Needed: a HOW-TO on DC and lights...

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by dragonfly, Apr 6, 2010.

  1. dragonfly

    dragonfly Monkey+++

    I am strongly considering using 55 watt or even teh 100 watt halogen sized auto light bulbs, or in a fog lamp style, for outside flood lighting...
    The basic wiring and fuses/swithces are easy enough...but I have 2 concerns:
    1) the wire size needed to go any distance ( I've seen 12 ga 2 conductor "zip cord" (household extension cord ) do just that, it burnt like a piece of cannon fuse, when connected to a headlamp some 20 feet away from the battery!!
    2) a sensor or some device, to "trigger" the lamps !??
    I can do basics and even 240 volt single phase wiring, but, 12 volt dc is a different cat due to the very nature of the wire sizes needed-resistance issues?
    And to have a 12 volt system entirely independent of solar or invertors...
    I can easily get the golf cart 6 volt hi-amp batteries and run them in a series connection, to get the 12 volts needed....the main drawback is that all the units I have found commercially available, that are 12 volt rarely exceed a 33 watt lamp and it's generally a fluorescent tube!
    Not what you'd need to illuminate a good sized area in total darkness.
    Most of them have a range of only 15-30 feet also!
    I need something with a bit more ILLUMINATION!
    I can easily set up fog lamps, that are sealed from water/rain/etc, in single or pairs, and IF the wire is kept to a minimum distance from the lamps, I can get away with a wire gauge of about 14-16. Or, I can easily use "jumper cable" wire sizes in the upper gauges of 8 to 4 gauge wires.
  2. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    You can use a voltage drop calculator, such as this online version:

    Voltage Drop Calculator

    That will tell you the wire size and amps your circuit will pull base on the distance from the batteries to the lights.

    IF possible, it would be best for you to locate the batteries as close as possible to the lights, then use a relay(s) to switch the lights on from a remote location.

    There are also plenty of 12v motion detector type switches available.....Google them.
  3. -06

    -06 Monkey+++

    Howdy Andy, you can easily use regular household lights on DC for inside lighting.
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