How to light your home off grid – gas and supply okc


With winter just around the corner, I’m beginning to prepare for the shorter days ahead when the darkness creeps in long before we’re ready for bed. Although we are currently running all of our overhead lights on solar, we still put non-electric backups in place. We only have about three days’ worth of energy stored in our battery bank… if we’re careful… so it’s important that we have options for extended cloudy weather and longer nights.

Nothing beats the ambiance of a flickering flame warming the faces of your loved ones on a dark night. Candles can be a very inexpensive way to light your home off grid. electricity projects for high school students You can often find candles for free or just pennies at yard sales. I’ve read that you can make a candle last longer by freezing it for several hours before burning it, though I’ve yet to test this theory.

Although I do have a large tote full of various candles I’ve been collecting for my preps, I have become more conscious about what I burn on a regular basis. Paraffin based candles put off a dangerous toxin-filled smoke when burned. electricity trading jobs Some studies have found paraffin candles to be almost as bad as cigarettes. For regular indoor use, opt for safer bees wax or soy based candles for indoor burning and save the paraffin candles to be burned in an open, airy place, like outdoors. (I’ve lucked up and found some nice bees wax candles for super cheap at yard sales!)

You can make an oil lamp from cooking oils at home using pretty much any type of oil or fat you have on hand. Olive oil is the best choice. It doesn’t produce smoke or odor when burned. gas to liquid All you need other than the oil is a mason jar, some wire, and a wick. You can read the instructions on exactly how to make an olive oil lamp in this interesting article.

We’ve adopted the practice of using outdoor solar walkway lights around the inside of our home when it begins to get dark outside. Each morning, we put the solar lights outside to soak up all the sunlight they can. gas mileage comparison When night falls, we bring the lights indoors and place them in eye hooks we’ve screwed into the walls around the home to help light up dark bathrooms and hallways. Solar lights have rechargeable batteries in them which do need to be replaced over time, but so far ours have lasted for almost a year and are still going strong.

Our main source of off-grid lighting is a small 1000 kW solar panel kit installed on our home. All we had to do to modified our existing light fixtures to be solar-compatible was replace our old Edison style light bulbs with LEDs. gas jobs crna They are a little more expensive up front, but they last forever and use only a tiny fraction of energy. Where our old bulbs pulled 60-75 watts each, the new LEDs light the same amount of space with only 6 watts, making them very easy to support with solar energy.

To make the best use of our limited supply of solar power, I only screwed one to two light bulbs into each ceiling fixture, depending on the size of the room. After all, do we really need four light bulbs in one bedroom, or nine in one bathroom? Not really. We quickly adjusted to the softer lighting, and really don’t miss the excess at all.

When we switched to off-grid lighting, we still wanted the security of outdoor motion sensor lights at the corners of our home and at the entrances. gas tax deduction Our local hardware store had some fairly inexpensive solar motion lights that served the purpose and were quick and easy to install. They aren’t the brightest lights ever, but they shine enough that we would be able to see if somebody was outside, and hopefully would act as a deterrent.

For now all lights are changed to LEDs, but I have mostly small postage stamp sized LEDS bolted to a piece of aluminum formed (easy to bend over a board) plate to mount to the ceiling, and the actual LED is about 1 1/2″ above the mounting surface (ceiling). They are 12Volt already, each seem to make at least the light of a 60 watt bulb. They use so little current that touching the leads to a battery doesn’t even make a small spark. Two make enough light in the bedroom to read by, and 4 light up my whole shop. They are blinding, if you look directly at them you see spots for about an hour! The prices average about $2. la gas But you have to form the heatsink! I wire them with the small 3 color TELEPHONE wire, and I bought a stapler for that wire! That wire is usually very cheap, one 1000 ft box was $2 at the flea market. The inverter (not used for the lighting) is mounted in the wall next to the circuit breaker box, so after switching off the main breaker at the top, it can be connected and power both sides of the panel. No 220V but BOTH 110 volt sides. I have several separate small systems, one each in the home, shop and well, ALL CHEAP! The hot water comes from a solar panel, pumped by a small Flojet pump, the small solar panel just powers the pump, to circulate the hot water, the pump has valves so stops feedback at nite. If there is enough sun to heat water, there is enough to run the pump! If its cloudy or night, no solar power, no pumping my hot water back through the cold panel and cooling it! One well has a Rule submersible 12volt pump, $10 the other has a $16 flojet pump, both powered by another set of panels on the generator shed! (which also light the shop) Using the generators only for the heavy machinery, lathes, welders, and etc. The panels are the $139 for a set of 3 (45 watt total) from Harbor freight. They include the mounting frame and control AND VARIABLE HOOKUP BOX and 2 of the new coiled flourecent bulbs and fixtures wired and ready to plug into the boxes (which have several outlets in various types of plugs and voltages for whatever you want to plug in and charge! I use them at the ends where I need to charge different things like my cell phone, walkee-talkee, portable shop lights, radios! MY TV and VCR together pull only 12 watts! In separate small sections for separate uses, it’s CHEAP! NOT GRID TIED (I don’t expect to have a live grid anyway, and our power company refuses to buy back the energy from a $40,000 roof top (no battery or power at night) “professional system”. gas prices in texas It’s designed for ME, not to make lots of profit for the installer! This cost less than $500, bought at different times part at a time! Set of panels this week $139. Next week another, next week a $16 water pump, next week another SMALL inverter $29. CHEAP! My WAY! Check out Rural KIng for cheap deep cycle batteries (golf cart). If you have $40,000 to spend on a system that still needs the grid at night? Fine for you! IF YOU DON’T, THEN THIS WAY WILL WORK !