I love building stuff and tinkering in the garage. Being able to mix that with solar opens up all sorts of possibilities for when I go camping or want to jazz up the backyard without running expensive electrical cables and hiring an electrician.
Solar kits are perfect for the DIY-er that has some interesting ideas and doesn’t want to break the bank by purchasing ready-made products. Or maybe you like a consumer product, but it just isn’t quite right for your needs…a solar kit is perfect.
I really want to build raised garden bed to grow my own jalapeño and poblano peppers…I live in Texas and want to do Texas things! One idea I have is to add a self-watering system that is hooked up to a timer and I want to run it all with the ample sunlight we get here in Dallas.
This is only one application, of course. I also have a shed out back that could use a little lighting or be able to run a small AC unit for those scorching summer days. I could hire an electrician to come out and run power from my house to the shed, but that would cost WAY more than one of these kits and would deprive me of the pleasure of doing it myself.
The Front Runner
I am itching to hit the “buy now” button for the Renogy 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit but still need to calculate a few things on my end before I pull the trigger.
The main thing I love about this solar kits is that it has everything you need to get started so there is no second-guessing if you bought everything that you need.
It also comes with a mounting kit since most people will be hooking this up to a travel van or boat and has options for 100, 200, and 300 Watts.
When researching this model I saw that some people are mounting the panel to a piece of plywood and then taking it with them camping. While it is a portable setup I wouldn’t want to lug this thing very far from my vehicle.
But the people doing it said they are getting great results and are able to charge phones and laptops while spending time in the great outdoors.
One thing to note is that if you are wanting to charge multiple power-hungry devices you may need to pick up an extra battery and cables.
For my purposes, I think the 100 Watt will be able to adequately run some basic outdoor lighting…though I already have some solar lights for this (see the product page here for those recommendations)…and powerful enough to run a timed watering system.
The price seems to be holding fairly steadily, but check Amazon for the most current price.