Do you have a shed or other outbuilding that could use light and/or power? In many cases, running an underground cable from your house to the building is the most economical way to go. But if the building is a fair distance from the house, so that wiring it would be a hassle or a large expense, consider a solar-powered system.
Simple vs Complex
If you just need some light for putting away yard tools, you can get by with a simple system costing $110 or less, such as the Solar Shed Light. But if you want AC power for tools or charging batteries, youll need to spend more than $3,000 for a high-end system, such as the Solar Power & Lighting Shed Kit.
Solar Kits Eliminate Guesswork
You can cobble together your own system with individual parts, but that can be dicey. Matching the right collectors, charge controller and battery takes some know-how. If you want AC power, youll also need an inverter that converts DC voltage to AC for outlets. All those components must be compatible and work together flawlessly or youll have big issues. Plus, the components have to be suited to the climate you live in. Some can handle extreme heat, cold or dampness while others cant. So unless you just want occasional short-term lighting, we recommend buying a kit.
Earthtech will help you pick a kit or design one for you to exactly suit your needs.
Courtesy of The Family Handyman magazine and FamilyHandyman.com