Tales along the way in my quest to Integrate Everything.

Solar Security and Landscape Lighting Project

When I was a wee lad of a mere nineteen or so, I used to go camping at the lake every weekend. I had a seasonal tent site, the only one in the 50 year history of the campground. As my home away from home, I had a little solar powered light that I would put out to mark my camp site. It would cycle between red, green and yellow – and although it broke many years ago I have not seen another quite like it since.

A few months ago, in the dead of winter, I came across a solar powered LED device. I think it was supposed to have some sort of decoration on the LED, a clear plastic butterfly or some other such diffuser and it was of the style one might see in a very busy garden. I set it outside and stuck it on the back deck where it would get as much sun as one could get in the dead of winter, though I really did not have any hopes it would work. It likely had sat, dead, for months if not years,  which  combined with sub-zero temperatures is in all but the rarest of cases a death sentence for any rechargeable battery. I don’t think it lit up at all the first few nights, and I forgot about it outside in the cold. Then one day I noticed a strange light through yonder window – the little LED on it was glowing. Watching it for a while I noticed that it changed color as it glowed, and was a full RGB type with an integrated controller making it produce all sorts of colors. It barely lasted a few hours at first, but as time went on and more sunlight hit the solar cell, it stayed on longer, eventually lasting the entire night! This morning I noticed it still alit as the sun was coming over the horizon and it got me thinking – could I power all my outdoor lights from the sun?

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