how do you get lighting living off grid

16 Aug
2012

I get lighting just like everyone else…from a power source.

My power source is a battery, actually a battery cell set up. Currently, it can be charged from the main battery of the RV by turning it on for about 20 minutes. That uses the gasoline from the tank but I have other options to explore. I’m thinking of setting up a system of 3 batteries and have recently bought a generator. With a battery charger and a few solar panels, I would basically never need to worry about power and lighting…but I’ll talk about options in another post.

All in all my carbon footprint is pretty minimal considering the space I am lighting and the amount of fuel I use in total.

The RV has a half dozen 12volt lights, which use DC power. I can tell the power is draining on the battery when they turn from a whiter light to a yellow light. Even when I have two or three of them on they use very little drain but I do conserve the power.

I also have an LED rechargeable lantern with both a spotlight and an upwards spectrum to act like an old fashioned kerosene lantern. So far it seems to need a charge about once every 4-6 weeks.

My back up is an LED light I attach to my head, helmet or handlebars on my bike for when I’m biking. A mini mag light is my back up to the back up and I always keep it in my car for emergencies. It uses two AA batteries and I have a battery recharger for that.

I may get a lantern and mini stove that uses a liquid fuel as an emergency backup but I’m not one of these people that worries about spare, spare, spare.

I also have candles. These double to provide some extra heat on colder nights.

Daylight comes every day. When it is dark…it’s time to sleep, watch a show on my laptop or read a book using my mini headlight.

I’ve placed little eye hooks in about 4 locations of the RV. That way, I can simply move the lantern to them and localize what I am doing. This is very useful when the regular RV lights are starting to dim, since the LED lantern shines bright and lasts for many days without a charge.

 

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