I am looking for some thoughts on a alternate lighting system for when the power goes out in my house. I am pretty much at the end of the electrical distribution grid in my town so I am prepared with an gasoline powered electrical generator to run my furnace. It's just an annoyance to get going. I can usually wait for a couple of days before I need to get it going. I have that problem solved.
The question I have is lighting. The resources I have on hand are: 1: 12V 17AH sealed lead acid batter in good condition, 1: Class 2 outlet powered battery charger with automatic cutoff, output 12V @ 1Amp, tested and it works. 1: scavenged solar panel, circa 2002, rated 10.3 watts, open circuit voltage 23.8 volts, max power 16.5 v @ .62 amps. Minimum blocking diode 1.5 amps. I will be driving 4 LED strips of about 10 LEDs that are really bright, current us unknown.
My question is if I want to recharge the battery from the solar panel do I need some sort of charge controller? I have no experienc in this matter. My instinct is to just hook the solar panel to the battery through a blocking diode for the few days I may be out of power. Does anyone have experience with charging a battery with a solar panel on a short term basis? Suggestion would be appreciated.