Santa Clarita and Northern Los Angeles County Area
Collecting Equipment Projects, Ideas and Sources
Butterfly and Moth Site
Battery-powered 175w Mercury Vapor Collecting Light
This is not a new idea, but with a little shopping and some handy-work,
it can be very affordable and relatively portable. The system described
below can be built for around $200, and probably much less if you
already have some of the parts and/or are willing to build instead of buy!
Of course you can use other brands and higher-end suppliers. However...
Please note that this particular combination (brand and model) of MV
light and inverter worked very well where many others have failed, and
are probably the most critical parts in this setup. More detail is
Most of the components are available either online or at local
giganto-stores such as Home Depot or Costco. Part numbers and typical
prices are included below.
Here are pictures of the rig as originally built and tested
successfully. It's compact, battery powered, and simple to set up. The
only component not shown in the picture below is the battery charger.
Run time is about 3 hours on a full, fresh charge.
Below you'll find the equipment list and construction/use notes:
Large 12v car battery: Costco, about $35
(No online pic or link available)
I used a Sears DieHard that I happened to have. I wasn't sure of its
condition, but after testing yielded 3 hours of run time, I figure it
was in pretty good shape. A deep cycle marine/RV battery is the best
choice for maximum usable amp hours. Beware that leaving any lead-acid
battery in a discharged state is bad for it. The output and lifespan
will be shortened, so recharge it as soon as possible after use. See the
charger section below for more charging details.