Monday, June 22, 2015

Update on the Solar Lighting

Yesterday I posted the quick-tip about using solar charged garden lights for nighttime illumination inside the van.
It seems I got lucky again by the choice of van I made. My Vito got those little tiny triangular window which as windows to look through are entirely useless. Most of the view is blocked by the dashboard anyway...

tiny window
And then it struck me! Windows let in light. If the solar collector is small enough, there actually might be a good use for those tiny windows. Solarvets are pretty small, guess what? The 12 LED version fit just perfectly!
Solarvet sitting in the side window
The trick now is to get the wires into the living area of the van. Since the cable is so thin, it can be squeezed underneath the door's grommet easily.
Wiring through the door's grommet
Next issue to consider, those light only switch on in darkness. Of course, one could imagine to modify the electronics, but for me, that's too much of an effort. On the right hand side of the dash, there is a compartment... so, the solar/battery unit can be just put in there, up-side down.
Lights on position in the right dash compartment
Now to the LED part of the story. To keep things simple, I just wound the LED-chain about the vehicles internal skeleton. Nothing fancy yet, but it get's the job done.
LEDs all shining
I figure, it could be a good idea to add a switch to the cable, somewhere in the living area. We will see...

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