5 November 2007

Fiddling about with 2D 12v low energy lighting

I love nice lighting, but unfortunately, the choice of fittings and decor in low energy consumption lighting is still quite limited.

12v 2D Leisure lights from MarlecI bought three of these units from Marlec Engineering eight years ago, along with several replacement tubes which I haven't had to use yet. They do the job and can light up a whole room, but last week I decided to buy covers for them which give off a nicer diffused light and are much prettier than the original utilitarian square plastic box.

12v 2D innards by hardworkinghippyI took a chance and bought them without measuring the lights and fortunately the 2D tube plus the electrical components fit, but I had to cut off the edges with a hacksaw to get the square box into the round cover.

I rewired the unit, replacing the wires (2.5mm cable which is very difficult to work with and guaranteed to break nails!) with slightly longer pieces long enough to enable them to go round the outside of the box. When you're working with DC (Direct Current) you must ensure that the cable size is big enough to prevent losses along the length of the cable. Here is a Cable size Calculator to help you determine the size you'll need for your own installation.

Rewiring a 2D 12 volt unit powered by solar energy Then I made some small holes with a red hot screwdriver in the plastic to correspond with the fitting holes in the cover unit, so the screws supported the two together.

Up the ladder again, I screwed the unit into place securely and pushed the feed cable through a side hole so that everything laid flat to the ceiling and connected the wires using a "chocolate" block. I tested the light, then went back up the ladder with the glass cover and gently fiddled with it until it slotted into place then I tightened up the last screw and it was done.

hardworkinghippy and 12v solar lightingLights on again et voila!

We have three of these lights - one in the kitchen, the hall and the main bedroom. They consume only 12 watts and give off enough light for working and looking for things. Most of the other lights in the house are low consumption LEDs which don't give off a lot of light, but they "open up" a room and are lovely for mood lighting.

This week, I'm working on another old spotlight which I've bought LEDs for to replace the 12v halogen, so I'll post some information on that, plus some other examples of our LED lighting soon.

THIS site will tell you how and where - depending on your post code - to dispose of your low energy lights (220W or 12v) safely.

3 comments:

LB said...

Hi
This is a re-post of the reply I made to your Blogger Help Group posting, in case you missed it.

It's a great blog... so glad I found it. You need to link up to similar blogs. Do a Google blogsearch (http://www.google.com/blogsearch) of your keywords (organic, off-grid, solar power, etc) then go to those blogs and trade links.

I've inserted a link to you in the VPTV directory here: http://vptvlifestyles.blogspot.com/2007/08/discovery-is-looking-for-families.html

If you'd like to place my link in your blog, here it is:
Viewer Participation TeleVision

If you drop by my site, leave a comment to say hi.

Lyle

Stonehead said...

This has been a very useful post, not so much on the technical side but as more ammunition for persuading the Other Half that I'm not mad in suggesting we gradually replace the 240v lights with 12v.

Thanks.

La Ferme de Sourrou said...

(I agree !!)

If you've got thick cabling and you need more ammo, show her the LEDs - they're a really nice little light if you choose a nice lampshade and only use a watt or so.

:-)

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