Step 2: Up On Top

This isn't my first attempt at this. Several years ago I tore apart two solar "tiki torch" lights. As can be seen in the pictures I mounted the solar panels on the damper and ran wires down the flue to where I mounted the lights. They worked. Sort of. They really didn't put out much light. You could tell that they were on after dark when most of the room lights were out. Their flicker was quite nice, but just not bright enough. I should have added more.

The lower part of the flue has been boarded up. A long 2x2 is screwed into that piece of wood and from there you can see the lights hanging. I pretty much left this as it is. All that changed is the light on the end and the wiring. The damper doesn't seal well. I may need to block it off with some extruded foam to keep cool winter drafts out and to keep the a/c from bringing in outside humid air.

Another benefit of doing this project is that this is where my Mrs. sets up one of those little winter village scenes during the holidays. This solar light will be unhooked and I'll attach it to some 12v LED christmas lights to light up the scene instead.
<p>You can save a little money on a system of this size or larger by using a &quot;dead&quot; car battery that will no longer start a car but still is capable of supplying lower levels of current. My 20 watt set up works fine with a &quot;dead&quot; battery:</p><p><u><a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/Uses-For-Dead-Car-Batteries-And-Sealed-Lead-Acid-B/?ALLSTEPS" rel="nofollow">http://www.instructables.com/id/Uses-For-Dead-Car-Batteries-And-Sealed-Lead-Acid-B/?ALLSTEPS</a></u></p>
hi there, I have just completed a full 12v dc solar lighting system, whole house all lights <br>I have posted an Instructable here http://www.instructables.com/id/12v-DC-trapeze-lighting-for-not-much-cash/ let me know if you want any pointers. Our system also pumps rainwater for the loo. whole thing built on an extremely tight budget or using begged and blagged bits and bobs regards rob
The plug you showed in your last picture is known as a SAE plug and is usually found on low power solar installations :) <br> <br>uber
Thank you.
Do you ever have any problems with the heat from the chimney? I don't know if you use it regularly, but does the panel warp or short because of the sudden heat in the colder winter months?
The chimney is used just as a gas log vent. There isn't enough heat from it to effect anything. It probably gets hotter from being in the sun. If someone had a wood burning stove I don't think it would effect it much as long as they had a decent space between the panel and chimney for air circulation.

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Bio: I'll try to fix or build anything.
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