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LED Lighting Power Connection Questions

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  • LED Lighting Power Connection Questions

    I have been looking at solar power for about 6 years now. I initially wanted to set up a huge off-grid system, but now just want to set up a small system for lighting only and will possibly expand into a larger system later.

    I want to keep things as efficient as possible for lighting, so I would like to stay in the 12v realm rather than waste a lot of energy converting from 12v battery to 120v via inverter, then transformer power supply back down to 12v for the lights. Reasonable? (I may add inverter later for other items, and more batteries and more panels, but that's later...)

    Here is what I am thinking of doing:

    - (2) 250w panels
    - (1 or 2) 100AH AGM batteries
    - charge controller

    As far as lighting goes, being an electrical rookie regarding draws and such, I need to know which of the following is the best and which if any are absolutely foolish and/or dangerous. (I may change up the combinations later, but for now I am just trying to get an idea of how the numbers work out for proper operation and connection. Using strips for example, but it could also be bulbs later.):

    Option 1 -

    • A single 16ft. 300-LED strip rated at 18w
    •*Connect directly to 12v battery (with or without a switch in between)
    •*need a fuse in there somewhere?

    Option 2 -

    • A single 16ft. 300-LED strip rated at 18w
    •*Connect to a 12v DC (in/out) 20W constant current LED driver connected to 12v battery (with or without a switch in between)
    •*need a fuse in there somewhere?
    • need fan/heatsink for small controller?

    Either way, I have read that I would probably have to run 12/2 wire from battery to lights or to LED driver/controller, as much as 20-30 feet in the longest runs.

    Or would a 30W controller allow more LED strips as long as controller is rated more wattage than lights connected to it, or do I need to accurately match controllers to draw of strips as closely as possible?

  • #2
    Thanks for all of the tips everyone, I will look at all of this and try and digest it this evening. It probably won't take very long.