Attaching a solar light


  #1  
Old 03-01-21, 08:08 AM
yardnut's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2002
Location: USA
Posts: 535
Received 7 Votes on 6 Posts
Attaching a solar light

My new shed is not yet wired, but for the time being I have a great solar light out there so at least I can putter around at night. I will keep this light as it is super bright and of course, it doesn't cost anything to run.

I attached a pic of the shed below. Right now I have the solar panel attached to the fence behind the shed, and the power cable running in at the window. Obviously I want to mount it permanently on the roof, but not sure of the best way to do that I don't want to damage anything or God forbid cause a leak. What would be the best way to mount the panel, and then run in the cable? Thoughts?

 

Popular Reply

 
03-04-21, 04:56 PM
yardnut's Avatar
yardnut
yardnut is offline
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2002
Location: USA
Posts: 535
Received 7 Votes on 6 Posts
I did it!! It was definitely a bigger job than I really thought it would be - only because I had not done this before and was not prepared with everything I needed. I had to make about 10 trips up and down the ladder outside LOL.

I had to use a spade bit to make the hole for the cable as there is a wide connector at the end and I had forgotten about that. Needed a way wider hole than I had thought. And of course, I realized that AFTER I had attached the panel bracket. So I had to take it off, (And of course I had to use a small offset driver to do this each time because there was no room to fit mu impact driver up there under the panel!!) And I had to climb up to the loft and drill the other hole - sheesh that was not fun, but I got it ALMOST straight across - not quite, but close. Still, I had to get a lantern and hang it in the loft so that I could direct the wire through to the inside hole, from the outside hole. I taped a long wire to the cable connector with electrical tape, sent it through from the outside, and then climbed up to the loft and ever so delicately pulled it though - I was so afraid that the wire was going to pull out of the tape but it held - and I actually yelled when it came through!



 
  #2  
Old 03-01-21, 09:26 AM
P
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 25,081
Received 867 Votes on 798 Posts
I would attach the solar panel to the gable, fascia or side of the building where it gets good sun exposure. That way you don't put any holes in the roof and no power wire running across the lawn.
 
Norm201 voted this post useful.
  #3  
Old 03-01-21, 01:01 PM
Norm201's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 9,979
Received 341 Votes on 307 Posts
You could also mount a 2 x 4 attached to the peak on the side and attach the solar cell to that.

I also have one of these solar lights. I paced it on small piece of plywood and use the unit as trouble light. Especially when an extension cord is not available and I don't need to worry about the cord getting in the way. Very maneuverable. When not in use I keep the light plugged in and the solar cell is attached to a south facing window.
 
  #4  
Old 03-01-21, 02:08 PM
yardnut's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2002
Location: USA
Posts: 535
Received 7 Votes on 6 Posts
You could also mount a 2 x 4 attached to the peak on the side and attach the solar cell to that.
Could you clarify that? Attach a 2x4 where, and how?
 
  #5  
Old 03-01-21, 02:11 PM
yardnut's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2002
Location: USA
Posts: 535
Received 7 Votes on 6 Posts
I would attach the solar panel to the gable, fascia or side of the building
Yes I thought that aluminum-trimmed fascia would be the spot - just not sure how to attach. Do you have to remove the soffit to attach the bracket to the fascia board above it?? I've never installed anything like this so the fascia/soffit thing is all new territory for me.
 
  #6  
Old 03-01-21, 02:39 PM
2
Member
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: USA near Boston, MA
Posts: 1,185
Received 94 Votes on 80 Posts
Where is the sunniest spot that gets the most exposure during the day? Mounting on the gable or soffit do not appear to be the best locations.

From the photo it appears that the location on the fence is giving you sufficient exposure. (except that the shadow from the roof overhang is just getting there.) What time was the picture taken? Since the front of the shed has the same exposure as the fence it appears that it would be an ideal location. Mount the panel on that side low enough to avoid any shadow from the overhang and drill a small hole behind it for the cable. Leave a drip loop on the cable and caulk the hole.
 
  #7  
Old 03-01-21, 02:44 PM
yardnut's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2002
Location: USA
Posts: 535
Received 7 Votes on 6 Posts
The solar panel that is mounted on the fence is facing the sunniest direction. That picture was taken very late in the day. The shed faces west, and the window gable end faces south. It seems to me that the bracket mounted on that south facing fascia, on the front end, would be the best place. The panel rotates a bit and it is not a flush mount bracket - it is about a 4-inch deep bracket - you can see it is at an angle on the fence.
 
  #8  
Old 03-01-21, 03:06 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 61,872
Received 1,480 Votes on 1,368 Posts
You could mount the cell directly to the fascia. Two screws would be plenty.
 
  #9  
Old 03-01-21, 03:25 PM
yardnut's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2002
Location: USA
Posts: 535
Received 7 Votes on 6 Posts
I get the placement. I am just trying to understand what exactly I am screwing the bracket to, and how to get to it. I *think* that whole overhang is hollow - is the aluminum trim covering wood? Sorry - I don't know much about how overhangs are constructed. This is the overhang and the inside of the same area.



 
  #10  
Old 03-01-21, 03:31 PM
Norm201's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 9,979
Received 341 Votes on 307 Posts
Exactly where PJ showed. Except I would put it at the very peak. You screws right into the facia board even if it's clad in aluminum. If you ever take it own just throw some caulk into the holes. That way if you point the solar sell almost straight up you'll get the most sunshine. But it doesn't really matter. At least an hour or two sunlight will give the batteries full charge.

I have my outside camera's attached just like that.
 
  #11  
Old 03-01-21, 03:35 PM
yardnut's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2002
Location: USA
Posts: 535
Received 7 Votes on 6 Posts
I know how to drill a screw in. But to mount this bracket...I have to tighten a nut on the other end. How do I access that nut? How do I get to the other side?? Sorry - I know this must be a complete no-brainer to the rest of you because no one seems to understand what I am asking. Wait...maybe I am wrong here... let me go take a look at the bracket again. It might be as simple as just screwing it in to the wood!

Oy vey! I don't know why I thought I had to mount it with a nut/washer. Sheesh. Okay that is solved.




But I still need to get the cable run inside to the light.
 
  #12  
Old 03-01-21, 03:41 PM
Norm201's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 9,979
Received 341 Votes on 307 Posts
I think you got it. You might need to put a 2x 4 spacer between the bracket and the facia board. Just to bring it out not to interfere with the roof edge.
 
  #13  
Old 03-01-21, 03:50 PM
yardnut's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2002
Location: USA
Posts: 535
Received 7 Votes on 6 Posts
You might need to put a 2x 4 spacer between the bracket and the facia board. Just to bring it out not to interfere with the roof edge.
Okay I understand that . Do I drill a hole through that same area to run the cable in? I would have to drill out from the inside board too, right? And somehow fish the cable out? I know this cannot be as difficult as I am making it. Sorry. I found this pic and that helps me a lot LOL. At least now I understand how that is built.

 
  #14  
Old 03-01-21, 04:02 PM
Norm201's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 9,979
Received 341 Votes on 307 Posts
Yes then use some Finger Putty or caulk to seal where the cable comes through.
 
  #15  
Old 03-01-21, 04:08 PM
yardnut's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2002
Location: USA
Posts: 535
Received 7 Votes on 6 Posts
Okay I think I got it. Thank you!!!
 
  #16  
Old 03-01-21, 04:15 PM
Norm201's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 9,979
Received 341 Votes on 307 Posts
Show us pic when your done.
 
  #17  
Old 03-02-21, 05:47 PM
yardnut's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2002
Location: USA
Posts: 535
Received 7 Votes on 6 Posts
Show us pic when your done.
I will!

use some Finger Putty
Is that the brand name? Where can you buy it?
 
  #18  
Old 03-03-21, 05:33 AM
Norm201's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 9,979
Received 341 Votes on 307 Posts
use some Finger Putty
Is that the brand name? Where can you buy it?
Frost King makes it. The actual name is FingerTip Rope Caulk. Available almost anywhere. The same stuff used by utility companies as their lines enter houses (cable, electrical, pipes, etc...)

 
  #19  
Old 03-03-21, 01:05 PM
yardnut's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2002
Location: USA
Posts: 535
Received 7 Votes on 6 Posts
Great! Thank you!
 
  #20  
Old 03-04-21, 04:56 PM
yardnut's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2002
Location: USA
Posts: 535
Received 7 Votes on 6 Posts
I did it!! It was definitely a bigger job than I really thought it would be - only because I had not done this before and was not prepared with everything I needed. I had to make about 10 trips up and down the ladder outside LOL.

I had to use a spade bit to make the hole for the cable as there is a wide connector at the end and I had forgotten about that. Needed a way wider hole than I had thought. And of course, I realized that AFTER I had attached the panel bracket. So I had to take it off, (And of course I had to use a small offset driver to do this each time because there was no room to fit mu impact driver up there under the panel!!) And I had to climb up to the loft and drill the other hole - sheesh that was not fun, but I got it ALMOST straight across - not quite, but close. Still, I had to get a lantern and hang it in the loft so that I could direct the wire through to the inside hole, from the outside hole. I taped a long wire to the cable connector with electrical tape, sent it through from the outside, and then climbed up to the loft and ever so delicately pulled it though - I was so afraid that the wire was going to pull out of the tape but it held - and I actually yelled when it came through!



 
2john02458, Norm201 voted this post useful.
  #21  
Old 03-04-21, 05:03 PM
Norm201's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 9,979
Received 341 Votes on 307 Posts
Very professional looking. Us DIY's always make several trips up and down ladders and at least three trips to the store when doing plumbing.
 
  #22  
Old 03-04-21, 05:20 PM
yardnut's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2002
Location: USA
Posts: 535
Received 7 Votes on 6 Posts
Thanks! I was so happy that I actually was able to do this. I did not have to bother my boyfriend at all and that was my goal. Thank you so much for your help.

And where the heck has "rope caulk" been all my life???
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description: