and a regular 12 volt light. For conserving power LED is probably the best route to go.

The problem I am running into is the hotwire tractor supply carries is Zareba, and it looks like their systems are 6 volt, and not 12 volt.

I might to end up putting together a separate hotwire and lighting system.
 

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My Temperature is Right
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Whatever you do, use cold white florescent lamps either the squiggly ones or tubes. Chickens need ultraviolet or they get sickly. That's why they've got that plastic chicken coop glazing that does not filter uv like glass does.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
This is what I have come up with so far:

Instapark 15W Mono-crystallin​e Solar Panel With a 12V solar charge controller - amazon has these for about $64.

12 volt RV light. This has a built in on/off toggle switch. Amazon has these for about $12 for a double light, and about $7.50 for a single light.

I already have a good 12 volt battery.

The plain is to build a shelf under the laying boxes, then enclose part of the shelf with wood, and maybe some of the extra tin left over from the roof.

Mount the solar panel on the southern side of the chicken coop, run the charging cable to the battery.

The wires going from the battery to the light will be encased in something like 3/4 inch pvc pipe and secured to the 2x4s of the coop.

The light will be mounted to the inside of the coop so that I open a door, reach over and flip the switch.

Something else I am considering is installing a 12 volt fan on one of the vent windows. During the 100 degree summertime heat, I am thinking about having something to help pull the hot air out of the peak of the coop. The fan will run off the battery as well.
 

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Kev, how many and what kind of chickens do you have? Do you have a chicken tractor or a stationary coop? It's my hope to retire before too long and I'm thinking about haveing a small backyard flock and I was just wondering how big an opperation you have.

PPS...... sorry I just saw the tags at the bottom of the page and you have answered most of my questions before I could have ask them. Good luck with your project.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Kev, how many and what kind of chickens do you have? Do you have a chicken tractor or a stationary coop? It's my hope to retire before too long and I'm thinking about haveing a small backyard flock and I was just wondering how big an opperation you have.
The plans started off as a chicken tractor, but its turned into kind of a hybrid, chicken coop / chicken tractor.

My wife and I originally planned on getting 5 chickens, but we ended up with 13.

4 - rhode island reds
3 - black jersey giants
2 - barred rocks
2 - Australorps
couple others I can not remember the name of

Since we ended up with more chickens then we had planned for, I decided to extend the coop over what was going to be the run.

If everything works out ok, we should end up with a coop that is about 11 feet deep and 6 feet wide, and over an enclosed run under the coop.

I would like to put wheels on the coop so it can be moved around.
 

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You can pick up a solar shed light for $20 to $50 bucks at home improvements stores. FYI stay away from the ones at Harbor Freight, none of their solar security lights or shed lights are worth a darn. Read the reviews if you are tempted. Most report the same issue light lasts about 3 months then begins to click on and off and runs down the batteries.

Something like this;

 

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You can pick up a solar shed light for $20 to $50 bucks at home improvements stores. FYI stay away from the ones at Harbor Freight, none of their solar security lights or shed lights are worth a darn. Read the reviews if you are tempted. Most report the same issue light lasts about 3 months then begins to click on and off and runs down the batteries.
Yep! I will second that about the Harbor Freight Lights. Mine lasted about two months.
 
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