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New Solar Powered LED Pathway Lights

Posted: 18 November 2017

Cloudy skies returned on Sunday, 12 November 2017. Monday, 13 November, about sunset had a nice Sun Dog:


The sky cleared on Thursday, 17 November, but the wife (CFO) had scheduled a commitment for us that kept me from opening the observatory that night. Friday, 17 November, the sky was cloudy again.

In March 2017, I reported on red LED solar powered lights that were installed along the pathway to the observatory. Unfortunately, these lights began failing within three months. We had just purchased three more when two of the original three failed. And two of the three new ones were dead on delivery. The dealer refunded our money and allowed us to keep the new one that was still working. But we began searching for another solution. On Tuesday, 14 November 2017, we purchased Hampton Bay Solar Powered Black Outdoor Integrated LED 3000K Warm White Landscape Path Lights (10-Pack; $60) from a nearby Home Depot:


As these lights use white LEDs (albeit at a good 3000K) I wanted to make the illumination red. The lights require some assembly and removal of a tab by the replaceable 1.2V AA battery:


This gave me easy assess to the LED in the top piece. I covered the LED with two layers of 3M Tail/Parking Light Repair Tape, seen at the right in the above photo. I have used this tape to cover bright LEDs on equipment in the observatory and it has worked well. Here you can see the top piece of a pathway light with the tape installed and the LED ON:


This is how one of the lights look along the pathway to the observatory:


The red illumination from the new lights provide sufficient light to safely show the way to the observatory without harming dark adaptation.

Currently we are using 4 of the new lights along with two of the older lights. When the older lights stop working they will be replaced with new lights.

I have posted a new review of the iOS app ScopeBoss v1.1. ScopeBoss brings a fully functional AutoStar II handcontroller to your iPhone or iPad. Version 1.1 adds a lot of new features, including the ability to import the AutoStar II menu into ScopeBoss. It now supports the LX600 (and probably the LX850).

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