• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • r ranson
  • Nicole Alderman
  • Anne Miller
stewards:
  • Mike Jay
  • paul wheaton
  • Joseph Lofthouse
garden masters:
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Steve Thorn
  • James Freyr
  • Greg Martin
  • Dave Burton
gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Dan Boone

Upgrading a standing lamp to be a battery powered lamp that charges by usb?

 
master steward
Posts: 15640
Location: Left Coast Canada
3564
books chicken cooking fiber arts sheep writing
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We have an old lamp in the basement I was thinking of rewireing.

Then I thought, it sure would be nice if that lamp wasn't attached to the wall with a cord.  

So I wondered, would it be possible to put a battery in the base (looks like there is enough space) - and if so, what do I need to know about batteries - they seem to want to breath or something.

Maybe the battery could be rechargeable?  I would like to be able to get 10 or more hours of light from one charge.  I need it to be a fairly bright light so I can do detailed work by it.  But it could also be less bright for ambient lighting.  

Maybe I could charge the light from a USB cord and battery pack when the power goes out.

What would I need to make this work?  Almost all my electrics experience is with hose-power (wiring behind the wall and rewiring things we plug into the wall).  
 
Posts: 92
9
goat fish sheep
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
How much flexibility re: light source? Do you have a bulb in mind? Could rope lights or LED strips rolled tightly be an option? Do you happen to have a target number of lumens?

Could you post a picture?
 
T Melville
Posts: 92
9
goat fish sheep
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
A few videos that might help in visualizing possibilties:



Sadly, the lights in the video below aren't on when first powered up. They have to be energized via an included touch switch. Notice the circuit board is exposed. I bet someone familiar with the components could convert them to "always on" with a well placed drop of solder. (Then several could be controled by one switch elsewhere in the circuit.)





In this last video, I think he uses lights that plug into the wall. (Been a few weeks since I watched it.) You can get USB powered LED strips that would install the same way, though.

 
r ranson
master steward
Posts: 15640
Location: Left Coast Canada
3564
books chicken cooking fiber arts sheep writing
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
sigh.  Someone (probably me) already took the lamp to the charity shop.  There goes that plan.  It wasn't a very pretty lamp anyway.

But I'm really taken with this idea.

I recently supported a kickstarter for a beautiful solar charger/battery thingy.  I love the look of it and it gave me this idea that I could design a system of portable devices that run off matching batteries.  I could charge these batteries in the wall socket or via something like this solar charger.  

I really like the way that the power tools all have matching batteries.  We have one battery per tool and two on the charge.  We can plug these in to run anything.  Now, I wouldn't want anything that powerful, but I am obsessing over the whole matching battery, plug and play idea.  


I might start with a desk lamp.  We have one that needs a new base and there would be enough room in there for a battery pack.  I could wire it up to have some low power lights (LEDs?) that have a USB male plug on the base.  The battery would have a female USB plug and fit in a specially designed space under the base.  For a desk lamp, I would like the lumens to be about the same as a 60W bulb (800+lumens).  I imagine, having it operate on a DC would reduce the flicker rate that LEDs have when operating on the grid.  

I would like the lamp to run at least 8 hours on a single charge.  48 hours would be better.

If the desk lamp workes, I might design a standing lamp.  We have some old plumbing pipe, but then I remembered that copper conducts electricity so maybe bamboo would be best.  

 
r ranson
master steward
Posts: 15640
Location: Left Coast Canada
3564
books chicken cooking fiber arts sheep writing
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I found a little rechargeable battery pack at the local dollar store.  Very affordable for 5200 mah.  It's got a usb to usb-mini cord and two slots.  If we plug it into the usb-mini, it charges, if we plug it into the usb regular, it powers stuff.  It looks like the kind of plug and play battery I'm wanting.

I had to get out a jewellers loop to read the writing.  There's nothing on the box or instructions, but in near microscopic letter on the case, I can discover that this battery has the following qualifications:

Input: 5V = 1.5amps
Output: 5V = 2.1amps
3.6 V
5200 mAh
18.72 Wh

It's been a while since I knew what all those numbers meant.  But Whats are like flow - so if a light draws one Wh then it will run for roughly 18 hours (minus losses to resistance in wire or something).  - this may be wrong.


I plugged the battery into various items around the house and it is able to power them.  

My question is: can I get a light bright enough to work with and still last 8+ hours of use on one charge?

Another question: could I charge this with a solar panel?

this light plugs into a usb and takes 2.3 Wh.  which gives me something like eight hours.  But it doesn't look like it will be bright enough to write a letter or sew by.  

something like this lamp only takes 1.2 wh.  so it would last longer?  But it's ugly.

I wonder if I can buy the components for cheeper and put together my own lamp kit?
 
T Melville
Posts: 92
9
goat fish sheep
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I suspect those would give good light if they're very close to your book or your work. Probably near useless for reading or working if you use them to light the whole room.

Jack Spirko reviewed a much higher capacity powerbank by Anker. It has just over five times the mAh of yours, so it would probably run a long time, even with larger lights than the ones you linked to. At $65.99, if you paid $1, you could buy five more, if you don't mind swapping as they discharge. I would expect the cheaper ones to need replacing more often.
 
r ranson
master steward
Posts: 15640
Location: Left Coast Canada
3564
books chicken cooking fiber arts sheep writing
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Nice battery pack.  Mine was only six bucks, so I think it's an affordable place start.  I'm looking for the most affordable way to experiment for now.  Later I want to find or design a beautiful lamp to convert to battery power that can recharge on a solar energy system.  But that's a long way away.  For now, it's just playing with rewiring.  

My favour standing lamp (pictured below) currently has a bulb that is 800 Lumens with a shaded 'glass' bulb.  This is perfect for the kind of work I do.  However, a more focused light would need fewer lumens.  

The bulb is rated for 8W
5000K
115mA
120V 60Hz (wall power)

If I could reproduce this in LED.  

It's strange.  Working with wall electricity never made me nervous (just cautious).  Everything inside the wall is obvious to me and it's more or less plug (or match the colours, twist wire, insulate, and make sure it's grounded correctly) and play.  Battery power seems far more complicated.  
IMG_7072.JPG
[Thumbnail for IMG_7072.JPG]
 
T Melville
Posts: 92
9
goat fish sheep
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator


I just found this. (IZOOM® GOOSENECK LED LAMP) At $7.75, it'll be tough to beat, unless you want the learning experience, or you make yours brighter. The description doesn't mention lumens, but in one of the pics, the box says 240.

 
Eliminate 95% of the weeds in your lawn by mowing 3 inches or higher. Then plant tiny ads:
Solar Dehydrator Plans - Combo Package download
https://permies.com/t/solar-dehydrator
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!