Guest post from Bill S.in AL.
Bill has generously agreed to document his journey to off-grid living and share it here at our blog. Below is a short introduction and an initial review of the Harbor Freight Solar-Powered Security Light. Thanks Bill!
My wife and I have been watching the economy and where our country is heading financially for the last year. Basically we believe that hard times are ahead and began prepping to safeguard our family thru this time. One of the concerns we had was how safe we would be in the city versus the country, so we decided to build a house on six acres of land we bought back in 1993 near a small town of 2000 residents. We withdrew some of our retirement money and built an A-Frame house on our six acres. I know an A-Frame in Alabama what can I say, I was stationed in Colorado in the military and fell in love with A-Frames.
One of our concerns, because we wouldn’t live there full time yet, was security. Our house is at the dead end of a dirt road with two neighbors nearby but no street lights. Since we have planned for this house to be off grid I started with two solar security lights I bought at Harbor Freight …..my wife calls it Bed, Bath & Beyond for men.
These kits come with a motion activated light assembly and a small solar panel to charge the internal battery for powering the motion activated light.
This light automatically turns on when something walks past it up to a distance of 60 feet for 5 seconds to 2 minutes and uses a bright 10 watt quartz lamp. You can also change the sensitivity to motion and sensitivity to daylight conditions.
The solar panels have to be orientated so they receive 8 hours of sunlight daily to keep the batteries charged. After mounting the lights to the house above the front door I positioned the solar panel just above it facing south.
Our house is facing east to west so the direction was easy to figure out. You would need to also take into account the sun’s changing position from summer to winter. The instructions say to leave the light off for three days to initially charge the batteries before turning it on. The next weekend we stay at the new house I will check the sensitivity after dark to see the results.
This is the first project we plan for the new house but others include installing a solar water heater and solar power for the house as we go along. Check back and watch our progress as we go off grid.