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WANTED - Indoor "dusk to dawn"solution

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  • WANTED - Indoor "dusk to dawn"solution

    I have a situation where tenants leave the lights on in the kitchen, dining room, and patio from 6:00pm to 3:30am each night, whether they are in the room or not. I want to find a solar solution where the lights will automatically turn on and off, so the rooms are illuminated during those hours.

    I am interested in the Edison bulb style string lights for the patio, but I haven't seen anything in that style as a solar solution.

    As for the kitchen and dining room, I have tried several solar lamps, but I haven't found anything that was bright enough or large enough for the room.

    Any advice or resources?

  • #2
    Is this on Grid, or Off Grid ?
    For indoor rooms, there is no solar sensor I know of. There are many indoor motion sensor lights that can replace a wall switch and will automatically turn lights on, and then after an "empty" period of time, turn them off. Some have a photo cell to inhibit lighting being On in the daytime,
    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 ||
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    • #3
      Sounds like electricity's included in the rent ? If on grid, simple solution: Have the electricity put in the tenant's name. Other thoughts: Motion sensors, raise the rent, lower wattage/fewer lights. When I had rental prop. and tenants, I found property management also includes tenant management via communication. I usually got more flies with sugar than vinegar, but I needed a sledge hammer 1X/awhile.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by guycore View Post
        I have a situation where tenants leave the lights on in the kitchen, dining room, and patio from 6:00pm to 3:30am each night, whether they are in the room or not. I want to find a solar solution where the lights will automatically turn on and off, so the rooms are illuminated during those hours.
        I read this a few times and still don't understand it. It sounds like the lights are already illuminated during those hours. My solution for the wife and kids was to install LED bulbs on everything that they would leave on. I realized I couldn't control the behavior, and this isn't really a solar on/off application, so the LEDs were the best option. Bulbs are really cheap now. I just saw a box of around 12 bulbs for $2 apiece, and they were dimmable. I think they were at Home depot.

        Steve Dold
        Say NO to useless over-quoting

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        • #5
          Good advice, everyone! Thanks!

          I live in the same building. The house in on grid until I can finish researching off grid options. The tenants turn the lights on when they come home from work at 6pm, then leave the lights on all night until they go to sleep at 3:30am, so that's 9.5 hours per day every day. I'm simply looking for some stand alone solar lights that I can use in the meantime to save money on electricity.

          I found some outdoor floods with panels on long cables that are auto dusk to dawn with photo cells. I can install the flood in the house, then run the panel outside. They may be too bright, so I'll probably need to swap out the bulbs for less lumens.

          I also found some indoor hanging lamps with panels on long cables. I can hang the lamps indoors, then run the panels outside. The issue there is the lamp is manually switched on and off. I prefer an automatic dusk to dawn solution.

          I did order solar string lights from Amazon, but I seriously doubt they'll be bright enough even for the patio. I only bought it to test.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by guycore View Post
            I live in the same building. The house in on grid until I can finish researching off grid options. .
            Look if the building is on the grid, last thing you want to do is take anything off grid. Simple economics, anything you take off-grid is going to cost you 5 to 10 time more for power than buying it. So why would you would you ask for a 500 to 1000% rate increase?

            Nothing to figure out. It is a No-Brainer decision, just forget about it.
            MSEE, PE

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            • #7
              Why not just replace the light switch with an occupancy switch. That combined with new LED bulbs will cut your bill to a fraction of what it is now.

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