Letter Re: Battery-Powered House Interior Lighting

James Wesley:
We have frequent power outages.  We bought a [deep cycle] marine battery from Bass Pro Shops that was intended use with a trolling motor.  We keep this battery continuously trickle-charged.   A small inverter from Radio Shack provides 120 VAC for three strings of white LED Christmas lights attached to the uppermost part of the most important wall.  A charged trolling motor battery will keep these efficient lights on for a very long time.  All we have to do is to plug the lights into the inverter socket. Very safe. – Anonymous

JWR Replies: It would be much more efficient to buy strings of DC LED Christmas lights. This is because going from DC to AC and back to DC is inefficient and adds an unnecessary layer of complexity. (You never know when an inverter will fail.) BTW, if you buy the LED strings in red and/or blue, then they will preserve your night vision when you step outside. (Blue seems to provide the most useful light for kitchen tasks and reading with minimal eye sstrain.) You can also build a fairly efficient dimming switch. As previously mentioned in SurvivalBlog, adding a DC-to-DC charging tray for smaller batteries will prove invaluable.