OK, here’s what I know about led lights for use outdoors.
I chose bright Leds to use outdoors because they use very little
power. The new bright Leds are 5800 degrees Kelvin and are the
closest frequency to natural daylight. Because individual leds don’t
put out much light, they are used in groups or strings. Leds are cool
and don’t seem to burn out. Most are rated at 100,000 hours - longer
than I want to be in a booth! Because there are many of them in your
case, everything sparkles with all the reflections.
In searching the web, I’ve found the following sources for 110 volt,
in case applications. What they all sell is multiples of 12 inch
lengths or custom lengths. The going rate seems to be about $175US
To power these lights, you would use a sealed battery, such as one
from Cabelas sporting goods or an Optima battery. Talk to your
battery supplier about your use - you don’t need cranking amps like
you would use to start a car. What you are looking for is a battery
that will withstand multiple cycles of use where you draw the battery
way down (deep cycle). You would clip leads to the battery terminal
and input the 12Vdc power to an inverter that makes the direct
current into 110 ac, just like you have at home. Most of the
inverters have a cigarette lighter input for dc power, and you can
purchase that connection at radio shack or from you local auto
supply store. You do also need a battery charger like you have for
your car battery. When I set up 5 cases, all with led light strips, I
can do a 3 day show on one battery charge. With halogens I can get
about 5 hours running 6 - 20 watt bulbs.
Be aware that there are leds, and bright leds, and super bright
leds. Brighter costs more. The original leds are like you have in
your tv to tell you it has power. The newer brighter ones are
expensive, but very effective. I had hoped that the price would have
decreased this year, but it is about the same as last year.
I’m curious - how many Orchid folks are doing outside shows where
electricity is not available? What kind of cases or displays do you
use? What do you do for lights now?