Best way to remotely power address sign?

Mostly electrical rather than ST-related, but I’m sure I’m over-engineering this and some tinkerers will have some suggestions.

I recently bought a solar powered address sign, but it’s not quite charging as well as I’d hoped. Couple that with the fact that I want to control when the light was on, and I’m trying to work out where best to put that control.

My current thought is to replace the rechargeable battery with one of those Battery Eliminator devices, with the pigtail connected to a Buck/stepdown module that can go down to 1.2v.

I’m trying to avoid wall warts if possible (especially since this will be going in my soffit alongside the power for my doorbell camera (which is on a doorbell transformer powered through a Sonoff device in case I need to reboot it).) I wish there were more 120AC => Variable DC converters. I have this one, but it’s 9V.

I know the obvious answer is to ditch this unit and go with something else, but I’m already at this point, and knowledge would carry over to other projects. Any thoughts on how you would do this?

If only 1.2v then just run some 22/2 wire (door bell wire) through the wall and connect it to a 1.2(5)v AC to DC Adapter (wall wart) and then plug that into a Smart Plug.

Cut off the end of the adapter and match polarity at light and at the cut off end. Use shrink tape to make it nice and pretty.

I do this a lot with battery powered devices that I don’t want to change batteries on.

1 Like

Why? Don’t you want the sign on when it’s dark out? I would think this would fall into the same category as an outside light. On when dark, off when bright?

If the problem is that the solar panel is not being exposed to enough sunlight, you could also power it via a remote solar panel. We would need some idea of how big the battery/solar panel are to get an idea if that would be feasible.

How do you know the device uses 1.2v?

If you’re going to go through the trouble of re-wiring, why not simply use one that supports 120v? That seems a lot easier and cheaper than trying to find a 1.2v wall -wart and doing all that work.

If you are already controlling an outside light with a smart-switch, you would then control your house numbers at the same time, simplifying your automations as well.

Wiring a 120v circuit seems like a lot harder to achieve than running a low voltage circuit. We are talking about a small 1/4" diameter hole going through the wall vs a junction box (circular), tie in to electrical source and finding space to put in a Smart Switch.

However, if there is power already there then by all means just tie into existing but if that was the case, I’m sure the OP would have just done that…

As a rule, I never assume something like that. But I also find your assertion that running a low voltage circuit would be easier. You are not supposed to have low-voltage and high voltage in the same box. So, you would have to run the wire back out of the wall to plug the ac/dc converter into the smart-switch. That seems a lot more complicated to me.