Van Lighting

I’m a geek and I love lighting but for some reason I’ve never really sorted the lighting in the van. Time for that to change.

I’m going to use RGB led strips and a little control box. I could do with controls but I’d rather keep it simple.

So far my plan is for a chunky on/off switch with a few push button controls:

  • Cycle through solid colours
  • Cycle through disco colours
  • Intensity up
  • Intensity down

Disco colours will be different strobes chases and rainbow flashy hideousness!

At power on the default will be a low warm white, possibly orange!

Control Panel

OK so my control panel has evolved over time and is a little ramshackle….

I’d like to replace it with something a little more neat.

Something like this but with each switch clearly what it is for.

  • USB sockets
  • Lighting
  • Voltmeter
  • ….?

Solar

This looks like a decent kit!
http://www.bimblesolar.com/offgrid/12v/175w-mppt-kit-shang

MPPT Charge controller is a good start as they are way better at converting the panel output to a voltage that the batteries can handle!
https://www.solar-electric.com/learning-center/batteries-and-charging/mppt-solar-charge-controllers.html

I’m finally getting around to this and have decided to go for a 300W panel and a half decent MPPT controller. I also got the optional remote control unit for an extra £20. I think it came to £400ish with postage.

https://www.bimblesolar.com/offgrid/complete-packages/295W-kit-mppt-mounting

I’ve gone for the bigger panel as I’d rather have too much than too little and this set up should also have capacity to support an electric fridge which I’ll get if mine dies. I may need to add a second battery for that as well though.

Mains/Battery Power Switch

Power SwitchPower Switch – £7.27

This is a manual switch to change between external power and battery power. One of the inputs comes from the external socket and another comes from the power inverter, the output goes to the consumer unit.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Ui-660V-Ith-20A-1-0-2-3-Position-3-Phase-Square-Panel-Rotary-Changeover-Switch-/191434373970?pt=UK_BOI_Electrical_Components_Supplies_ET&hash=item2c9260bb52

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utilization_categories)

This has been in and working for ages now. My next step is to wire the 12V through this as well so that a single switch flicks over both mains and 12V!