Off Grid Solar Power – DIY LED lighting.

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Off Grid Solar Power – DIY LED lighting.

My parents, who live about a half mile up the road from the shack, are in the process of building a new house. It’s a steel-framed shed, 8.5×10 metres, with a 4m wide verandah on the East side. It’s all been approved by the shire council as a residence and is being build to code. Because they’re doing the work themselves, it’s taking a while, but there’s been a fair bit of progress in the last few months since they retired from selling produce at local farmers’ markets.

They’ve already spent thousands of dollars on copper cable to bring the power up the hill from the old house, but in the meantime, when they needed electricity at the new house, they’ve been running the petrol (gasoline) generator. Until recently.

A few weeks ago, a fellow stallholder at one of the markets bought some deep cycle batteries and because I’d been talking about switching to solar, they started asking him questions. Anyway, long story short, he told them about flexible LED strip lighting and lent them a small solar panel.

I bought some reels of the LED strip lights on eBay for a tad less than $20 for a 5 metre roll and the next thing you know, Mum & Dad have got quality lighting in their new house.

They’ve since bought the solar panel from their mate and have also managed to score some free car batteries from another mate, who has a mechanic shop. So for less than $40, my parents are able to provide a fair chunk of light to most of their new home.

When they they get to the wiring stage, they’ll have 240VAC (standard in Australia) and 12V lighting

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Music: Born Barnstormers by Brian Boyko. The full track is available at freepd.com. This music is in the public domain and is free to use.

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