Solar-Powered Emergency Lighting

You’ll be glad you took the time to assemble an emergency lighting system the next time a power outage hits your home.

| December 2014/January 2015

Ice storms frequently come through our area, so I wanted affordable emergency lighting in case of a power outage. I settled on a 3-watt LED light bulb, wired to a 12-volt, 8-amp-hour lead-acid battery. The light was $32 and the battery was $20. The battery will run for about 32 hours before needing to be recharged. I keep it plugged in so it’s ready to go. A good charger costs about $25.

I liked the backup lighting system so much that I bought a second battery and two more lights. In case of longer power outages, I added a 15-watt monocrystalline solar panel and a high-quality charge controller for about $100 total. The three lights completely illuminate our safe room, and the solar panel charges the battery in less than a day.

Steve Sorell
Berea, Kentucky

For another DIY, solar-powered lighting plan, have a look at Easy DIY Solar Lighting. — MOTHER EARTH NEWS

9/20/2017 12:23:39 PM

Missouri Wind and Solar has everything for battery back up power and they'll design a system for you, big or small. 417-708-5359 or

12/5/2014 1:25:23 PM

i would really appreciate it if you could post your sources/vendors for these items. thank you.

11/21/2014 1:59:25 AM

Steven Harris at have some really good guides and informative podcasts about batterybackups. Well worth listening to. Johan from Sweden

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