When you but the Harbor Freight 45 watt solar panel kit, it comes with 2 12 volt, 5 watt fluorescent bulbs. These bulbs come with standard light bulb holders and 1/4″ phono plugs to be used with the charge controller.
I personally didnt like the way it was setup for use (at least MY use).
They would work great for a garage or shed or some area where you need a simple light to run off Solar Power or battery power. I wanted a cleaner look.
I went to Home Depot and picked up a standard 120volt wall outlet for something like $0.40 each, plus a wall box and basic white cover. Everything was under $2. I had some cheap old speaker wire laying around (im a pack rat for electronics), so I decided to use that to hookup the bulbs.
The 12volt bulbs are a standard lightbulb thread. I simply screwed them into my floor light, that has a area light and a directional light.
Then you need to wire up the 120volt wall outlet to the 12 volt controller.
Simply Wire your POSITIVE (+) to the HOT/ Black Wire side of the plug (small slot side) . Note: I used a BLUE wire for my Positive in the pics.
Wire the NEGATIVE (-) to where the Neutral / White wire would go (large slot side).
Then you can install it into the wall box and put on the cover.
Simply wire the other end of your power cord to the controller, and turn on the lights, and Enjoy!
Now for a safety note:
DO NOT FOR ANY REASON PLUG THE LAMP INTO AN ACTUAL 120VOLT WALL OUTLET! DOING SO WILL CAUSE THE 12VOLT BULBS TO LIKELY EXPLODE AND MAY CAUSE A FIRE!
Just use common sense. Mark the plug on the lamp or something so you dont forget.
Now for a review of the bulbs.
I honestly didnt really like them at 1st. They werent bright enough for me at my desk when Im working at night. However, during writing this entry, they have gotten brighter in the 1st 2 min and are now tolerable for me. I took some pics to show what they look like at 3am in my completely dark house.
Just like anything with going green or using alternate energy, it will take a little change getting used to, but no big deal when Ill be saving $$ each month. Who cares if I have to wait 2 min for full brightness. I still have my other standard 120volt fluorescent lights in my living room if I need it brighter.
I went from TWO 23 fluorescent watt bulbs (aprox 60 regular watt brightness) to these 5 watt bulbs. I really only used 1 bulb at night, but with the 12volt 5 watt bulbs, Ill need both.
At night i was using AKA PAYING FOR 23 fluorescent watts on a standard bulb. Now I have 2 bulbs at 10 watts total that I pay $0.00 /month for and they give me about 50watts of brightness compared to a standard incandescent bulb.