November 26, 2014

How To Make A Solar Christmas Lights Display

Here’s an impressive solar Christmas light display created by Fanman 1981 uploaded to YouTube last December (2010).  Fanman 1981 uses a Harbor Freight 2000 watt power inverter, a meter, some speaker wire, 2 watt cable and an intermatic timer. It’s a really clever set-up and he walks you through how he pulled it all together in this detailed video.

Video Transcription

Okay, this is my solar Christmas lights. Wired to a timer in the house and a Harbor Freight 2000 watt power inverter. And here comes a car. This does a pretty cool final finale. Looks like another car is coming. Alright, I’ll show you the rest of my setup inside.

Okay, down in my crawl space, what I have is the Harbor Freight 2000 watt power inverter for the Christmas lights. And, also put one of those Harbor Freight meters on it. Let me see if I can zero in on how much wattage I’m pulling on those lights. Nope, can’t really make it out. Oh, there we go. It fluctuates every time the lights go on-and-off, on-and-off, on-and-off. That’s pretty much that.

What I did on the inside was I opened up the power inverter and I cut the wire going into the switch and I broke the leg of the switch. And what I did was I took a piece of speaker wire and I ran it all the way to a timer in my house. The timer takes a battery and I’ll show you the timer inside. What it is, is that the timer takes a battery and I guess it just kind of opens and closes like a little switch inside the timer. It closes the contacts and that’s what makes it go on and off every time the, for the time I have set. So, like I set it to 5 o’clock; comes on at 5, goes off at 10, yadda yadda yadda. So, that’s what I have down here.

And that’s pretty much my setup for Christmas lights. And I’m using, guess that’s 2 watt cable running back to the batteries over there. And, yeah it’s pretty much that. So, I’ll show you the switch, and that’s pretty much my setup.

Okay, this is the intermatic timer that I have the Christmas lights on. So, basically you set it right in here. And I have it set from 5 to 10. And it takes a battery. I believe they’re in there. Never had to change them yet, so. And it’s pretty much it. And you can override it. You hit that, overrides it, turns it off and on. But yeah, that’s my Christmas setup. And basically it’s my whole outside GFI that’s mounted on the side of the house. That’s what’s being tied to.

Alright, thanks for watching. Bye.