When I was back in upstate NY, I set up an off the grid camp deep in the woods of my property. It consisted of a vintage travel trailer and four 15Watt solar panels. I quickly grew to love spending summers out there and learning how to live with just a small fraction of the usual amount of energy a house consumes. My favorite nighttime interior lighting then and now is solar garden light.
Now that I am in a location where the only practical solution is off grid living, I am experimenting with some different systems. Keeping my needs for electricity to a minimum, I am now running my house on 270Watts of solar charging two different battery banks. One set is a couple of 6VDC lead acid golf cart batteries and the other is a pair of 12VDC AGM batteries. The jury is still out on which type battery works best. I will be adding four 100Watt DIY wind turbines and more solar and battery storage to power the workshop/greenhouse building.
For now, the only real draw ( and it's not much ) on my batteries is the AC adapter for my laptop charger which is plugged into an inverter. Once you start converting DC into AC and back again - its kind of like shooting yourself in the foot. If you have plentiful 12VDC voltage created from sunlight - efficiency wise, its best to stick with 12VDC as much as possible.
I get all my news and entertainment from the outside world via my laptop. World events, weather, television, movies, just about everything is available on the web these days. I even use my laptop for free video calls to some of my friends and super cheap long distance calls to anywhere in the US and Canada.
I will provide more detail about my power systems as they evolve. Go to the "stuff" page on the website for links to solar panels, batteries, controllers, wind turbines, and using your computer for phone calls.