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Old 21-04-2012, 10:34   #1
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Solar Powered Lights

Sounded ridiculous when I first heard of it, but I guess solar powered lights make sense - especially for when the power fails, which I guess is most likely to happen at night!

I found these today at IKEA and bought two: SUNNAN Table lamp - IKEA

Stuck one on the window ledge for a few hours, and HWMO is happily reading by it now. The light is good... and it's lasted 14 minutes so far!!

Has anyone used them, or similar products? Any thoughts on them?
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Old 21-04-2012, 10:42   #2
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Re: Solar Powered Lights

LET US KNOW HOW LONG THEY BURN ON A CHARGE-sorry 4 the caps
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Old 21-04-2012, 10:57   #3
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Re: Solar Powered Lights

The packaging says 3 hours. That sounds disappointing, but we don't often read for longer than that. Besides, we have two, so that makes 6 hours, and if they're great I'll buy more. I thought it might be an idea to give guests for reading in their cabins (save on boat battery power)... so long as they remember to put them out on deck to charge!

I really hate throwing used batteries, and rechargeable batteries are totally crap and require electricity to charge them anyway anyway...

35 minutes so far, and still going strong!
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Old 21-04-2012, 12:05   #4
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Re: Solar Powered Lights

Why not just go for LED bulbs in the cabins, would be cheaper, and battery drain is minimal.
Table lamps is just more gear to stow away on a boat, still, the girlfriend will like them for the house, just so long as she does not drag me into IKEA. Biggest issue of living in Manchester and the boat in Liverpool, we have to go past IKEA.
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Old 21-04-2012, 13:26   #5
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Re: Solar Powered Lights

I am not clear: solar powered lights - and how do you charge them when you need them (that is: at night).

Or do you charge them by day and use them by night? If so, why not get a small solar panel wired to an emergency battery. Then you can use the energy for lights or whatever the emergent need be.

A LED 4AA NiMh will go for ages and can be recharged with solar energy too. Just as an option when you want a light that you can take with you to do odd jobs in tight spaces.

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Old 21-04-2012, 13:42   #6
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Re: Solar Powered Lights

Ikea says:
"Recharging time is 9-12 hours in sunlight, but over 12 hours on a cloudy day.
When the battery is fully charged, the product will give full light for approx. 3 hours.
3 rechargeable batteries (AA 1.2V) that stores energy from the sun are included. The batteries can be replaced and lasts for minimum 2 years.
Built-in LED light source.
LED life time approx. 20.000 hours."

So if you leave them on a windowsill that doesn't have a wide open southern exposure, and you figure they'll get about 1/2 charge, that should give you 60-90 minutes of "nighttable lamp" that night. Or if you have two and let each one get two days of light before you use it, rotate them, you might get the three hours.

The spec also shows they are cheating, 20,000 hours is less than half the life for prime LEDs before their brightness drops beyond the usual spec. So they're probably overpowering the LEDs to get better brightness. Still, 20,000 hours at three hours per day is a pretty good life.

Sounds useful for cabins and boats that don't have grid power and could use a little something besides a flashlight. And with the option to throw in AA cells...or charge them up someplace else and swap them in...Pretty nice, really.
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Old 21-04-2012, 14:02   #7
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Re: Solar Powered Lights

Quote:
Originally Posted by nigel1 View Post
Why not just go for LED bulbs in the cabins, would be cheaper, and battery drain is minimal.
We have LED lights in the cabin. They're nice, but we were looking for something brighter to read by. Other 'plug in' reading lights were all 4v. We also got a 12V strip lighting thing with LEDs for the galley (the current lEDs are too dark to see if stuff is burning, and I can't smell, so that's a serious issue for me) but plug in LED lights don't make for interesting thought!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Sounds useful for cabins and boats that don't have grid power and could use a little something besides a flashlight. And with the option to throw in AA cells...or charge them up someplace else and swap them in...Pretty nice, really.
Exactly what I thought

Plus... we live in Kuwait, so solar banks charge very quickly here. They might be a little less efficient when we hit the tropics!
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Old 21-04-2012, 14:08   #8
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Re: Solar Powered Lights

My take on reading light is a small inverter and 220 (Europe, 110 elsewhere) Volt eco-fluo (the new, quick type) warm light bulbs. They give more light per watt than most LEDs and you can get any amt of light you please. Bulb cost 5-10 USD each.

The only reason I want to go into the LED territory is that our nav lights are 12 Volt.

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Old 21-04-2012, 14:13   #9
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Re: Solar Powered Lights

My wife reads with a little singe AAA clip on light. It lasts a long time and she reads a lot.

There are rechargable AAAs. Solar.
Amazon.com: AA and AAA Solar Battery Charger - Charge Your Batteries Via USB or Sun Power - Features Also Include a Battery Tester and USB Output for Charging Cell Phones, iPods/mp3s, and More: Cell Phones & Accessories
Amazon.com: Solar 2 in 1 Folding Panel, Power supply, AA and AAA battery charger.: Sports & Outdoors

I am pretty sure if you leave it (or the Ikea ones) out and it rains the game is over.


But then it will not stand up by itself well nor is it a pretty color.

Maybe the $4 garden light (waterproof) is bright enough.

Walmart.com: Westinghouse 6pc Suffolk Solar Pathlight Set, Stainless Steel: Patio Furniture & Decor

They will run all night.

But holding them by that spike in your head may be distracting.
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Old 21-04-2012, 19:04   #10
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Re: Solar Powered Lights

Some one already suggested LED cabin lighting. I'm rebuilding a 42ft Spencer and that's what I'm going with. I'm getting them from: LED Lights, Bulbs & Accessories - SUPER BRIGHT LEDS Their tech support is really great and will help you make a selection. They also have water resistant and water proof strips.
I plan on using 8ft strips for the main salon.
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