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Networked / connected outdoor solar lights

Alpo

Nov 29, 2022
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Nov 29, 2022
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Hi,

I'm looking to create some outdoor solar lighting, activated by a motion detector, but which will control additional solar lights.

Scenario, car enters awkward shaped drive and triggers motion sensor, initial light operates on timer but then signals "paired" or connected lights to illuminate a separate area into which the car will reverse.

I'm slightly amazed that a solar version of this doesn't exist, I have found a battery powered version but would like to use it in cold temps and I just don't have confidence in them.

Obviously can buy all sorts of solar garden lights but haven't found a "connected" or wireless / radio version.

Any ideas welcome....I'm new to this forum and wondered where to start building my own system.


Many thanks in advance


Rob

Ps I originally posted this in wireless area but not sure where best. Apologies if duplicated
 

kellys_eye

Jun 25, 2010
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Solar versions have batteries in them too so whatever concerns you seem to have over 'batteries' is somewhat misplaced.

It's also possible to mount the PIR/motion sensor remotely from the light you want to activate so you're not restricted in the area of sensing.
 

Alpo

Nov 29, 2022
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Nov 29, 2022
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Hi thanks for the reply.

Yes they do but standard AA or C style batteries don't hold up very long in cold climates whilst a Li-Ion device topped up every day via a solar panel is a much more reliable proposition.

A remote sensor is indeed a possible solution but surely it would require cabling? which is what I'm trying to avoid. Unless you are aware of a wireless or radio remote sensor?

I did think the easiest method might be to modify some existing solar motion detecting lights and add in a module to connect and switch them, mainly to use the purpose built enclosure and solar charging mechanism



Thanks

Rob
 
Last edited:

kellys_eye

Jun 25, 2010
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It's more likely that any solar version would have Ni-cad than Lithium fitted. Lithium requires careful supply/regulation circuitry whilst Ni-cads are often simply charged via a current limiting resistor. That said, EVERY battery will suffer during cold weather to some extent or other. You seem to be over thinking this situation.

For the sake of the distances involved it seems somewhat OTT to have to go the wifi route. You could always get one of those sets of wifi activated lights and carry the transmitter on your car keys in much the same way as people do with automatic garage door openers.

Or, simpler still, fit PIR sensing (solar-charging) lights in ALL locations.
 

Alpo

Nov 29, 2022
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Ok I hadn't realised the solar cells would be nicads, but in any case it's the fact they are topped up daily which appeals.

As far as your suggestion to install every light with a motion sensor. I have tried a variety of solar lights with built in PIRs however they always have a poor sensing distance which in effect defeats the purpose, coupled with the fact the sensor is always fixed pointing in the same direction as the light which blinds you in the mirrors, which I specifically don't want. Usually by the time they switch on the car is extremely close. It was this fact that led me to thinking about lights which would trigger other lights and thus illuminate the dark driveway / track in advance of reversing up to the House. It's an S shaped reverse between rocks up a hill, often in snow, so to have it all illuminated prior to reversing is a huge help.

As i said I've found some which function exactly this way but they are purely battery powered and it's a cold long winter in the Alps so I'm guessing they would chew through batteries. I understand these lights trigger their neighbors via a radio signal not a full wireless network. (probably 433mhz). So they almost exist, are not too pricey but if they were solar they'd be perfect. Which is how I arrived here.
 

Scottacado

Feb 6, 2024
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Feb 6, 2024
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Hey there. I was wondering the same thing. Which lights are battery powered that you’re talking about? That May work for me. Thanks!
 

Harald Kapp

Moderator
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Nov 17, 2011
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@Scottacado ; you did note the date of this old thread? Little chances that the OP @Alpo will reply as these are his only 3 posts in our forum.
 
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