Friday, December 5, 2008


Java's barn is solar. It is not a crazy as it sounds, and is not as expensive as you think. And, it's not as expensive as the solar experts make it sound. The solar experts were scary. So we stopped talking to them and figured it out on our own. OK, I did not figure out much, but the electrician did.

Solar panel on roof:

"nightlight" solar panel above one window:

Nightlight: I turn this on when I do night check so I don't have to go full blazes with the lights to top off water and drop more hay, Java needs her beauty sleep. And, just in case something happens with the system, I still have a light.

Example of a light in the barn with reflector to make the light go where we want it, and tubes to go around the tubes so I don't break a bulb while trying to do something, or in case Java raises her head that high. We have two lights in the loft, one in the tack area, one in the overhang, and two in the aisle for grooming. Plenty, and there are three switch options, tack & aisle, loft, overhang. All at the same time too, of course, but I don't push my luck and run them all at once frequently.

Power pack:


You want motion sensor lights... no problem they, make these solar too: Light under gutter and panel sticking off the roof on the left side. They come even smaller too, this is the largest one we have, and it seems to work exactly the same as the smaller ones (these are LED lights).

Why? Well, I did not really want to have a trench dug, and deal with an electric bill. Mr. Java's mom figured it all out. The solar panel charges the battery pack, which if we need to can tote it to the house and charge it of electricity off the house if we have a 4 day solar eclipse someday. The battery pack has outlets. The outlets feed the wires that are connected to the lights, water pump and outlets. I walk in, hit a switch, just like normal. I'm conservative with energy anyway so don't use much, but no worries so far. We hired a regular electrician who knew nothing about solar. Tacked the panel up on the roof, the electrician read the manual for the panel and the power pack, and wired us for code. Bright lights, me likey. I'm not a patchouli wearing hippie, and definitely don't have peace sign stickers on my car (yes, there is a John Deer sticker on it though), I just didn't want to deal with something complicated.

Small building, but 6 lights, water pump, switches at both doors, and in the tack area. Nightlight powers itself, we have one and several motion sensor lights.


Robin said...

I LOVE this solar idea! I am building a small barn and think this may be just the way to go. What wattage is the solar panel you used?

Your barn and property is a slice of heaven. Beautiful.

Java's Mom said...

WOW, thank you for such wonderful compliments!! the solar panel is 130 watts. we got it from northern tool (, good luck and I'd love to see a picture of your barn! It's just amazing to have horses at home.