Solar-Powered Navigation Lights?

Discussion in 'Power it up with Electronics' started by bostick29412, Jun 2, 2010.

  1. bostick29412

    bostick29412 I Love microskiff.com!

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    I don't anticipate going out much when it's dark out, but will occaisionally need some running lights at the end of the day. My motor's pull-start, and I'd like to avoid having to carry and maintain a battery.

    Has anyone tried rigging solar navigation lights? Seems to me that the rear (white) light is not much different than some of the solar garden-path lights you see all over the place for cheap. They're all LED - how hard would it be to rig the charging and battery system for the two red/green lights?
     
  2. bostick29412

    bostick29412 I Love microskiff.com!

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    OK. So no replies. I think I see a business opportunity.

    The question is: If it was available, would you consider purchasing / installing LED Navigation lights, with a solar charger/battery setup? What's a reasonable price to expect to pay for something like that?
     

  3. firecat1981

    firecat1981 BBA Counselor

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    ok I'll reply. the problem you will have is that they won't be bright enough to be legal. Someone correct me if I am wrong but nav lights need to be visable in darkness from a distance of I think 3 miles. The LED lights on solar lights can barely be seen from 100 yards away, they just don't have the power. Not only that but you need to be able to swap out the battery in case of a failure, which they are known for, or else you will be stuck with no lights.
    A set of nav lights and a small battery to run them for a few days before charging will set you back less then $100. If you look at any of the good bright solar lights, which still aren't really bright enough, they will run alot more then that. And then you have to go through the expense of making them salt water resistant. If you are dead set on solar power just get a solar panel battery tender to help charge the battery. Or if you need a cheap light weight option get the portable battery powered nave lights that run on D batteries and buy rechargables.
    At the end if you do try to make a business out of it I think you will be hard pressed to get coastguard approval on them and end up spending alot more then you would ever make.
     
  4. bostick29412

    bostick29412 I Love microskiff.com!

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    I appreciate a good solid and honest answer! Yeah, mainly I was trying to avoid having a really heavy battery, but I think I could find a smaller 12v battery that is a lot cheaper and go with existing lighting options...
     
  5. firecat1981

    firecat1981 BBA Counselor

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    Well if you get a lawnmower battery and buy the LED nav lights then they will glow for a long time and be really light. cheers.
     
  6. HighSide25

    HighSide25 Well-Known Member

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    a lawnmower battery is good for small devices that dont run a long time or take a bunch of juice. bilge, lights, gps, depthfinders. if i dont use my trolling motor or livewell i will usually just use a small battery. however, it is a wheelchair battery. its the same size as a lawnmower battery, but its a deep cycle. if theres a chance ill need the livewell or TM, i hook up the second battery in parellel. together they last about 3 days to power the livewell consistantly and the bilge often.
     
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