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Update: I received many complaints about the aesthetic quality of the pull chain nightlight's installation and several suggestions that I should place the circuit in the diffuser bowl. Well I'm pleased to announce that I've reworked this project to keep the circuitry out-of-sight and make the pull chain wiring look better. Steps 1 through 5 describe the rework as if I started from scratch, and steps 7 through 10 are the original instructable.

The primary source of illumination for my bedroom is a ceiling fan lamp. Most of the time I use the wall switch to turn the light on and off, but sometimes I'm closer to the pull chain switch so I'll use it instead. The trouble is the pull chain can be impossible to find in the dark; sometimes I'll find it right away but other times I'll flail my whole arm around feeling like an idiot trying to locate it. So I decided to hack apart a solar powered garden light and use its LED to make the pull chain's handle glow. When the garden light circuit detects the ceiling fan lamp is off it powers the LED with a battery. The circuit also recharges the battery when the lamp is on via a solar cell.

Step 1: Disassemble the Garden Light

Materials and Tools
Solar Garden Light -- Portfolio Stainless Steel Solar-Powered LED Path Light (Item #: 329346 |  Model #: 00942)
Pull Chain with a Translucent Handle -- Harbor Breeze Brushed Nickel Ceiling Fan Pull Chain (Item #: 101858 |  Model #: FP5)
Enclosed 2x AA Battery Holder -- Radio Shack 278-502
~30 in (~75 cm) of Wire Wrap Wire (30 AWG) -- Radio Shack 270-408
A piece of Scrap Copper Sheet Metal (about the size of a battery contact)
Heat shrink insulation or Sewing Thread
Soldering Iron
JB Weld
Hot Glue Gun
Hot Glue
Phillips Screwdriver
Diagonal Cutters
Wire Stripper

For this instructable I used this garden light. First I separated the end that held the globe and electronics from the metal tube and removed the battery. Then I removed several sets of screws to separate the electronics from its housing. Next, I gently pried the hot glued photoresistor from it's mounting hole, and then removed the excess hot glue. I used diagonal cutters to snip the battery leads where they met the battery contacts. Then I cut the LED's wires so I could insert it into the pull chain's handle in step 4. Finally I desoldered the solar cell so it could be taken out of its plastic holder.
Good job!
This is pretty low-volt stuff. Telephone cross-connect (red/white) is fun, but I would be you could achieve a little more elegance in this solution with ultra-thin urethane varnished copper wire.
That is an interesting suggestion. Don't you think the pulling motion would wear away the varnish though.<br><br>I'm currently working on an updated version where I put the circuitry in the diffuser bowl. So look out for it!
If you drilled a hole (or fit them thorugh an existing hole) in the metal at the bottom of the light shade, and put the solar panel at the top of the fixture inside (where the silver foil type stuff is), then it would have almost no effect on the outside appearance, nor on the light given off, and would still function almost the same (you might consider putting the battery on the other side of the foil / insulation, as I bet it gets pretty hot inside that lamp shade).
Many if not most fan/light installation are controlled by wall mounted light switches, and that may be why manufacturers don't design in light pulls. Lighted wall switches are a readily available item. A clever idea,and a good instructable. Good luck in the contest.
Where would I find the translucent handle?
Found it! I'm not the one that purchased it and I've had it for years but I'm fairly certain this is it.<br> <br> <a href="http://www.lowes.com/pd_101858-1811-FP5_0__?productId=3122015" rel="nofollow">Harbor Breeze Brushed Nickel Ceiling Fan Pull Chain (Item #: 101858 | Model #: FP5)</a>
A+ for ingenuity. F- for aesthetics. Would depend on the fan/light assembly but a larger fan/light enclosure could potentially house all the parts without creating a shadow. <br><br>Nonetheless, I agree with the other posters. This is a fantastic idea.
you could always use led bulbs<br>
+100 points if you could thread the wire through the glass, and stash the solar cell in such a way that it lives inside the dome, without making a shadow on the glass. <br>Coat hanger + hot glue maybe?
Otherwise, an amazing and beautiful project. I'd even consider manufacturing them.
Thanks very much!
In all seriousness, you could make a crapload of money off of this if you managed to market it. Even if you just sold kits it would help. Amazing project man.
Putting it inside the bowl was my original plan, but I had difficulty figuring out how I should place it in there and how to run the wire to it. Plus I thought it'd be a fire hazard putting it so close to the hot light bulbs. Thanks for bringing that up I'll edit the instructable to explain my reasons for placing it on the outside of the bowl.
Use CFL bulbs. master mode: crack open a CFL bulb, and wire up a ~5v output.

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