For the past three days Hj and I have been busy installing the 12 volt lighting and power system at Tiny House Ontario. Like a lot of work that I do at THO, it is a longer task than I had expected it to be. This is due to two reasons. First, I have to be very careful when removing the wooden walls so that I don’t split or spoil any of the boards, which worked out perfect so far. Second my drill is old and not very powerful so drilling through the joists is not a fast thing to do.
We have installed four of the lights now. We put them up in order of our perceived importance, so the main floor, front entryway, loft, and the cloth porch all have illumination. Really bright: easy to read at night: see the lights as you come up the driveway, lighting! I have to say that he LED yacht lights are great! I would suggest to any off-grid person to put at least a couple of these in because you don’t need too much power to run them because they are straight up 12v and there is no inverter involved. They are a little bit costly but very, very bright! When I need to use the inverter, I will just plug this in!
My battery guy says that I have 6 times the power I need because of the awesome little LEDs!
You will notice in the bedroom that I maintained the LED battery operated lights. I have not been too thrilled with these because the batteries have a short life with them, still I think because they are already there, I might as well keep them as back ups. Then the Coleman LED camping lights are back ups of the back ups and then the flashlights are backups of these! Hilarious really – but I want to be sure that the lighting really works as I am sure it will, for a year before I start purging the extra gear despite the space that it takes up. Plus, for the bedroom the battery LED will be used to get up because it has a circular switch. I can turn this on/off downstairs/upstairs whereas the yacht lights are simply switched at the surface.
It took a lot more 16 gauge wire than I thought. I had to buy an additional 150 feet (!!!!). The cost was $75 plus tax. This means that it took 250 feet of the stuff to wire the little Tiny house! That is about six times around the house! There are only seven lights and one outlet so the wire that was needed for the job was mind boggling to me.
I have to say, if my camera worked better I would love to take and share some photos of the exterior of THO because it looks positively cute as a button in the dark with its new lights on!
I know your battery powered pucks use a lot of batteries for your taste, but have you considered using recharables? A set of 4AA with an automotive charger should be less than $20, and commonly available at any good general store such as wallmart.