Help with Portable Lighting and power source

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Coach Magee, May 23, 2015.

  1. Coach Magee

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 23, 2015
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    I am a football coach of a peewee team (21 seasons!). For the first time ever, we will be practicing in the evenings in an un-lit field, situated in a suburban neighborhood which has strict laws against running generators (noice restrictions, pollution, etc.) . I need to light the field two nights a week for 90 minutes, and be able to illuminate an area at least 40' x 40' so the kids can see what we are doing!

    The field is too far from the parking lot to consider using the parents car lights

    There is an electrical outlet about 300 feet away... and I do have a nice 4000 lumen halogen lamp, but doubt that would work (?) due to the distance of the field from the plug... 300 feet of electrical extension cord would seem like a bad idea (right?).

    I was thinking of buying a high powered portable car battery charger that has AC outlets built in, and plugging in the halo lamp to that? Easy if it would do the trick, but would a 600amp charger drive a 300 watt lamp for 90 minutes? If that isn't the answer, what might you suggest? I have a total budget of about $400

    The other idea was to go with DC car fog lights (55w ea) and hooking those up somehow to a Deep Cycle battery... but that is a lot of builing and I'm not shure how i would mount the lights to get some height, nor how long it would take to set up /take down each night...

    While I have written books on coaching football, I know NOTHING about electricity principals or formulas... I need ideas and suggestion on what might be an appropriate and affordable answer... a diagram or links to specific items would be welcome!
     
  2. blocco a spirale

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jun 18, 2008
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    I would look at using LED floodlights and power them from the existing outlet; 300ft of cable is not necessarily a problem but winding it in won't be much fun so, perhaps, split it into 3x 100ft cables. Make sure the socket is RCD protected.

    4x 100W LED floodlights (there are plenty on ebay, avoid the cheapest ones) mounted on poles may be all you need but you can always buy one and try it out, they aren't expensive. Once you know how much current is required you can choose a suitable cable.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2015
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  3. dl324

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    I second this idea. If you get 4 100W equivalent LED flood lights, you're looking at pulling less than an amp; so running with a 300 foot extension cord won't cause any voltage drop/wire heating issues.

    With your budget, you could go for more LED floods, some decent fixtures, and more extension cords so you can get light where you need it. Since it'll be dark, orange extension cords would probably be safer than the green outdoor rated ones... You'll need to think about trip hazard...
     
  4. ian field

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    I was thinking of the lighting sets that accident investigation teams use while gathering evidence - but anything made for that use won't be cheap and they probably still use a generator.
     
  5. Coach Magee

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    May 23, 2015
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    So you are suggesting I buy four 100W LED floods and 3x 100ft cords. What is "RCD Protected" mean? Remember - I know NOTHING about electrical other than "plug it in and see if we burn down the house"....
     
  6. Coach Magee

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 23, 2015
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    Could I use perhaps 2 x 150 Watt LED's? Would the AMPS be too heavy? i was thinking of two of these:

    http://www.amazon.com/Eyourlife-Flo...32412865&sr=1-4&keywords=100w+led+flood+light
     
  7. wayneh

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    Look for another neighborhood? I think it will be really tough to have useful illumination as point sources near ground level. It will cause long shadows and near blindness if/when the players have to look in that direction. I like the LED idea and it's probably worth an experiment, but I'm not optimistic.
     
  8. cmartinez

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    Jan 17, 2007
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    Maybe you could use equipment like this one. Using several car batteries (that you could later recharge) connected to inverters, and having the light sources mounted atop long poles attached to tripods.
    Your problem is a very solvable one... but in the end it will all come down to how much resource$ you're willing to spend.
     
  9. blocco a spirale

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    Jun 18, 2008
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    Aren't those 100W lights?

    You could use 2x 150W lights but the coverage would not be so even as with 4x lights. I assume you are using a 110V supply so you will require about 1 amp per 100W of load.

    Any connectors that you use must be suitable for use outdoor, so you might want to get advice on this one.

    An RCD is a device that detects a potentially dangerous electrical fault condition that causes current to flow to earth e.g. if the cable insulation became damaged.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Residual-current_device
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2015
  10. dl324

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    The first thing you need to do is get your head around watts vs lumens. Apparently people selling LED bulbs on Amazon need to do the same... The specs for the bulb you referenced say it's 100W, but don't give lumens or say whether it's equivalent or actual watts.

    A 100W equivalent LED would output around 1700 lumens (same as a 100W incandescent) and consume around 17W. Four of them would consume around 68W which would be around half an amp for 120VAC.

    If you have a Home Depot type store around, it will be more convenient to purchase locally so you can return if it isn't what you wanted.

    As long as you're only drawing an amp or two, extension cord length shouldn't be an issue. In addition to worrying about trip hazard on the cords, you also need to worry about ground faults. If the outlet you're going to use isn't protected (it should because it's code for all outdoor outlets to be protected by a GFCI). If it isn't, or you're not certain, you can get an extension cord with one built-in.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2015
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  11. blocco a spirale

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    I have only ever seen LED floodlights rated at their actual power input not, so 100W is 100W and the chips typically consist of a series/parallel array of 1W emitters.

    I don't know what the relationship between halogen and LED is in terms of lumens but, subjectively, I would say that an LED floodlight is equivalent to a halogen of at least 5x the power.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2015
  12. studiot

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    Nov 9, 2007
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    Halogen lights do not last very long before the bulbs burn out and are expensive to maintain.

    I suggest you go you to a local contractor's plant hire place and see what they would offer for hire . (pick their brains)

    If many of your parents have pickup trucks, you could fix a slot in pole stand in the back and park them around the perimeter to mount the lights.
    An LED flood would last 90 mins powered from a heavy duty vehicle battery stood in the back.

    Think outside the box and Go, Go, Go, Coach.

    :)
     
  13. dl324

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    They market LED bulbs the same way they marketed CFL's. Typical consumers wouldn't know the difference between a lumen and a hole in the ground, so they use the more familiar wattage. The 60W (equivalent, meaning around 800 lumens) has specified actual power consumption of 9.5W (old style Cree if you're interested in looking up the specs).

    If a 100W LED bulb actually consumed 100W of power, the main benefit would be longevity; and I'm not yet convinced they'll live up to warranted lifetime (10 years for the bulb I mentioned). Of the dozens I've installed over the past couple of years, only one has died; and it's a pain in the A.. to get a warranty replacement...
     
  14. dl324

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    Most facilities would probably object to having people going off-road...
    This is doable if they were willing to lug the batteries around, charge them, and get an inverter for each battery (the bulbs were're talking about run from line voltage). UPS's might be more practical for running loads in the 10W range...
     
  15. studiot

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    Around a practise football pitch?

    A further thought, rather than pickup trucks the support masts (poles) could be mounted on the type of small open trailer towed behind a car and even manhandled into position.

    You may be talking about mains bulbs, but Amazon for instance, list portable contractors' lights.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/PowerSave-Floodlight-Exterior-Security-Lighting-Grey/dp/B00CZFBDZY
     
  16. dl324

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    The land belongs to someone and a reasonable person would assume that permission to use didn't mean they could trash the facility. In the US, use restrictions are common; with more under consideration for clueless people (no dogs, no smoking, no guns, etc).
    The original LED suggestion, which wasn't mine, included running 300 feet of extension cord to the available outlet. OP seemed to be leaning towards that solution.
     
  17. ian field

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    RCD is residual current detection or earth leakage breaker - most types compare what's going out on the live with what's coming back by the neutral, a discrepancy means current is going somewhere it shouldn't - like through an electrocution victim. They're popularly called earth leakage breakers - but if they only sensed fault current in the safety earth they wouldn't detect current going through someone.

    I'd probably go for something like mains operated work lights from a discount store and figure something out for poles to mount them on, you'd certainly need more than 4, but LED technology has probably moved leaps and bounds since I bought mine, they'll be brighter and more efficient - which means an affordable 12V to mains voltage inverter.

    Lithium batteries are lighter to lug about than lead-acid - but safety certificated charging gear will probably push the price up.
     
  18. wayneh

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