12V lighting for off-the-grid cabin
i'm building a small off-the-grid cabin with a modest solar PV system, and I'm trying to design an interior lighting system that gives the most light for the fewest watts, and runs at 12V, to avoid needing an inverter.
The cabin is one 10'x16' room with a loft bed and high (10-14') vaulted ceiling.
My initial idea was to do a cable lighting system, replacing the MR16 halogens with LEDs. However I'm still looking around for other options.
Last year I experimented with an automotive-style bulb made of 42 warm white LEDs and found it was not nearly bright enough. After a bit more research it looks like I was naive thinking I could light a large room with a 1.5W lamp.
After reading some posts on this forum, I'm thinking of trying some 12V bulbs driven by super-bright cool white LEDs (Cree/Luxeon/etc). I can always use candles if I want warmer lighting for a dinner or something. A more realistic energy budget for this system would probably be 15-20W.
I'm open to any suggestions at all on how to do this better. I'm sure others out there have attempted something similar to this. Any recommendations are appreciated be they general design tips or specific products.
Thanks in advance!