My very first charge controller from step 2 on this instructable had finally quit (NOT THE XANTREX C35!!!). It wasn't a very good design to begin with, and only looked at battery voltage. As I had explained earlier, the voltage would rise under charge, and it would assume the battery was full while it was instead just charging. I finally unbolted it from the board and threw it in a box. I took the 15 watts of power it was handling and wired it directly into the bus bars. The system still worked fine, but the other controller got "confused" on why the voltage was rising while it wasn't putting much into it. The solution that fixed my lighting problem and my charge controller problem was a charge controller with lighting control. The one I picked was a Xantrex C12. I have had a very good experience with their products, so I decided to give them another go. Turns out this controller is a PAIN to wire up. The terminals on it are so small and close, I'm constantly afraid it's going to short out any minute now. Good thing theres fuses. Anyways, after 2 days, I finally got it working.
When the sun comes up, the controller senses it by the power coming in from the panel. It then shuts off all outdoor lighting and begins sending and regulating power from the panel to the batteries. When night finally arrives, it waits 60 seconds after the panel voltage drops below 3 volts, then blink! and the lights come on all night (or whatever amount of time I want them on). Very nifty and automatic! Also automatically adjusts throughout the year as the sunrise and sunset times differ.
JUST TO MAKE SURE I AM COMPLETELY CLEAR, THE XANTREX C35 IS WORKING TOGETHER WITH THE C12. The only controller that was replaced was the original coleman air.