Solar Baby Steps: Take One Room Off-Grid

Solar reading light
Not ready or can't afford to go completely off-grid? No problem, do it incrementally. We've already written about the $600 DIY solar kit, which is one way to do things, but if you want to take baby steps, you can get results with even less initial investment. George Mokray gives us a good example of that with his "solar bedroom", a room that only uses solar energy to power a radio and reading lamp. The kind of setup he uses isn't suited for energy-hungry appliances and probably won't make a big difference on the power consumption of a house, but it is a nice experiment - possibly the first in a series of step that will lead to something bigger - and it might also create some interesting psychological ripples, if only because it constantly reminds about the energy used; harder to take it for granted and forget about it when you know that your power source is solar panels that you can see and touch (unlike big power plants that are usually out of sight, out of mind, and that most people never even see). For those interested in going a big further, there's a nice page here that explains how to take off-grid a bit more equipment. Side benefit: Projects such as these make for great conversation fodder. :: My Solar Bedroom, via ::GMoke Goes (Partially) Off, :: Take your spare room off-grid!, ::Sunball - the World's First "Solar Appliance"?, ::Solar Keeps Getting Hotter