Category Archives: lighting

More on Flashlights and Night Vision

Today’s post is actually a comment make by C.E. Harris on yesterdays post on flashlights.  It provides a lot of additional information on flashlights and night vision. The Fenix flashlight I have on my keychain is the Fenix E01, the same one he refers to.

Howard

If you’ve ever had to find your way out of a building when the power goes out you can appreciate the value of having at least a small light with you as EDC. When working SAR or damage assessment a head lamp which provides hands-free search capability and overnight battery life without a change is a plus.…

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Do You have a Good Flashlight?

Now I have to admit something I like flashlights, I have all kinds of them.  I have so many my wife thinks, it is a joke.  I normally have two on me, both Fenix’s.  In my house, it is impossible to be very far away from one.

In case of a serious long-term emergency, there are many ways of lighting your home, from solar, kerosene lanterns, generators, etc, now I think these are all good.  In fact, I have several different methods, but I still like the convenience of a flashlight.  It is a rare day when I don’t use one at least one time.…

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Posted in lighting | 2 Comments

Kerosene Lamps and a Little on the Petromax Lantern.

My wife has been digging out all of our kerosene lamps and checking them out.  We have some that we have picked up at garage sales that needed cleaning and new wicks.  In the past, we both have been subjected to power outages during which we had to use kerosene lamps.  They can provide good light if you properly trim the wicks. Read the blog at http://bit.ly/SmA9Sw to see how to maintain them.

One problem that always seems to occur, regardless of how well organized we are, is finding matches to light them in the dark.  So this time my wife is taping 3 or 4 strike any where matches inside the hollow base of the lamps. …

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Posted in fuels, lighting | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

A Complete Solar Light Package

I recently ran across a product called T-Lite made by Sundaya.  This has been developed for third world countries and is now available from Sierra Solar 1-888-667-6527.  It is a simple and relatively inexpensive solar powered lighting system.

It consists of 1 or 2 lights, a solar panel, a distribution hub, all the necessary cabling and batteries.  In other words, everything you need in one small package.  This system is so simple that a child could put it together in a few minutes.

The two lights each product  180 lumens of power at their highest setting.  At this setting it will provide light for up to 7.5…

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Posted in lighting, solar | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

A Handy Little Homemade Lighting System

I have written several posts on my homemade battery packs and their many uses.  You can learn how to make one at http://bit.ly/URpTwz.  Recently I purchased some 12 volt LED light bulbs from C Crane http://www.ccrane.com/.  With these and 15 feet of wire I was able to make a nice lighting setup that would light a room quite well.

I went to my local electric supply house and purchased some 20-gauge wire and MR16 light bases.  The bulbs I got from C Crane fit into this type of socket.  They are two prong.  I soldered two of the light bases to the 20-gauge wire about 8 ft apart. …

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Posted in electronics, lighting, Self sufficiency | 1 Comment

Use Your Homemade Battery Pack To Charge Flashlight Batteries

Easy to use

One of the many uses of the battery pack that I wrote about previously is to charge smaller batteries.  I found a 12-volt battery charger in a garage sale that charges AAA, AA, C, D and 9-volt rechargeable batteries.  It uses a cigarette light style plug which plugs directly into the battery pack.

With 14 amp hours of power, you could charge large numbers of the smaller batteries.  I like the Eneloop batteries made by Sanyo.  They can be recharged between 1000 to 1500 times and will hold a charge for several years.  See a previous blog on Eneloop batteries http://bit.ly/RXALec

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A Simple Way to Charge Your Homemade 12 Volt Battery Packs.

Simple and easy.

A couple of weeks ago I showed how to make a simple 12 volt battery pack (http://bit.ly/Pnpikc).  Today I am showing how simple it is to charge the battery packs.  I use these packs for running lights, charging batteries and running radios.  There uses are only limited by your imagination.

For charging I use a Powerfilm Solar R14 rollable solar panel that produces an operating voltage of 15.4, at 14 watts and 0.9 amps. This is quite adequate to charge the battery packs. Because I sometimes use different solar panels, I have a 7-amp Sunforce controller between the panels and the battery pack. …

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Posted in lighting, solar | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Sierra Solar Systems

A good source of supply. 

I don’t usually recommend a business, but in this case, I am going to make an exception.  Sierra Solar Systems located in Grass Valley California has been designing and building off grid solar systems for the last 31 years.  Most people will be surprised to know that there still are many remote areas of the Sierra Nevada Mountains that do not have access to electric power.

They have a catalog called the Solar Flare that you can order by calling 1-888-667-6527 or go to http://shop.sierrasolar.com/ to see their website.  They stock products for hydroelectric and wind power in addition to solar. …

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A Nice Little Solar Charger

The PowerFilm USB+AA Solar Charger

I recently ran across the neatest solar battery charger I have so far encountered.  It is the PowerFilm USB+AA solar charger.  It is small compact and quite efficient.  At 4.9 ounces, it is the lightest solar charger I have encountered.  Folded it is about the size of a large man’s wallet.  The unit was originally developed for the US Military.

It produces 3.6 volts at 400mA.  When unfolded it is 24 inches long by 5.5 inches wide.  The unit is designed to charge two AA batteries at a time. Two Eneloop rechargeable AA batteries come with it. …

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Kerosene Lanterns and How to Use Them

They take some getting used too.

Most of you probably have at least one kerosene lantern, if you don’t you should.  Kerosene lanterns were in common use prior to the advent of electricity.  They provide good light and are efficient and simple to use.  You can purchase hurricane lamps quite inexpensively for under $10 at stores like Walmart. Personally I prefer the ones I have found in garage sales.  Over the years, I have built up quite a few of them, never paying more than $5 a piece.

Most kerosene lanterns share a few things in common.  The majority of kerosene lanterns, other than the Aladdin, have a flat wick. …

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Posted in lighting | Tagged , | 9 Comments