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Lighting Efficiency

LED lighting is the best choice for the homeowner trying to reduce their energy consumption.  They are extremely efficient, using up to 80% less energy than an equivalent incandescent, and they give off much less heat than an incandescent bulb, reducing air conditioning bills.  Also, they last several times longer than incandescent or fluorescent bulbs, reducing maintenance.

 

Off-Grid Lighting

The first decision is whether your lights will be run on low voltage direct current (DC) or conventional 110 volt alternating current (AC). In a small home, an RV, or a boat, low voltage DC lighting is often the best choice. DC wiring runs can be kept short, allowing the use of fairly small gauge wire. Since an inverter is not required, the system cost is lower. When an inverter is part of the system, DC lights are powered directly by the battery, so a home will not be dark if the inverter fails. In addition to conventional-size medium-base low voltage bulbs, the user can choose from a large selection of DC fluorescent lights, which have 3 to 4 times the light output per watt of power used compared with incandescent types. High quality fluorescent lights are available for 12 and 24 volt systems.

 

In a large installation or one with many lights, the use of an inverter to supply AC power for conventional lighting is cost-effective. AC LED or compact fluorescent lights will save a tremendous amount of energy. It is a good idea to have a DC-powered light in the room where the inverter and batteries are in case there is a problem. AC light dimmers will only function properly on AC power from inverters that have pure sine wave output.

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