Off grid homestead. And a little bit of Australia… What does Australia have to do with going off grid? I’ll tell you what it has to do with going off grid. A lot! At least for my creative desires for cheap lighting.
When we last visited My Papa’s home in the mystical land of Aus (OK, not so mystical is wonderful Australia), Mum and Her Man had completed a long running project. This project was amazing! They’d turned an old basement style rumpus room and a downstairs toilet into their own personal flat. Flats in England and Australia (maybe other countries, I don’t know) are actually what we Americans call apartments). They love taking their caravan (Aussie for travel trailer) all over the country. Anyone who knows camping, knows how important it is to use every space possible. And how they don’t run off of the AC type of electricity. If we decided to live in a travel trailer, it’d be totally easy to live off grid with little hassle.
But I digress. The point I am trying to get it is that they implemented both of those ideas into their flat. But only one of them am I going to touch on today.
The Off Grid Project
So, the little bit of Australia I want to use in our off grid homestead is their DC lighting system. It’s amazing! I was enthralled with what they’d done. Her Man was very pleased to be able to share, not only what he’d done, but HOW he did it. This IS going to be my next project for lowering electricity costs as we work towards our off grid self-sufficiency.
They did have it a little easier than I am going to have. This is due to the fact that when they were renovating the downstairs, they had open walls and ceilings. Very important for wiring. Mum and Her Man were also very clever in their placement of the lights. They combined them with ceiling tiles. This way if they don’t like a particular lighting setup, they can simply switch the tiles around to where the lights are more effective!
To power their lighting system they did purchase a relatively small solar panel. Which they have attached to a very sunny part of their back yard fence.
Outside they’ve installed their power panel for their lighting. It has plenty of room for growth as they plan on eventually including the top half of their home to solar power, as well.
Inside the flat, they’ve installed a very nice junction box. It’s easily accessible while being quite hidden behind one of the previously mentioned ceiling panel.
What I Will Do
I’ve been thinking how I will best implement this project. First it will be done for our room. Then I’ll probably expand to include my remaining half of the homestead before working on the newer half. The next thing I will need to do is research how many lights I’ll need all together, so that I get the proper sized power panel. And junction boxes.
I’m quite excited to start planning this venture, and when I’m able to get started, I will do my best to write out a “How to Get Started” post. And a post on the process, with lots of pictures. And a lot of notes. So that I can share with you one more way of how to go off grid on your own homestead.