Turns out that motorcycle battery was not up to the challenge of supplying the 10 watt night lite I hooked it up to. I worked for 5 hours. the battery quickly went down to 9.5 volts and was not fully recharged the next night.
What does work is a large marine battery hooked up to a 10 watt solar panel then to the 10 watt night lite.
This arrangement gives twice the light that the harbor freight nite lights do. but cost a lot more for the components.