Global Skywatch

Ted’s essays

12-volt lighting

Last month in Studio wired I showed you my breakthrough getting my studio 12-volt emergency lighting operating. I accomplished a couple of refinements recently.

Besides the obvious advantages of having lights regardless of power grid failures, my 12-volt LEDs provide lighting options in addition to, instead of, or in combination with the various 110-volt lights I have installed.

Prior to connecting up my antique meters, I was running on a gut-feeling that I had to be real conservative in my use of the 12-volt to avoid excessive depletion of the batteries, thus shortening their lives. The meters tell me I was wrong by A LOT.

While modern digital meters consume almost no energy, my antique analog meters have a difficult to explain COOL FACTOR. How do I describe why I prefer tick-tick time pieces over digital, slide rules over calculators, axes and machetes over chainsaws?

It is like James Bond compared to Elton John; style, grace, capability vs flamboyance and flash. The meters just quietly display their information without drawing any attention to the work they do.

Now that I see my 12-volt energy consumption as negligible, my storage at a steady 12.5 volt and above, I am inspired to connect more up to the system. I tapped into the USB outlets of my RIGrunner sub panel to power my globe’s internal light and new illumination for my keyboard.

I have been “a touch typist” most of my life, but still need some visual reference, an occasional glance and, therefore, some illumination of my keyboard.

This dimmable LED-powered desk lamp met my most optimistic hopes in form and function. I expected to engineer a way to position it for keyboard illumination, but amazingly, the clamp on this $16 light holds steady on a vertical board with the stalk holding the light up at full horizontal extension.

No way did I figure they would build it this sturdily.
Oh heck yeah.