Smart Energy: Off-grid LED Lights Power RV Canopies

Posted on Jul 29 2013 - 5:13am by Brent Hardy


Sometimes it’s nice to be more daring and independent, to do things a bit differently than before. And I got to do that with some special lighting recently. In Lake Elsinore, California, we’ve gone completely off the grid to provide lighting for our RV canopies.

While installing the RV canopies at this property, we were able to skip the usual step of adding conduit and meters for electricity. Instead, we worked with 1st Light Energy to install solar LED lights from RAB Lighting. I’m very excited about this off-grid lighting solution!




Batteries Store Power from the Sun

The LED lights we installed on our RV canopies contain solar panels. During the day, the solar panels send direct current (DC) to the batteries in the lights. The current is stored in the batteries, and when the sun sets, the batteries operate the LED lights for the RV canopies. It’s a simple energy-saving solution that makes a lot of sense.

And here’s a bit of trivia for you: Though we have alternating current (AC) from the power company today, direct current is what Thomas Edison intended! Read more about the battle between DC and AC.


Highlights of Our Off-grid LED Lights

  • Not connected to the electric company in any way
  • The lighting isn’t affected by power outages
  • Batteries are large enough to store plenty of power, so cloudy days are no problem

Adding off-grid lighting for our RV canopies in Lake Elsinore is just one more way we’re working to lower our carbon footprint. It’s been a good adventure! I’m looking forward to implementing more off-grid lighting solutions whenever appropriate.


Have you installed any off-grid lighting? Do you like the idea of using DC current instead of AC current?


Brent Hardy

About Brent Hardy

VP Facilities Management
Extra Space Storage

Brent Hardy has been with Extra Space Storage since 2001. He currently oversees all corporate construction & facilities management activities for Extra Space Storage. Brent has been the driving force for corporate responsibility with energy management and sustainability programs. His successful management in these areas has directly contributed to the growth of Extra Space Storage. Brent’s green initiatives have included solar power, implementing energy efficient lighting systems and daylight harvesting on a corporate scale for over 800 properties. He enjoys fishing, water skiing, avoiding airplanes and spending time with his wife and four daughters. Brent began his career in self-storage after spending several years with various firms in construction and operations management both in Salt Lake and New York City.

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