Convert low voltage deck lights to solar?

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  #1  
Old 09-08-16, 11:59 AM
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Convert low voltage deck lights to solar?

Has anyone ever tried this?

I was looking to put some lighting on my deck and noticed that the lights I was looking at came in low voltage (12v) and solar panel powered (with AA batteries inside)

they are exactly the same from the outside, same connectors, same LED array.

Unless there is something different on the circuit inside the light, I would think that it would work right?

Anyone?
 
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Old 09-08-16, 03:42 PM
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You asked about converting but the way you wrote implies that you have not yet purchased the lights. If so why not just get the solar powered ones instead of converting?
 
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Old 09-08-16, 06:56 PM
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The problems with converting to solar or using solar is there is maintenance issue with batteries as well as a limited illumination time.

If you have electric available.... by far the better choice.
 
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Old 09-09-16, 08:22 AM
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Thanks for the replies.

The reason I asked is because the low voltage light fixtures are much nicer looking than the solar ones.

I understand having them run from the outlet is a better in terms of light output and time they are lit, but sticking a solar panel on the sunny side of my house and not having to use power AND run a cable from my outlet on the back of my house to the deck is a HUGE incentive

A couple years ago I installed some solar spot lights (hampton bay) for my mother on the side of her house where she keeps the trash cans and where the gate to the backyard is located. They are still running strong and stay on for 5-6 hours. I mounted the lights on the overhang and ran a wire up onto the roof and mounted the solar panel on a pvc vent.

I was thinking of following the same "formula" with my deck lights, unless someone has tried it and can say that it doesnt work.
 
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Old 09-09-16, 01:15 PM
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I wouldn't use AA batteries. Maybe at least a motorcycle battery or a riding lawnmower battery. If you have the room a marine or deep cycle battery.
 
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Old 09-12-16, 08:29 AM
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Lawnmower battery isnt a bad idea. those are ~30$

I found a solar lawnmower battery maintainer for 15$
Coleman 2 Watt Solar Battery Maintainer 58012

then I could just buy the low voltage fixtures and run them to the battery
 
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Old 09-12-16, 09:12 AM
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That would work for a while until the battery died. You need to balance the load (your lights) against your solar panel's ability to provide power. The battery is just a reservoir so the lights can run after dark.
 
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