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Thread: Mess tent lighting

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    Mess tent lighting

    We have always used gas lights on camps in our mess tent and event shelters which means packing a crate of lights and 3 or 4 gas bottles in an already crammed trailer.

    We want to move towards a 12V LED setup with leisure battery especially in the summer months when we don't also need a source of heat. I know there are commercial options out there like this but being an engineer, I'd prefer to create something myself but wondered if anyone else has better ideas than connecting a strip of LEDs to a battery.

    So... show us your set up and how you made it.

    TIA,
    Adam

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    Please could you PM me an email address and I'll send you some photos of our leisure battery/LED set up

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    Quote Originally Posted by fmolesey View Post
    Please could you PM me an email address and I'll send you some photos of our leisure battery/LED set up
    Is that a general offer?

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    Quote Originally Posted by fmolesey View Post
    Please could you PM me an email address and I'll send you some photos of our leisure battery/LED set up
    PM sent, thanks!

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    Senior Member recneps's Avatar
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    Also of interest to us...

    We have a generator, but i dont really want to keep running it all evening at camp just to provide light. I'd rather run it during the day to charge whatever needs charging, plus charge the leisure battery, then enjoy the peace and quiet of camp at night. For one or two night camps it might even mean we dont need to take it.
    Dan Spencer

    Group Scout Leader 66th Bath
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    AESL & AGSL shiftypete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adamswright View Post
    We want to move towards a 12V LED setup with leisure battery especially in the summer months when we don't also need a source of heat.
    You must not live in the UK or something lol. We definitely still appreciate the souce fo heat from gas and tilley lighting even on our summer camps in July/Aug

    Peter Andrews AESL of Headingley Pirates ESU, Assistant Group Scout Leader & Webmaster of Falkoner Scout Group
    www.falkonerscouts.org.uk

    Wike, North Leeds District Campsite - www.wikecampsite.org.uk
    www.leeds-solar.co.uk
    Please note all views expressed are my own and not those of any organisation I'm associated with

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    Quote Originally Posted by recneps View Post
    Also of interest to us...

    We have a generator, but i don't really want to keep running it all evening at camp just to provide light. I'd rather run it during the day to charge whatever needs charging, plus charge the leisure battery, then enjoy the peace and quiet of camp at night. For one or two night camps it might even mean we dont need to take it.
    We also have a generator but now all the leaders have power banks which last a week so hopefully, we won't take our generator anymore. I'm looking at solar panels and battery setup with my shopping basket currently totalling 150.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by shiftypete View Post
    You must not live in the UK or something lol. We definitely still appreciate the souce fo heat from gas and tilley lighting even on our summer camps in July/Aug
    As my mum always says "Put a jumper on!"

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    Senior Member recneps's Avatar
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    I find my powerbank lasts about 3 days... but that is with 2 of us charging phones from it, and normally also charging the bluetooth speaker we use in the leaders mess tent (we like a bit of music while cooking). I guess my own phone would just about last a week with it.

    The powerbank goes on charge whenever the generator is running, and then we can charge phones off the powerbank.

    The generator also runs our electric coolboxes (but we could run them on 12v) so tends to run during the hottest part of the day on summer camp. Unlike some on here i don't particularly mind the sound of a running generator but i'd rather it was running in the daytime than the evening.

    We currently have 2 generators. "Little Genny" is used when we only need to power coolboxes and phone charges, giving us less than 1kw. "Big Jenny" goes with our 110v festoon lighting system and gives us 3.5kw. Little Jenny is a very quiet honda "suitcase" generator, whereas big jenny is a builders generator built on a frame and rattles like hell.
    Dan Spencer

    Group Scout Leader 66th Bath
    Deputy District Commissioner (Programme) - City of Bath District
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    I would of thought Red Six with a box of matches would be easy "Mess Tent Lighting".


    Jonathan

    GSL

    ex-Chairman
    49th Bournemouth (St. Katherines) Air Scouts
    NSRA YPS Tutor (Air Rifles)

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    CTCSL / GSL sitb2000's Avatar
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    For personal use, I bought couple of 12v battery's (I think they were 12 amp hour rated) and a LED string lights.
    The batteries are house in a case along with a rocker switch to be able to turn the LED lights on and off. The LED Lights were cut down to 1 metre lengths and banana plugs put on either end so i can connect them together if I want them longer. The first LED string though has around 3-4 metre cable flex so it can plug into the box when the lights are mounted on the roof.

    If my math is correct, it should last for 8 hours (depending on the length and rating of the LED lights). At present, I'm having to recharge the batteries at home but my plan is to add some solar panels and regulator to the setup so that the batteries can charge up during the day.

    I was also tempted to get one of these for the mess / marquee:
    https://www.ledhut.co.uk/led-garden-...-80-lumen.html

    Whilst the light output isn't great, it's just enough to light see what you're doing when closing up the tent and you've turned off all the gas lamps. Bonus is it's solar powered and motion activated.
    Simon Parr
    Group Scout Leader - 1st Nanpantan Scouts
    County Cub Scout Leader - Leicestershire Scouts

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    .... any group with a generator.....

    Should be shot at dawn !

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    How about MR16 12V LED spotlight bulbs?

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    Here are a few photos of our 12V set up.

    This system was built to provide us with LED lighting at Camp as well as the ability to charge phones, cameras and other devices.

    It's lighter, quieter, greener and MUCH safer than a generator (both in terms of voltage and CO poisoning).

    The system has two 100 Ah leisure batteries and a control/switch panel that allows lights to be switched off and selection between, one or both of the batteries.

    We run around 8 LED strips off it - they're really bright and really cheap, photo below shows light output with just 4 strips.



    There are also 12V sockets on the panel for phone/device charging. Inside the panel is a battery charger and a 600W inverter should it be required.

    The batteries can be charged overnight and will provide weeks of light.

    Happy to share more details/pictures if people are interested.



    Last edited by fmolesey; 27-04-2017 at 01:33 PM.

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    ESL and DESC ianw's Avatar
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    Cor! That puts our three AA LED round lights with a hook and a magnet that we stuck on the poles at the weekend, erm, in the shade.
    Ian Wilkins
    Farnham District Explorer Scout Commissioner

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    Quote Originally Posted by fmolesey View Post
    Here are a few photos of our 12V set up.

    This system was built to provide us with LED lighting at Camp as well as the ability to charge phones, cameras and other devices.

    It's lighter, quieter, greener and MUCH safer than a generator (both in terms of voltage and CO poisoning).

    The system has two 100 Ah leisure batteries and a control/switch panel that allows lights to be switched off and selection between, one or both of the batteries.

    We run around 8 LED strips off it - they're really bright and really cheap, photo below shows light output with just 4 strips.



    There are also 12V sockets on the panel for phone/device charging. Inside the panel is a battery charger and a 600W inverter should it be required.

    The batteries can be charged overnight and will provide weeks of light.

    Happy to share more details/pictures if people are interested.




    Am I missing something - there doesn't appear to be any pics :-)

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