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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb. 4, 2003
    Oxford, MD USA

    Default Spin off on headlamps- what about solar ring lights?

    My ring is too far away from any electrical source to plug in lights. I've done a search on COTH and no one in the past has had any luck with solar, but the threads are older. Anybody using solar - I just need enough light to flat 3-4 days a week.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 10, 2007
    too far from the barn


    I don't know about solar, but there are light weight battery ones that you could plug in elsewhere and then bring up to the ring when you need them
    OTTBs rule, but spots are good too!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun. 16, 2009
    Gray Court, SC


    you pose an interesting question. As I had just finished my current light project (see other thread) it is tied into the house via extension cords. I looked up what the avg output of a solar panel (and mind you this varies by panel size) and I found this:

    What are typical wattages?

    The average solar panels have watt-peaks ranging from about 175 W to about 235 W, with an exceptionally powerful solar panel measuring 315 W. Among the top ten manufacturers, the average wattage of a panel is about 200 W.
    Ah, but in this case that does not help much for we need power at night so now we are talking battery feed with panels to top them off after use. So I dug a little more and found this:
    A typical 6-volt golf cart battery will store about 1 kilowatt-hour of useful energy (6 volt X 220 amp-hr X 80% discharge = 1056 watt-hours). Since this would only power two 50-watt incandescent lamps for 10 hours (2 X 50 X 10 = 1000 watt-hours),
    In my case I have three light poles, each with two 120 W bulbs for a total of 240 *3 = 720 W of lighting. That means one golf cart battery could run my system for enough time to ride at night (though the light might fade a little over time). Two would cover with room to spare.

    What I would look for is cost. Batteries are not that expensive, but panels can be. You would also need an DC/AC converter, but they are also not that costly.

    Perhaps the best option would be a light cart. A cart you can pull over to the ring that has one or two 6v or 12v car batteries in series. Set up the lights with cords that reach to one spot. Park the cart there and plug into the converter. Voila! Lights. When done, take the cart back to the barn/garage/house and plug into a standard battery charger set on trickle charge (with cut off). With good battery management I bet this would last a long time. However, I am not an electrical engineer so I don't know the math to verify if it would work.

    One other thought would be a portable generator. You would not need a very powerful one,and these days they are making them pretty quiet. Again you just roll it out, roll it back when done.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2002
    West Coast of Michigan


    I posted in the other thread--I have a solar-powered LED motion-sensing light over my barn door that comes on when I drive up so I don't have to enter the barn in pitch blackness. It is fairly bright, but only stays on about 45 seconds and according to the package it would only carry about 30 "lightings" on a single six-hour solar charge. In the deep of winter when there is NO sun and scanty daylight, it has actually failed to charge, leaving the light non-functional for a few days.

    Not sure if that would be workable for short rides as the light would probably "sense" a moving horse/rider constantly and burn out more quickly. But a series of maybe a couple dozen of them might give a "better than nothing" solution.
    Click here before you buy.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan. 3, 2007
    Poulsbo, WA


    No suggestions, but I am also interested in what people have tried that works!
    Our outdoor does not have power access close to it, so I've been thinking about solar charged lights for occasional winter evening flat work rides. Are there any solar charged lights out there that turn on and off by a switch (not triggered by a motion sensor)?
    Blacktree Farm
    Lessons, Training & Sporthorse Sales.
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    Graphic Design, Web Design & Photography.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar. 30, 2007
    Hollowed out volcano in the South Pacific.


    Quote Originally Posted by elizabeth Callahan View Post
    My ring is too far away from any electrical source to plug in lights. I've done a search on COTH and no one in the past has had any luck with solar, but the threads are older. Anybody using solar - I just need enough light to flat 3-4 days a week.
    Philips has solar-powered LED lighting solutions that will suit your needs but they are BTO so you have to call them.
    Thus do we growl that our big toes have, at this moment, been thrown up from below!

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