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Need help about my new project. (help about info, suggestions, and tips)

I'm new here and I need some help regarding my project.

I am aiming for building our house an emergency lighting system.

I like electronic stuff, I do all electrical repairs and mod to our house, it's my hobby.

But I didn't take electronics so I am a bit lacking with basic knowledge.

I am planning of doing this by buying bright LEDs wire them in parallel so when the time comes,
typhoon or something and the light goes out, we can have a bright well lit house,
seeing our stuff will be enough although no electric fans and all, we just can't keep on buying candles which are very dangerous and cause fires.

Things I am aiming for:
LED's wired in parallel circuit
On and off switch
detachable battery plug (so we can remove and replace batteries)
a 30,000mah portable power bank as a power source or bigger Rechargeable (30,000mah power bank used to charge my smartphone or I can buy bigger capacity batteries from our electronic store)
Basic circuitry and system

Here's where I need help,

i don't know what LED I need to buy, I just want the small once that lasts long though depending on the battery capacity.
I don't know their specs, I dont know which is best for this project, Our main area where I need to set this thing up is our sala.
Our sala isn't very big, probably just 5 meters square
I will hook the LEDs in a parallel circuit, stick them to the ceiling spanning all four sides of our sala.

if I use the 30,000 mah power bank for cellphones as their power supply, how long will it lasts?
what type of LED will be bright enough and consume low power for them to light for long hours?
Does buying bigger battery means easy replacement?
will it lasts longer?
If I buy the large battery from the store, I need to recharge it, how can I build a charger, I saw they were just selling battery I don't know how I can recharge the things.

Thanks guys!

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mrandle3 years ago

My parents found a bunch of LED lights with their own batteries built in. They also came with a remote light switch that also has a battery. They use them in a cabin that doesn't have power hooked up besides a generator. http://reviews.costco.com/2070/11612100/lightmates-lightmates-6-pack-led-wireless-puck-light-reviews/reviews.htm?sort=reviewTextLength. This is a bit less diy BUT for 50 bucks will be cheaper and more reliable in the long run. You could modify the switch so that it turns on when the power goes off. As far as I know they haven't had to replace the batteries in over a year with seasonal use so they last a while.

Toyanster (author)  mrandle2 years ago

Wow wireless switch, well that something new. I never thought of making the switch wireless. Cool. You said they never had to replace the batteries, it must have a very good battery type then. I wonder if we also have this type at our local electrical shops. Thanks!

I think you are overcomplicating things.

LED'S should not be operated in parallel, many manufactorers do so in their lamps but these LED's have been checked before so they all have very close tolerances to each other.

A much easier way of doing your mods would be to buy LED strips, you can even get them in rolls that you cut to lenth.
Same story for bench areas, there are very nice glue on LED lamps available.

All these systems are available with a mains transformer or for the use on 12V directly.

For areas that need more than energency lighting I would opt for Cree LED lamps - again in a ready-to-use form like downlights.

Battery power depends on the overall consumption and how long you have to use it.

As a rule of thumb for shed projects and similar in the remote areas in my country I always recommend this:

Calculated the max power of all battery operated lights/devices by simplly adding their amp rating - e.g.: 10 5W LED lamps equal 50W and so on...

When complete divide the final amount by the voltage in use, e.g.: all up 225W and a 12V system is used = 225/12=18.75Amps

This is you maximum rating with all running at the same time, now add another 10% or so to be on the safe sdie, in the above example we would get 20.625Amp.

Last step is to check for how long you would need this power, let's say you exerienced 2 days without power as the longest time...

If all would have to be running constantly (worst case) you would need 48h x 20.625Amp=990Ah for the batteries.

Also for the long wiring inside a house you should use quite thick wiring for the main distribution ways to avoid voltage drops due to the internal resistance of the wire.

With the above "calculations" I successfully installed quite a few camping setups and some sheds, the later of course with solar systems.

But I think you agree, when it comes to emergency lighting you should try to keep the power consumption low otherwise you will need quite a big battery setup and you can only use deep cycle batteries together with a proper trickle charger (or go solar).

IMHO going one step furthe might be easier and cheaper in the long run:

Convert all lights in the house to LED systems, at least where it makes sense to do so.

Install an isolation switch in your meter box and a socket to connect a generator to power the house.

Inverter generators only run at full speed when full load is used and even small generators get a run time of about 8 hours before you need to re-fuel them.

As with a battery powered emergency system you can automate the main isolation with a relay that stays on with the mains power, once gone it automatically switches to the backup system.

More expensive (and ofter bigger generators) in the 3-5kW range often offer "remote start", maning they have a battery and wireless remote to get them going - combine such a remote with the isolation relay and the generator would start as soon as the power is gone.
For obvious reasons a timer should be added so a short outage of a few seconds won't start the generator for no reason.

Toyanster (author)  Downunder35m3 years ago

Thanks for giving me a very detailed answer, I needed to pause copy some terms and Google search its meaning on the web because some of the words were unfamiliar to me, like Cree and deep cycle batteries, thanks for giving me a very detailed answer and suggestion, and I kinda agree, I might be making things even more complicated for me haha, I think I will scout our local electronic district for affordable led's in strips, I didn't even know that the size and thickness of the wires even matters,

I added an image, I'll be buying those, is it the LED strips you are suiggesting me to use, I'll also try to look for the same strips but bigger LED so it could be brigter/.

The formula you gave me, I will use it, I'll try to calculate so I can see If I can procced, thanks for your reccommendations! Will update if I made any progrss.

led_strip_light_for_building_decoration.jpg

No idea why the system poduced a double posting, but hopefully someone will fix it.

The strips you have a fine, all that matters is correct volatage for your system and that they fit the need, e.g.: being bright enough and easy to put in place.

I only mentioned the wire as on most LED systems you will find quite thin wires, which is fine for direct connection to 12V.

But if your batteries are located in the shed and there are already 25m to cover to get to the house you will need something thicker for the distribution.

Also keep in mind a lot of small LED can add up to quite some Amps that the battries have to deliver, so these hair thin wires would simply burn away.

Don't get confused though with the wires connecting the LED strips, they can be thin, only the long ways between battery and where the power is needed should be thick enough.

Toyanster (author)  Downunder35m2 years ago

Thanks for the additional info, I will surely put these in mind. I'm not sure as well about the double posting, I could've deleted it if I can but I have no options to do so. It's okay anyhow. Thanks very much for a very detailed advice I really appreciate it. I'll start scouting electrical stores next time.

I think you are overcomplicating things.

LED'S should not be operated in parallel, many manufactorers do so in their lamps but these LED's have been checked before so they all have very close tolerances to each other.

A much easier way of doing your mods would be to buy LED strips, you can even get them in rolls that you cut to lenth.
Same story for bench areas, there are very nice glue on LED lamps available.

All these systems are available with a mains transformer or for the use on 12V directly.

For areas that need more than energency lighting I would opt for Cree LED lamps - again in a ready-to-use form like downlights.

Battery power depends on the overall consumption and how long you have to use it.

As a rule of thumb for shed projects and similar in the remote areas in my country I always recommend this:

Calculated the max power of all battery operated lights/devices by simplly adding their amp rating - e.g.: 10 5W LED lamps equal 50W and so on...

When complete divide the final amount by the voltage in use, e.g.: all up 225W and a 12V system is used = 225/12=18.75Amps

This is you maximum rating with all running at the same time, now add another 10% or so to be on the safe sdie, in the above example we would get 20.625Amp.

Last step is to check for how long you would need this power, let's say you exerienced 2 days without power as the longest time...

If all would have to be running constantly (worst case) you would need 48h x 20.625Amp=990Ah for the batteries.

Also for the long wiring inside a house you should use quite thick wiring for the main distribution ways to avoid voltage drops due to the internal resistance of the wire.

With the above "calculations" I successfully installed quite a few camping setups and some sheds, the later of course with solar systems.

But I think you agree, when it comes to emergency lighting you should try to keep the power consumption low otherwise you will need quite a big battery setup and you can only use deep cycle batteries together with a proper trickle charger (or go solar).

IMHO going one step furthe might be easier and cheaper in the long run:

Convert all lights in the house to LED systems, at least where it makes sense to do so.

Install an isolation switch in your meter box and a socket to connect a generator to power the house.

Inverter generators only run at full speed when full load is used and even small generators get a run time of about 8 hours before you need to re-fuel them.

As with a battery powered emergency system you can automate the main isolation with a relay that stays on with the mains power, once gone it automatically switches to the backup system.

More expensive (and ofter bigger generators) in the 3-5kW range often offer "remote start", maning they have a battery and wireless remote to get them going - combine such a remote with the isolation relay and the generator would start as soon as the power is gone.
For obvious reasons a timer should be added so a short outage of a few seconds won't start the generator for no reason.