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DC Light Bulbs Run Off Batteries
Here's an easy way to get light when you're "off the grid". Adding light to a cabin or boat is as easy as hooking a lamp to a battery.
"A lot of our clients are Šplain people' (Amish)," explains Steve Blank, Starlux Illumination. "A number of them are going from gas-powered lamps to batteries powered by solar or diesel chargers. The rising cost of fuel is a factor."
Other customers are people with hunting cabins who put in an engine-driven battery charger or solar power system. "We even have fishermen who put them in watertight fixtures and then put them in the water to attract fish," says Blank.
The fluorescent bulbs are available at 5, 13, 23 and 30-watt output. Fluorescent bulbs put out about four times the light of incandescents so a 23-watt bulb is actually close to a 100-watt incandescent in light output. There are three different color temperatures rated in K Kelvin (K) degrees. The 3500K bulbs put out a yellowish color that is more similar to an incandescent light. For a flat white light, Blank suggests the 4,000K bulbs and the 6,500K bulbs for a brilliant, bluer light for more contrast. Bulbs are priced from $7.95 for lower wattages to $12.95 for the higher power bulbs.
While fluorescent bulbs are noted for their long life, DC bulb life can be reduced if batteries run down. "If the battery power is too low, the balance has to work too hard, and the mercury doesn't heat up like it should," explains Blank. "It's essential to have a meter hooked up to the battery. We sell a little box with three LED lights that give an instant reading of the battery charge."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Starlux Illumination, 952 Strasburg Rd., Kinzers, Penn. 17535 (www.solarseasy.com).

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2008 - Volume #32, Issue #2