Let there be Light

 

…and there was light. And because I’m using LEDs, the electrical consumption is good.

I finished wiring the last of 16 light fixtures to keep my tiny house bright and cheery. 11 of them are 480 lumen RV lights with a nice warm color (3200K) that look just like incandescent without the power consumption, and the rest are old samples from my West Marine days with that cold blue LED color, but these are for under cabinets and in the shower (water proof).

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I’m doing all the wiring myself – since I’m using 12V DC, there is little danger of electrocuting myself and I find the process of designing the circuits and pulling wire enjoyable. Though it looks like a bowl of spaghetti, there is a method to the madness in my distribution system. The water pump, house lights (large terminal block) and outlets (small terminal block) are all on separately fused circuits (black box), currently (ha!) fed by a 120VAC to 12VDC power supply (large silver box) plugged into an extension cord running from the house.

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Depending on the future location of the tiny house, an extension cord and external power may not be available, so I purchased a Yeti 1250 by Goal Zero (http://www.goalzero.com/p/140/goal-zero-yeti-1250-solar-generator). This is a portable 100AH AGM battery with on demand pure sine wave inverter and 12V and 5V USB outlets that can be charged by solar panels or wall plug in.

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The plan is that we would bring the fully charged Yeti from home (where it will also serve as a backup if our house loses power) to the tiny house, where with careful electrical usage, it would last 2-4 days depending on available sun for recharging. You can chain an additional battery for up to 175AH extra storage capacity. It may be on the underpowered side, but we’ll experiment with it and see how well it works.

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