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  • Need help with a solar light

    I need some help if anyone knows the component level for solar lights. I bought a solar light that is Rosewill brand that was supposed to be used as Christmas string lights. It powered a string of about 30 ft. 2/4 of them broke that I had originally ordered and I was able to return 1 for store credit as they said they didn't make them any more.

    So the inner board was defective somehow. This setup used a voltage turn on/off I'm assuming. I've tried to resolder and replace the board twice with known working boards while integrating the new board's photo sensor setup instead of the other since I didn't have any of those.

    Both boards would turn the lights but they would not turn off, hence the photo sensor not working somehow. My belief is either the photo sensor is not big enough or the resistor on the board itself.

    The solar panel is slightly larger than what the new boards that I put on come off of, so that's my reasoning that the voltage overpowers and keeps the lights on. Thoughts on this?

  • #2
    Nothing? Hmm...

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    • #3
      Possibly the new panel is a different voltage, but same voltage and more watts would not overpower anything. Is there a battery in the setup somewhere or do the lights only light when the sun is shining? Your description makes me think that your controller also contains a battery, probably NiMH or LFP.
      If you do not have a schematic and are not an experienced electronic hobbyist, I would say you are wasting your time. JMO.

      PS: Most inexpensive lighting controllers use the panels themselves as the photo sensor. No voltage (or limited current) means sunset.
      SunnyBoy 3000 US, 18 BP Solar 175B panels.

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      • #4
        Yes, there are 3 AA's connected. One of the boards was working off 1 AA.

        I am dealing with inexpensive solar lights. Just trying to combine bad ones that have the panels glazed over to ones that might work. All of my solar garden lights have a photo sensor. This is the only one that used the panel itself as the on/off. But that part would actually be in the board when the panel doesn't produce voltage to turn the lights on. I just converted it to one with an actual photo sensor. Just don't understand why it isn't working.

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        • #5
          Need help with a solar light

          It is perfectly fine for your size tank. It will put your tank in the medium light category so you will need some co2

          ---Mod Note: This seems to be a totally unrelated post. Possibly intended for another thread or another Forum?
          Last edited by inetdog; 09-21-2015, 03:06 PM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Sgtdic View Post
            Yes, there are 3 AA's connected. One of the boards was working off 1 AA.

            I am dealing with inexpensive solar lights. Just trying to combine bad ones that have the panels glazed over to ones that might work. All of my solar garden lights have a photo sensor. This is the only one that used the panel itself as the on/off. But that part would actually be in the board when the panel doesn't produce voltage to turn the lights on. I just converted it to one with an actual photo sensor. Just don't understand why it isn't working.
            '
            The photo sensor circuitry would have to be powered by the battery once the panel power goes away at sunset.
            SunnyBoy 3000 US, 18 BP Solar 175B panels.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Sgtdic View Post
              I am dealing with inexpensive solar lights. Just trying to combine bad ones that have the panels glazed over to ones that might work.
              You know the Rosewill lights are specifically designed for NICAD right? Not sure how their internal chargers would handle nimh rechargeables, if that is what you are using for replacements.

              From a practical level, I'd just cut my losses and start with more modern lights unless the quest is purely a hobby-circuit design problem.

              Without getting too geeky about it, I formerly used lights that handled nimh, and fed them with high quality eneloops, did regular maintenance charging with a specialized AA charger - the whole works. Fun, but still the poor eneloops got beaten to death with partial states of charge regularly.

              My suggestion is to go with more modern solar lights that use LiFePo4, like the inexpensive Portfolio brand (there are others obviously). Lifepo4, actually *prefers* a partial-state-of-charge operation, so the batteries don't get murdered quite as fast as the older nimh/nicad types. Typically these lights use small 300ma 14430 cell(s).

              I'm crossing my fingers that this recommendation to go lifepo4 with solar garden lights doesn't turn into a Tesla/EV/Ebike thread.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Sgtdic View Post
                I need some help if anyone knows the component level for solar lights. I bought a solar light that is Rosewill brand that was supposed to be used as Christmas string lights. It powered a string of about 30 ft. 2/4 of them broke that I had originally ordered and I was able to return 1 for store credit as they said they didn't make them any more.

                So the inner board was defective somehow. This setup used a voltage turn on/off I'm assuming. I've tried to resolder and replace the board twice with known working boards while integrating the new board's photo sensor setup instead of the other since I didn't have any of those.

                Both boards would turn the lights but they would not turn off, hence the photo sensor not working somehow. My belief is either the photo sensor is not big enough or the resistor on the board itself.

                The solar panel is slightly larger than what the new boards that I put on come off of, so that's my reasoning that the voltage overpowers and keeps the lights on. Thoughts on this?
                As I know, some controller didn't sense the "sunshine", it just sense the Voltage from panel board. May be the two panel has different volatge, mostly the controller sense no voltage from panel board, it will turn on the light, and sense "charging" from panel board, it will turn off the light automatically.
                * sunsolarled *

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                • #9
                  Look so complicated. I have a small question to ask: Can I get brighter led when there is bigger solar panel install in fixture
                  Some people told me that there is a appropriate size for solar panel to ensure the max brightness of led with certain number. Is that right?
                  Last edited by Mike90250; 12-28-2017, 01:24 AM. Reason: removed obfuscated URL. This member is on spammer watch for URL & resurecting old thread

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                  • #10
                    I don't see this as a good question. If you put a larger solar panel on, where does it go on the fixture ? You can put a brighter light on, but the battery will not last as long.
                    A good light unit is engineered properly and will work better than something cobbled together at home,.
                    Powerfab top of pole PV mount (2) | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
                    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
                    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

                    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
                    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister

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