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2015/11/22 Solar Powered Lights Shed
π 2015-11-22 01:01 in Electronics
I happened to pick up a solar powered floodlight at costco, and figured I'd use the solar panel charged batteries to power lights inside our shed.

6.7V input from the batteries, taken down to 5V with LM voltage regulator
6.7V input from the batteries, taken down to 5V with LM voltage regulator

The problem was that my motion activated lights actually used quite a bit of power when doing nothing, so their batteries would die after 1-3 months without them being used: This nice bright light has an RF receiver that needs to be powered all the time, sucking power:

This light is even worse, it uses more than 500mA when fully bright, and uses an infrared LED to detect hand swipes. That burns 3mA, killing batteries in less than a month:

My meter shows more than 0.5A when full bright:

Small show and tell video:

This is the ghetto end result in the shed, but it works :)

In the end, I did have to replace the LM voltage regulator with a better one from pololu, 2.5A 5V with less than 1mA quiet use. This allowed the batteries not to be used up into a voltage regulator doing nothing :) Then, I also had to put the voltage/amp display on an off switch, as it was using another 15mA just to display those values. Now, everything is happy :)

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