fluro lights

Submitted: Wednesday, May 28, 2003 at 12:44
ThreadID: 5152 Views:3189 Replies:11 FollowUps:9
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I am interested in a good quality portable 12v fluro lights for camping i have heard there are good 12 LED Clusters one available from rpc.com.au anyone tried them
Many thanx's again
Frank
Ayr Qld
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Reply By: Member - Rohan K - Wednesday, May 28, 2003 at 13:10

Wednesday, May 28, 2003 at 13:10
Cranki, LED is great because of the miniscule power draw. I haven't seen the RPC lights but have requested details from them. I built my own LED camping light as a long term use internal light inside our camper annex. It provides the light for the food preparation area (10' x 6') and general, ambient light for the rest of the annex space (10' x 10'). Total cost was about $55. The thing I like about it is that I can run it off a small 7.2 amp sealed lead-acid battery for 3 hours a night for 56 nights. I'm thinking of making another as the outside "area" light to run from the truck. The main problem is that my home-made job results in a fairly directional light compared to a fluro (but I'm working on a solution).

We also run 2 rechargeable 12v Coleman fluros and these are great for the first charge (gives 7 to 9 hours running time), but after that you need to recharge them on a daily basis. I found that 1 hour charge = 1 hour use. That's why I built the LED. Now we use the Colemans less and they last longer on that first charge.

Do an archive search on LED and somewhere in the thread you'll find a link to a site that may be of interest.

Regards
RohanLife just ain't that serious.
Rohan (Sydney)
AnswerID: 21286

Follow Up By: Empty - Wednesday, May 28, 2003 at 15:31

Wednesday, May 28, 2003 at 15:31
Rohan

Are you able to provide detail as to how you made your light. Ie components, wiring etc?
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FollowupID: 13865

Reply By: tim - Wednesday, May 28, 2003 at 14:03

Wednesday, May 28, 2003 at 14:03
Franki
we use 12 volt versa light we find them good because they have a 11 watt flouro
and are quite bright and small
AnswerID: 21288

Follow Up By: Hoffy - Thursday, May 29, 2003 at 10:22

Thursday, May 29, 2003 at 10:22
The Versa light is an excellent unit. I have 2 units. They give the equivalent output of a 75 watt lamp and draw less than 1 amp. Cost around $80.

Keith
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FollowupID: 13918

Reply By: Avro(Vic) - Wednesday, May 28, 2003 at 15:34

Wednesday, May 28, 2003 at 15:34
Oatley Electronics do a kit of 12 LED's light for A$20.00. They also do a full kit, 2x Lamps, solar regulator, 7ah battery,and small(2 watt) solar panel for $99.00 or a bigger panel (4 watt) for a $124.00
they have a mail order site at:
link text

Have not tried them but supposed to be equivalent light output to a 6 watt globe for one fifth the current draw.

I have been using low cost 12v flouro's in plastic tubes from auto stores at under $20.00 complete with plug, lead, and switch with good results.

Hope this helps.
AnswerID: 21291

Follow Up By: Rod - Wednesday, May 28, 2003 at 16:38

Wednesday, May 28, 2003 at 16:38
These look interesting but ....

12 LED Solution:
Equivalent to 6W incandescent bulb for $20. 100mA draw

Versalite Solution:
Equivalent to 75W incandescent bulb for $80. 1A draw

My conclusion. If you want lots of light, the Versalite is still ahead in terms of cost and current draw. Sure, if you don't need that much light, the LED solution may be better for you.

BTW, Camp Mart in BNE were advertising Versalite copies (marketed by Arlec) for $49 lately.

What do folks think ?
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FollowupID: 13869

Follow Up By: Member - Rohan K - Wednesday, May 28, 2003 at 17:03

Wednesday, May 28, 2003 at 17:03
I agree Rod. The LEDs (and mine too) are great for small-ish pools of bright light and larger areas of general weak light, but I think they are fairly ineffectual as an outdoor area light if a wide area of bright light is required.

The pool of really bright working light from my 15 x LED setup is only about 4' x 2'. To read at the dining table 12' from the LED light source, required additional light from one of the Coleman fluros. You could read easily with just the LED array if it was directed straight at you (like a torch), but then light source was uncomfortable to look towards so it was simpler to use another light source.

Having said that, with one unit set up over the food prep area and another over the table (or where ever yopu happen to be), you'd have more than enough light, and with my setup, you'd still draw less than .1 amp. (ie. get 70 hrs from a 7.0 ah battery - or 14 days running for 5 hrs a day/night).

The Oatley LED seems to hooked up to draw 1.2 amps, unless their numbers ( 7 hrs running from 8.65 amps) are wrong. On that basis the Versalite (and others) are a much better option.Life just ain't that serious.
Rohan (Sydney)
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FollowupID: 13871

Follow Up By: Member - Nigel - Wednesday, May 28, 2003 at 19:49

Wednesday, May 28, 2003 at 19:49
Our Campomatic came with 3 clusters of 3 LED's built in (2 internal, 1 for the kitchen) and they are great to have, but we still use a 11W Bushlite when cooking and washing up. Once we've finished the domestic chores then we change to power saving mode and just use the LED's.
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FollowupID: 13881

Reply By: chopper - Wednesday, May 28, 2003 at 17:41

Wednesday, May 28, 2003 at 17:41
we had a couple of coleman rechargeables which just couldn't handle our needs. because we were unable to fully recharge the batts, they died an early death. RIP colemen lights.

SO, we traded up to a couple of versalights, these things are the ducks guts.

You will be impressed with the versa lights.

I am interested in an LED solution for inside the truck as I can't run the interior lights off the dual battery without major surgery.

I'm pretty handy with a soldering iron, so I'll have to have a look at some of those kits.
AnswerID: 21298

Follow Up By: Member - Rohan K - Thursday, May 29, 2003 at 09:54

Thursday, May 29, 2003 at 09:54
Chopper, have a look at the LED page here:

http://www.geocities.com/george_tlc/Life just ain't that serious.
Rohan (Sydney)
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FollowupID: 13913

Reply By: Eric from Cape York Connections - Wednesday, May 28, 2003 at 18:09

Wednesday, May 28, 2003 at 18:09
Looks like all the answers on the forum swayed you to a 12 volt system .
I think if you buy a good quality one aruond $100 you cant go wrong.
All the best
Eric
www.capeyorkconnections.con.au
Eric 02 42 9434 96
Pete 07 4094 1745
Cape York Connections
AnswerID: 21300

Reply By: member-JB1 - Wednesday, May 28, 2003 at 18:43

Wednesday, May 28, 2003 at 18:43
Cranki and others, We use 2 camp lights when the bugs are about. We put one fluro as far away as the cord will reach. Leave it on for a few minutes the turn on a much less bright lamp near the table. The bugs tend to flock to the fluro and leave us in peace. Doesn't always work but usually results in far fewer bugs committing suicide in you stew. Good camping.
AnswerID: 21305

Reply By: Avro(Vic) - Wednesday, May 28, 2003 at 19:20

Wednesday, May 28, 2003 at 19:20
Rohan

I think you have the decimal point in the wrong place on the 8.6 amps. The Oatley says that 5 hours of sunlight on a 2 watt panel ie 2 x 5 = 10 watts max divided by 12 volts equals .83 amps by my calculator will power it for 7 hours. They claim draw is .1amp - 100milliamps.

Agree with all other comments, light output is not likely to be fantastic but the current draw is very low if that is what is important.

Regards Avro
AnswerID: 21310

Follow Up By: Member - Rohan K - Wednesday, May 28, 2003 at 19:55

Wednesday, May 28, 2003 at 19:55
Thanks Avro. I thought they were including the 7 amps from the battery as well. Maybe not. In which case you could run thing forever, provided you got 5 hours of sun per day.Life just ain't that serious.
Rohan (Sydney)
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FollowupID: 13882

Follow Up By: Member - Rohan K - Thursday, May 29, 2003 at 14:54

Thursday, May 29, 2003 at 14:54
Arvo, you were right ...

techo@oatleyelectronics.com
Web Site: http://www.oatleyelectronics.com
Email Address: sales@oatleyelectronics.com
Subject: Re: 12v LED lights

Rohan:

Yes correct except that the solar panel manufacturers cheat a little by quoting powers when the battery is warm (14V)...so tyhe current is a little less..

From:
To:
Subject: Re: 12v LED lights

Thanks xxx. So when you say the light can be run for 7 hours, you are only taking about using the charge from the solar panel (2 watt/12v = 0.167 amps; 0.167 amps x 5 hrs = 0.835 amps; 0.835 amps/.120 = 6.958 hrs), and none of the 7 amps already stored in the battery. On this basis, provided you get 5 hrs of sun each day, and don't need more that 7 hours of light (say 5:00 pm to midnight) you could run the light indefinitely without ever drawing on the battery's stored charge. A second light would obviously use the battery's charge (over 8 nights) unless you upgraded to the 4 watt
panel, in which case we're back to running indefinitely (given enough
sun).

I'm a fan of LED but not sure I want to build another from scratch and like the sound of these. How robust (or fragile) are the panels.

Regards
Rohan

techo@oatleyelectronics.com
To:
Subject: Re: 12v LED lights

Rohan:

The total current draw for the six strings (2 LED's/string) is 120mA.

From:
To:
Subject: 12v LED lights

From the information provided about the product, it appears the unit
_Affordable_Storage_Drawers.aspx 1.2 amps (or 100 mA for each of the 12 LEDs).

I can get a 12v 75 watt fluro that _Affordable_Storage_Drawers.aspx only 1.0 amp.

Regards
Rohan
Life just ain't that serious.
Rohan (Sydney)
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FollowupID: 13935

Reply By: Member - Nigel - Wednesday, May 28, 2003 at 19:52

Wednesday, May 28, 2003 at 19:52
We use a single bushlite (11W Flouro) and the built in LED lights in our Camomatic, but if you want something in between for current draw and brightness, then check out Cold Cathode Flouro light - jaycar sells them, as do many computer shops (although the computer shop ones are often coloured and flash to music). Jaycar has 100mm and 300mm models in white and colours.
AnswerID: 21314

Reply By: Member - Martyn (WA) - Wednesday, May 28, 2003 at 22:08

Wednesday, May 28, 2003 at 22:08
Cranki,
I've got the ARB fluro (surprise surprise) 12v, $75 and I can't fault it, minimal amperage and really bright. has a handy hook to hang it off tree brances etc and also a switch in the cable 300 mm from the light, also really handy saves going back to the car all the time. I was a bit dubious about throwing the gas lamp in the shed but it's there now I go fed up of replacing mantle's and carrying the extra gas bottle. Keep the shiny side up
AnswerID: 21335

Reply By: Member- Rox - Wednesday, May 28, 2003 at 23:51

Wednesday, May 28, 2003 at 23:51
If you go a fluro light e.g., 11 watt make sure that u use the corect polarity eg
+ & - as they dont work if you wire them up wrong.Around Oz 06/2004
AnswerID: 21347

Reply By: David N. - Thursday, May 29, 2003 at 10:00

Thursday, May 29, 2003 at 10:00
For any of you who go down the inverter path, perhaps because you already have one, a normal 240v strip type household 20w or 40w flouro works very well, but you must remove the power correction capacitor if fitted. This capacitor is meant for mains power connection and does not work well with your inverter. Just remove it- it has nothing to do with the operation of the light itself.
Also some of the newer (electronic) compact flouros do not like the modified sine wave output of cheap inverters- only way to tell is plug it in and see if it works....

We used an inverter with flouros very successfully for a long time, but are now usually totally 12v unless we need the 240 for some other purpose. Be aware too that some 12v flouros are far more efficient than others- Jaycar now sell some beauties- forget the brand- (green box) which are very efficient and not bad on rf transmission- again some cheap flouros mean you can't operate any radio nearby.

The small portable flouros, both strip type and lantern style, are mostly good- go with a known brand and you can't go far wrong. However with any of the portables try to find out where and how the battery sits (most lie on their side) so you can charge the light with the BATTERY UPRIGHT- because if you overcharge it at all-virtually impossible to avoid even with an "automatic setup", the battery will vent (yes-even a sealed battery WILL often vent as it would explode otherwise) You want it to vent gas, not acid.... This has ruined many batteries and lights.
Hope this info helps, Cheers.
AnswerID: 21364

Follow Up By: cranki-franki - Sunday, Jun 01, 2003 at 11:21

Sunday, Jun 01, 2003 at 11:21
well thanxs everybody for there help with this light prob , i decided to go with the ARB fluro never happier
frank
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FollowupID: 14054

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