Sunday, January 23, 2011

Cheap 12 volt led lamp project

When I started out with my inexpensive solar project, I always dealt with trying to find more efficient items to run off of 12 volts. I searched the web for small dc powered devices (fans, lights, laptop power adapters) instead of items needing a power hungry dc to ac inverter. The problem, not a lot of everyday household items have 12 volt equivalents that are cheap. An average 120 volt ac table lamp can be purchased most places, for less than $ average 12 volt dc camping / rv lamp will run you $30-$50 (depending on model). After searching around on ebay, I still found prices for 12 volt lights too high, so I decided to make my own. I came across these new 12 volt led bulbs with E27 bases (the standard base for a 120 light bulb). They were initally designed for an rv, but I figured they would work just as good with my solar system. The bulbs weren't too expensive, $20 for 2x 3 watt bulbs (that put out as much light as a 13 watt cfl). I already had unused 120 volt lamps laying around, so I saved myself on the lamps purchace. For $20 I now had something that was brighter than expensive name brand camping lanterns and had a deep cycle battery supply vs dinky internal batteries. I didn't even have to do much work!, all it took was cutting off the standard wall plug and soldering on a 12 volt cigarette lighter adapter. Now I have a light that I can use just about anywhere and I didn't have to spend a boat load of money to get it!
In closing, I'm just a simple guy, going green and trying to save a buck along the way.