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Zanny
Oct. 22, 2008, 01:08 PM
Hi, does anybody use solar powered lights and if so what was the costs involved to light your ring? Or if anybody has any helpful information please chime in.

katarine
Oct. 22, 2008, 01:15 PM
I'm going say no can do. Can't get enough juice to run real arena lights on solar alone,unless you have a ho' lotta room for solar panels :eek:

Zanny
Oct. 22, 2008, 03:51 PM
Solar panels can be ontop of 36 stall barn and 120x250 covered arena.


Saw this when searching for solar energy and horses. "The 17kW system at Cooper-Garrod is used to run the tasting room and wine offices, as well as the stable offices and riding arena lighting for its 200-horse equestrian center.

The 96 rooftop solar modules will eliminate 22,000kW of energy previously bought from PG&E each year. The system cost about $120,000, but combined tax incentives will provide a payback in fewer than five years."

katarine
Oct. 22, 2008, 04:10 PM
well there you go, LOL! I can't imagine spending 100+K of my own cash money lighting anything, so have at it. :lol:

sisu27
Oct. 22, 2008, 04:20 PM
So cool...I love this idea. I also love wind farms and can't understand the resistance to them. If it pays for itself in a reasonable amount of time I say go for it. I fantasize about living 100% off the grid.

Zanny
Oct. 22, 2008, 04:43 PM
The thing is it has gotten cheaper and with the energy crisis they are offering rebates and incentives. If we don't use all the energy it goes back in the grid and we get credit from the power company. No we can't make money, but having no electic bill for us would be huge. As you can imagine at night with one lighted arena it gets busy so we are checking out ways to light the outdoor ring.

jn4jenny
Oct. 22, 2008, 05:09 PM
So cool...I love this idea. I also love wind farms and can't understand the resistance to them. If it pays for itself in a reasonable amount of time I say go for it. I fantasize about living 100% off the grid.

This probably isn't an option for Zanny since the Carolinas are not very windy (except on the coast), but if you live on more than 1 acre and your average wind speed is 10 mph or more, you can have your very own wind turbine. The U.S. Department of Energy maps can judge whether you live in a windy enough area:
http://www.windpoweringamerica.gov/wind_maps.asp

And this is a good FAQ about whether a residential wind turbine is practical for you:
http://www.awea.org/faq/rsdntqa.html

As you can tell, I also fantasize about living off grid. Unfortunately, my rented townhouse is not really a candidate for that. :lol:

katarine
Oct. 22, 2008, 05:39 PM
Wind isn't a panacea. Killing birds and running lines to them to make 'em happen...that takes energy.

sisu27
Oct. 22, 2008, 06:37 PM
Wind isn't a panacea. Killing birds and running lines to them to make 'em happen...that takes energy.


I will admit that I have not researched the hell out of it but I can't imagine other sources of energy being any better in respect to the above concerns. We have dabbled with solar power at the family cottage out of neccessity (remote island) and I think it is awesome. We are 100% off the grid there...gravity feed running water, solar panels to run lights, propane fridge and range, woodstove for heat...it works great and feels good too.


To keep this HR I also tried to convince a previous BO to look into wind or solar in order to have lights in the outdoor. He wasn't interested but I have retained the thought for the day I have the time and $$ to have my own place.

Xanthoria
Oct. 23, 2008, 01:18 AM
Solar 'High-Lux' Street Light (Complete With 20', 26' or 33' Pole) $2,999.99 each (http://www.solarilluminations.com/acatalog/Solar_Street_Lights___Parking_Lot_Lighting.html)

sounds pretty doable to me, considering the LEDs will last about 22 years.

also, in my area if you're on the grid and making more solar electricity than you need you can sell it back to the grid.

TikiSoo
Oct. 23, 2008, 07:46 AM
My barn cut portions of the roof and installed corrogated fibeglass panels to allow soft light in on bright days. Old fashioned "solar" lighting! We get heavy snowfall and it just slides off. Works great except Syracuse (dreary-cuse) is second only to Seattle in sun-less days.

The arena came with florescent shop lights when the BO bought it and they were tempermental. He replaced them with (I'm gonna guess here) sodium lights. They take a minute to warm & brighten up, but they have worked flawlessly since installation over 7 years ago.

Zanny
Oct. 23, 2008, 01:16 PM
The ring is 150x250 outdoor ring. We have lights in the covered arena and skylights :) With wind power I also heard you could get a "thumping" noise?

Guilherme
Oct. 23, 2008, 04:15 PM
Hi, does anybody use solar powered lights and if so what was the costs involved to light your ring? Or if anybody has any helpful information please chime in.

Solar is great in areas West of the Big Muddy. In the Eastern U.S. it's problematical except in places like FL or the Gulf Coast.

Lighting means not just a solar array, but also a storage system, distribution system, monitoring system, etc. This means $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

Be VERY warry of people trying to sell you systems. If it seems too good to be true it probably is.

Here are some helpful URLs:

http://www.solar4power.com/solar-power-sizing.html

http://www.usasolarstore.com/images/solarhowto/Avail.pdf

http://www.sureguard.com.au/solaranimationww.html

G.

mtnjen
Oct. 23, 2008, 04:20 PM
http://www.dsireusa.org/

Okay, hopefully this shows up as a link for you! This is a nifty map of renewable energy rebates and incentives by state. Great place to start.

Solar could surely work for you - it's not cheap, simply because the equipment is not cheap, but there are some great incentives and rebates in place as well as federal tax incentives to help make it more do-able. There's also documented increase in property value when you decrease your utility cost.

(so shares this horseperson trapped behind the desk of a solar company out west)

jn4jenny
Oct. 23, 2008, 04:21 PM
Wind isn't a panacea. Killing birds and running lines to them to make 'em happen...that takes energy.

You're going to have to run lines to make solar work too, so I don't see how that's valid.

Killing birds is a valid concern, but one I'd hope people would research carefully before throwing it out there as a blanket reason not to get a turbine. It may be valid if you live in a migration pathway, but otherwise a lot of the numbers out there (on both sides of the debate) are bullcraparoodle:
http://www.treehugger.com/files/2006/04/common_misconce.php

Regarding the noise, a residential turbine makes about as much noise as a washing machine.

sisu27
Oct. 23, 2008, 05:57 PM
You're going to have to run lines to make solar work too, so I don't see how that's valid.

Killing birds is a valid concern, but one I'd hope people would research carefully before throwing it out there as a blanket reason not to get a turbine. It may be valid if you live in a migration pathway, but otherwise a lot of the numbers out there (on both sides of the debate) are bullcraparoodle:
http://www.treehugger.com/files/2006/04/common_misconce.php

Regarding the noise, a residential turbine makes about as much noise as a washing machine.

I've stood among many huge wind turbines and they are nearly silent...a slight whooshing noise but that is it...I was surprised.

As for the birds...I can't get too excited about it. I hate to see any animal come to any harm but birds getting mangled in wind turbines doesn't offend me nearly as much as say...factory farming. Seems like an unfortunate side effect.

Zanny
Oct. 25, 2008, 11:19 AM
Thank you for the links everybody. If you hear anything else or know of installments, please post.

katarine
Oct. 26, 2008, 11:26 AM
Where I live I'd be stupid to try a wind farm. I'm E of the big muddy, not a suitable place to plant a turbine, thanks ;)

and I still think solar energy is cost prohibitive to install for the purposes of lighting a large indoor arena.

Frank B
Oct. 26, 2008, 04:49 PM
If you're not jumping and will settle for working close to the rail, larger solar-powered garden lights mounted on each fence post may be an option. Beware the cheaper versions of these light. Many won't stay charged during the Winter months.

If you have power available and are simply trying to be "green", a bunch of 100-Watt fixtures bulbed with CFLs would be more practical.

jazzrider
Dec. 29, 2008, 03:15 PM
I'm just bumping this up because it the most recent thread on this topic and I've been looking for a long time for affordable, simple solar powered lights to light my small arena (70x110) in winter. After lots of searching and discussions with various customer service reps, I've just ordered one of these, http://www.ycasolarlightstore.com/Solar_Spot_Light_p/flp-002.htm that has a remote control setting, which means that you can turn it on and off while it is mounted on the poles. I couldn't have spots or floods that were on automatically dusk to dawn, or were motion detector lights (I want to be kind to my neighbors!) It also comes with flat mounting hardware so it can be attached to poles.

For $69.95 with free shipping, we're going to give one a try. If it charges and lights a portion of my ring moderately well -- I may order 1-3 more. Should be here in a week. I'm crossing my fingers! I don't need bright light -- just enough to exersize.

If anyone has any experience with these, let me know...:)

Tiki
Dec. 29, 2008, 04:04 PM
Solar is great in areas West of the Big Muddy. In the Eastern U.S. it's problematical except in places like FL or the Gulf Coast.
Talk about crapadoodle, where on earth did you come up with this???

New Jersey - way east of the Big Muddy - has had electrical problems for years. A friend just went off the grid - complete solar for the house, barn, indoor ring and whole 20 acre farm. The school in her town is all solar as well.

In addition, back in 1981 when I was up in Orono, Maine at the U. of Me. it was said that you could not possibly have solar north of Concord NH - also way east of the Big Muddy - I had a friend at school who had a house up in Presque Isle, Maine - almost as far north as you can go in the US. He had 100% solar power in his home. That was waaaaayyyyyyyy before you could sell the extra back to the utility company and he told me that even in the coldest temps in winter (normally 20 below at night and 5 above with a wind during the day (short as it is)) that he had to install a safety valve to blow off the extra power he generated.

Dooner
Dec. 29, 2008, 07:14 PM
Blackburn architects (http://www.blackburnarch.com/) mentions several projects with significant solar installations. So you wouldn't be the first.

With all of that roof space, it really only makes sense if one can afford the initial outlay.

Guilherme
Dec. 29, 2008, 09:49 PM
Horses have excellent night vision so these might work out for flatwork. I'm not sure I'd do any jumping with them, though.

The site also had an 8 LED version that looked like it might be a better choice from the photo. I was a little concerned that there's no information on actual light levels produced for the 5 LED version.

Let us know if it works our or if you have to go to the larger unit.

G.

jazzrider
Dec. 30, 2008, 10:20 AM
Horses have excellent night vision so these might work out for flatwork. I'm not sure I'd do any jumping with them, though.

No, we're not jumpers. I just need enough light to exersize my guys over the winter, during the week. I have a big spotlight on my barn that gives just a bit of light towards the ring -- so I'm hoping 1-4 of these will give me enough light to keep from running into anything or anyone!

I thought the one I bought was the only one that had the off/on feature. Shoot. I'll have to look, if I'm going to order any more. I'll let you know how it works out. We're hoping to get it next week and put it up over the weekend.

pds
Dec. 30, 2008, 11:11 AM
Wind isn't a panacea. Killing birds and running lines to them to make 'em happen...that takes energy.


My farm is just a few miles from one of the largest inland marshlands, (The Horicon Marsh) and bird sanctuarys in the country. This area of WI is very windy and we have about 100, 400' wind turbines. I drive by them all the time and I don't see any with a pile of deads birds laying around them. Not saying that a bird might not accidently fly into one but I don't think there is mass bird killings by wind turbines either.

RunForIt
Dec. 30, 2008, 11:17 AM
I'm just bumping this up because it the most recent thread on this topic and I've been looking for a long time for affordable, simple solar powered lights to light my small arena (70x110) in winter. After lots of searching and discussions with various customer service reps, I've just ordered one of these, http://www.ycasolarlightstore.com/Solar_Spot_Light_p/flp-002.htm that has a remote control setting, which means that you can turn it on and off while it is mounted on the poles. I couldn't have spots or floods that were on automatically dusk to dawn, or were motion detector lights (I want to be kind to my neighbors!) It also comes with flat mounting hardware so it can be attached to poles.

For $69.95 with free shipping, we're going to give one a try. If it charges and lights a portion of my ring moderately well -- I may order 1-3 more. Should be here in a week. I'm crossing my fingers! I don't need bright light -- just enough to exersize.

If anyone has any experience with these, let me know...:)

please keep us posted as to how this light works for you - I would so love to have some real light for my arena, but like you, do NOT want continuous lighting (could have several more security lights installed at a reasonable fee, but they are ON - plus, I hate the look of lots of poles and wires....).

Truly, please post results! :cool:

jazzrider
Dec. 30, 2008, 11:23 AM
Will do! I'll try to post pictures too!

Jealoushe
Dec. 30, 2008, 11:32 AM
My parents farm is completely run on Solar Power. The house, the barn, and their coverall arena. The only hydro they use is back-up.

We have about a 10 x 15 section of solar panels on a 15 ft high pole in our yard. It runs into a huge battery that we have installed in our mud room. My step-dad installed the whole thing himself so it was just cost for the equiptment.

SandyHTF
Dec. 30, 2008, 11:33 AM
I'm just bumping this up because it the most recent thread on this topic and I've been looking for a long time for affordable, simple solar powered lights to light my small arena (70x110) in winter. After lots of searching and discussions with various customer service reps, I've just ordered one of these, http://www.ycasolarlightstore.com/Solar_Spot_Light_p/flp-002.htm that has a remote control setting, which means that you can turn it on and off while it is mounted on the poles. I couldn't have spots or floods that were on automatically dusk to dawn, or were motion detector lights (I want to be kind to my neighbors!) It also comes with flat mounting hardware so it can be attached to poles.

For $69.95 with free shipping, we're going to give one a try. If it charges and lights a portion of my ring moderately well -- I may order 1-3 more. Should be here in a week. I'm crossing my fingers! I don't need bright light -- just enough to exersize.

If anyone has any experience with these, let me know...:)

I would love to hear how these work out. I am looking for ways to light my 100x200 (or at least a portion of). I would rather not run wire, etc and as it is just me, it doesn't need to be too fancy. I also need to avoid the motion detectors and dusk til dawn lights, and don't have a bunch of money, so these would be perfect if they provide enough light for flat work.

jazzrider
Dec. 30, 2008, 11:44 AM
My arena is 70 x 110. I'm thinking, if the one I've ordered appears promising, that I'm going to try to put only three up (two on the outer corners of one side, one on the middle of the other side) on. So we'll see if that's enough for me. My test should be a good test for what would work in larger arenas like yours. I'll be putting them up on 12 foot poles.

jazzrider
Jan. 13, 2009, 02:21 PM
Bumping this up. We got the light and put it up on Sunday night. The company rep (who's been extremely helpful) told us to let it charge for 48 hours before trying it. She's offered a 10% discount code for any additional order I do and for you guys too!

That said, because of the low LED level, my hubby is skeptical that even four will be enough. But I'm being an optimist, because I don't need a lot of light, just enough to not bump into things. :) Will post pics when I can.

MunchkinsMom
Jan. 15, 2009, 01:40 PM
Bumping this up. We got the light and put it up on Sunday night. The company rep (who's been extremely helpful) told us to let it charge for 48 hours before trying it. She's offered a 10% discount code for any additional order I do and for you guys too!

That said, because of the low LED level, my hubby is skeptical that even four will be enough. But I'm being an optimist, because I don't need a lot of light, just enough to not bump into things. :) Will post pics when I can.

Yes, please let us know how this works out for you! I have a small outdoor riding ring, and would love to be able to do some night work, especially in the Florida summer heat!

flashykatt
Feb. 27, 2009, 11:00 AM
Bumping this up. We got the light and put it up on Sunday night. The company rep (who's been extremely helpful) told us to let it charge for 48 hours before trying it. She's offered a 10% discount code for any additional order I do and for you guys too!

That said, because of the low LED level, my hubby is skeptical that even four will be enough. But I'm being an optimist, because I don't need a lot of light, just enough to not bump into things. :) Will post pics when I can.

SOOO??? Some of us are waiting for the guinea pig I MEAN early adopter to tell us how this worked!!!

Gloria
Feb. 27, 2009, 12:03 PM
So cool...I love this idea. I also love wind farms and can't understand the resistance to them. If it pays for itself in a reasonable amount of time I say go for it. I fantasize about living 100% off the grid.

I love the idea too but no it won't pay for itself (at least right now). By the time you pay off the huge up front cost of installing wind mill and/or solar panel in years, it is time to lay out more huge cash to repair them. That is the reason for the resistance. So right now both are for people who want them, not for people who want to save a few bucks or two.

equusvilla
Feb. 27, 2009, 01:16 PM
I sent her a P-message asking her to give us an update. Our outdoor farm arena sounds a lot like hers.

jazzrider
Feb. 27, 2009, 01:55 PM
Thanks Equusvilla, for reminding me I left everyone hanging!

Sadly, the lights I ordered just weren't bright enough. Too blue in color, too focused. Even if we were to get four of them, it wouldn't have been enough (and we weren't looking for much, just enough to be safe). The folks at the solar site were great though, and also disappointed it didn't work out. They promised to keep their eyes out for a product that might work for our purposes.

So now, we're thinking the thing to do is use standard flood lights (we're going to use one pole in the center, with two floods angled left and right), but power them with solar panels. My hubby is doing the research on how to put it together himself, since we really need a larger panel/charger than the solar lights on the market have right now.

We're not giving up! We just don't have the big bucks it would take to do the lighting right. So we're going to come up with something. :yes: