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  1. #1
    Senior Member Double Naught Spy's Avatar
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    Inexpensive/Cheap Feeder Light

    Preferring to spend $ on guns and ammo, I am not inclined to spend a lot of money on a feeder light. I have seen several, read reviews, looked at costs, and then made the cheap decision. So far, it seems like a very good low cost, potentially temporary decision, but something I thought worth sharing. It isn't a permanent or long term solution, but still interesting.

    We have two feeders and have put 2 solar recharging spotlights on each. They currently run $10 each from Wal-Mart. There are all sorts of variants that run a whopping $9-20. We put them on different sides of the feeder to collect sun from different sides and to shine mostly on different sides. Given cloudiness, sometimes there is more sun in the morning than afternoon and so the dual placement helps assure at least on light is working very well, though differential performance only really seems to matter come dawn.

    Being cheap, the lights are great in the evening and if they don't get a full day of sun, mediocre come morning, maybe even poor. With a full charge, when it hasn't been raining all day long like the last few days, the lighting is mediocre. They aren't meant to run much more than about 10 hours and they can start coming on before the sun is down completely.

    We did the very technical duct tape mounting to the feeder poles. Each of the lights has plastic stems that are meant to be driven into the ground and they are readily drilled. One light was first wired onto the feeder originally, the wire going through the drill holes.

    We went with spot lights because of the perceived weak splay of light from other cheapo solar lights and the focussed light does fairly well. Like many other under-the-feeder lights, the area illuminated is not large, but with other such lights, when the animals end up underneath, they stand out greatly, sometimes almost seeming to glow.

    So far we have found that 2 lights are better than 1 - go figure. Using magnified optics helps gather more light and expands the visible area (aka "kill box" area). Using even Gen I NV also makes the feeder lights even more useful, Gen II still more so. The light put out is not sufficient to have any sort of dramatic affect on the night vision game camera images. I am not sure why, but the game cam infrared flash probably just outshines the dim solar lights.

    The animals seem to get used to the light pretty quick. Coons and deer pass under the light frequently as do the hogs. I would guess that by and large, the time it took for the animals to get used to the light was less than 3 or 4 days and for the hogs and the irregular visits at my place, realy did not appear to be affected at all. I know folks are big into different colored lights, especially red and green, but the animals really don't seem to care very much, if at all.

    So for those of you who might be considering more expensive feeder lights but don't want to shell out the $ without first getting some idea of what they can do for you, try one or two of these cheapo solar spotlights. If you are worried about people stealing your expensive gear and want some lights, try these. For the money, I think this is a pretty nifty solution. If you are looking for really long term solutions, then cheap solar lights may not be for you.

    I don't have any closeup images at the moment, but I can probably dig up some game cam images if anyone is interested. They pretty much just show that the animals are not bothered by the lights.

    - Brian

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  2. #2
    Wild Hog Hunter Ponyboy's Avatar
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    I'll got pick some of these up at Walmart and test them out.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Double Naught Spy's Avatar
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    Here is a pic from early this morning. The hog walked out of the woods in front of the game cam and its IR flash went off. In the background is the feeder. It has two $10 solar spotlights on its legs and there is a slightly off center light ovel between the legs where the two lights are shining. This spot is the overlapping spots of the lights, not the splash which extends out some feet. As you can see, the light isn't very bright. I shot this hog using NV, but he did spend a good amount of time close to the light and directly in front of the shine area where I could see him with my naked eyes from 45 yards with no problem. A regular scope with a lighted reticle would have worked just fine for shooting this hog which it was around the lighted area and maybe one without a lighted reticle when the hog was under the lights.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Inexpensive/Cheap Feeder Light-feeder-lights-hog-jpg  

  4. #4
    Junior Member BUSTINHIDES's Avatar
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    Apr 2011
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    on my set up ive been using led brake lights from auto zone they are 12 bucks and will last 4 to 6 hours on a charge.At 8ft off the ground it leaves about a ten yard radius of light.I have not hooked my battery up to a solar panel yet but i will soon.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Double Naught Spy's Avatar
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    The solar power thing is what makes the systems last and not require approaching the stand to set up. Not being an electronics guy, I read up on all the solar stuff and then figured it was easier to buy off the shelf. If you find a fairly easy solar setup that isn't pricey, please do share!!!!

  6. #6
    Junior Member Big-Tex's Avatar
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    I used led lights and always looked for specials. Those are not to bright and hogs will get used to those fast.
    Good idea to set up on feeder.
    Malibu Cast Metal Solar Flood Light (2-Pack) - 8501-0610-02 at The Home Depot

    I like those

  7. #7
    Senior Member Double Naught Spy's Avatar
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    And they are metal, not plastic. Nice.

  8. #8
    Junior Member Big-Tex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Naught Spy View Post
    And they are metal, not plastic. Nice.
    yup exactly
    http://texascamo.tk
    USA ain't part of China, brother.

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