trying to learn solar system

r1camprNovember 11, 2012

I am just learning how solar systems work. What I want to do is put some 12 v led lights on my deck stairs and a rock wall. I have 2- 20 inch led light strips, probably 18 leds in each, and 2 directional lights with 2 leds in each. I bought a 12 v battery, lead acid, 5 amp/hr, about half the size of a motorcycle battery. Also a controller with a day/night lens on it, I think it is max 8 amp. The solar panel I have is 1.5 watts. I wired the lights, controller, and battery together and the lights worked for a few hours after dark, then quit working. The battery is still charged and will light the lights without the controller. I assume the controller doesnt work right. I then wired the solar panel to the controller (I dont have any instructions except what wires go where). The controller has a light for load and a light for charge the load light wont come on during the dark but the charge light is still blinking like it was durring the day, I even unplugged the solar panel and the charge light is still blinking.

My question is do I need a controller for this set up? I bought it because of it having the day/night function mainly but still wanted the protection of over charging the battery or running current back to the solar panel. And I'm trying to get a hang of how a solar system works.

Is there info out there on the internet that would show how all this works together? And if I need a controller can anyone recomend one that would work?

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Annie Deighnaugh

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