Old School Tech has published the latest in their off-grid emergency lighting series, this time on the adaptation of red LED Christmas lights for off-grid DC operation. Red LEDs have an important application to community defense purposes, in that they help preserve night-vision. As such, they are uniquely useful for use in an operations center or an LP/OP (with suitable light curtains).
Red LEDs are also most efficiently seen by night vision devices, so another important use for them is remote backlighting of various avenues of approach without producing a bloom visible from miles away with the naked eye. By converting strings of red LEDs as mentioned in the article, a brushy area or trail can be illuminated on demand, and by relatively inexpensive Cat5 or Cat3 cable. This also provides on-demand illumination without giving away the position of the LP/OP itself.
One potential way these can be deployed is by running 4-pair Cat3 to an LP/OP from the operations center. Two pairs of this cable contain the signals for the field phone units, while the other two pairs carry the off-grid 24 volts DC supply from the main battery array. Then, not only can some field charging of USB accessories (to be discussed in future articles) be performed in the LP/OP itself via cigarette lighter adapters, but this power can further be routed to suspicious areas within view of the LP/OP, and under control of the watchstander there via switches to activate remote devices on command. Running out of battery power in the LP/OP becomes a thing of the past.