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 Post Posted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 4:40 pm 
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USING A SOLAR PANEL WITH YOUR TEXASBOARS FEEDERLIGHT.
*(recapp) We have already discussed why TEXASBOARS no longer uses solar panels and why:
http://www.texasboars.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=232

TexasBoars does recognize that in some cases using a solar panel can be an asset. There are a variety reasons but it is NOT so the animals will get used to it. It would most certainly be the case that the user "NEEDS" the light to be "NORMALLY ON" for specific uses.

In those cases the lights would need to have AUTOMATED SWITCHES and SOLAR PANELS INSTALLED.

Before we go into calculating solar power we need to figure out how you'll be using the light.
*All of the following information will based on a MARINE RV Deep Cycle battery (trolling motor battery).

:arrow: FIRST, we will discuss a typical use in which the TB Light is "NORMALLY OFF". meaning the only time the light is "ON" is when you are hunting and "OFF" at all other times.
Solar Panel for that is 5 WATT panel with a built in regulator. Available from Northen Tool and Harbor Freight for around $40.00. This panel will keep the battery topped off and ready for use.

:arrow: SECOND would be situations in which the lights would "NEED" to be "NORMALLY ON" to meet the users needs, fo those situations we'll discuss what's required to accomplish that.

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:arrow: First thing to accomplish is to know how to calculate wattage used by the TB Light.

Wattage used is calculated by the "total" number of LEDs in your light:
each LED is 3 Watts.
(3 LEDs X 3 watts = 9 total watts) (6 LEDs X 3 Watts = 18 total watts) and so-on.
Total Watts used "per hour".

SOlar Panels are rated by Watts - 10 watts, 15 watts, 18 watts, 25 watts, 500 watts and so-on - in given panel could be rated at any variety of watts from 0.25 to 500.
In TEXAS we are rated as a 5 hour day. Meaning a solar panel properly installed will deliver 5 times a panels rated watt.
For example, 20 watt solar panel (X) 5 hours would deliver 100 watts back into a battery (folks this is general terms - 101 crash course).

Now, if you have an 9 watt light and it runs 10 hours a night it consumes 90 watts. So a 20 watt panel would/can return 100 watts (20wattsX5hours=100watts). That's a pretty good match up dollar for dollar.
:arrow: Can a larger solar panel be used, YES, it won't damage anything if you use a larger more powerful panel.
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Third, is choosing a switch.
Two most basic options are a dusk to dawn switch and an digital timer.
Digital Timer would be most recommended.

These timers can be purchased from AMAZON for less than $10.00 including shipping.
These timers can be set to turn a light ON and OFF in an almost unbelievable number of options.
Image

TexasBoars has the same TIMERS available in TEXASBOARS CATALOG already wired and in a watertight case.
Image

Of course any handy DIY Person will find it easy enough to rig this up themselves.

The value of using a digital timer is EFFICIENCY! Using a timer enables the user to significantly reduce the total number of hours "ON" thus significantly reducing the required size solar panel to keep a battery charged (solar panels are not cheap).
SO instead of running from dusk till dawn the light can be programmed to run "ON" only XX hours a night and even run "ON" on certain days of the week.

All that has to be done at this point is:
:arrow: calculate is the "TOTAL HOURS ON" for light for XX period of time X (times) the lights rated wattage.
For example, an "18 watt" light is programmed to run 5 hours a night 7 nights a week for a total of 35 hours a week (18 X 35 = 630 total watts per week).
:arrow: :arrow: We would then calculate the size solar panel to "match or exceed" that wattage. Solar panel receives 5 hours of prime sunlight a day for 7 days (5 X 7 = 35)
20 watt solar panel X 35 = 700 watts (providing sunny days all week long).

If the light is absolutely required to run without fail a person would need to consider cloudy rainy days. Thus increase the battery bank (use two RV Batteries instead of one, and increase the solar capacity.
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Now you're understanding WHY TEXASBOARS does not use solar panels anymore.
We build "LIGHTS", real lights, :arrow: :arrow: and WHY the competition uses little 0.25 cent LEDs. They can't equip a light with 20 watt (200.00 solar panel) and 50 pound ($75.00) battery. They would wind up with a light that would cost well over $2,000.00 by the time they marked up and then shipping would be astronomical.

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http://WWW.TEXASBOARS.COM
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