Instructables
Picture of Solar garden lamp based pendant
Our early teen model, showing off her solar garden lamp based night light pendant ! These look very attractive and scope exists for kids to make a batch & sell them as "fashionable solar lamps" etc. A small profit could even be made -folks seem happy to pay ~$5 here here in NZ, especially if they could select their own ribbon from a range available!

Note: If you don't feel up to the full pendant conversion perhaps just consider the simpler  Solar Easter Egg  Instructable => http://www.instructables.com/id/Solar-Easter-Egg/
 
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Step 1:

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Solar Garden Lamps (SGL) are globally available at approx US$2 each, but often are pretty clunky or missing a switch. These new types were compact, full featured & very attractive.

Step 2:

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Kid friendly colours- solar lamps have normally been black only

Step 3: Safety alert ...

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NOTE- adults should take these spikes away from kids (OR AT LEAST SMOOTH OVER THE SHARP END) as boys especially will promptly play "warriors" with them & eye damage could arise.     A more peaceful "waste not want not" could involve  blocking the drainholes with hot melt glue -

Step 4: Rain gauge !

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- and there's an instant RAIN GAUGE !   Of course it should be higher off the ground to prevent splashes- maybe use 2 tubes to make a taller one?

Step 5:

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The lamp module features an energy efficient  white LED (Light Emitting Diode), a sturdy switch, internal rechargeable AAA battery and small ( ~2V at 30mA) solar PV ( Photo Voltaic) cell.  These nifty parts tempt for enhancement !

BEFORE tackling the more ambitious lamp conversion however, consider simple LED "cover" fun! .All sorts of everyday items light up a real treat when illuminated from within. Perhaps the most rugged translucent covers are table tennis/ping pong balls- simply piece a hole in their bottom & place over the LED.  Simple designs & messages can be further written on the ball surface to suit.

Note: Try to avoid using orange table tennis balls  as their colour looks rather too "flame" like & at night it may be confused with a real fire...
manuka (author) 2 years ago
The Olympic fever buildup made these lamps popular for solar torches. A local pre-teen scout group came up with all sorts of after dark "son et lumiere" effects.

However a recent fast track craft approach involves just using the unmodified top as a "mood lamp" base.The black lamp tends to be best for this, as the coloured ones show slight light bleeding through the cover which somewhat detracts from the effect.

All manner of translucent items can be safely placed on the LED to good effect - the local NZ "Kina" (sea egg) being particularly lovely. A simple empty egg shell (blown out with a straw & yolk saved) looks absolutely fantastic! Kids can suitably decorate it, & there's an endless supply of them in most homes. There's not much you can do with empty egg shells normally of course.
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manuka (author) 2 years ago
A bendy straw readily blows out the contents of a hens egg, & the yolk & white can be saved for normal kitchen use- or give it to your cat/dog if worried about hygiene! Egg shells are naturally rather fragile however, so when placed on the lamp care will be needed.
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Cbirbeck2 years ago
Hi, realise its a while now since you posted this, but they look fab, want o have a go, do you know If it's poss to buy these lamps over the Internet? thanks
manuka (author)  Cbirbeck2 years ago
The lamps still abound here in NZ in our country wide " WareHouse" chain. Where are you based? Stan.
manuka (author) 2 years ago
This time it's ~9yo's at a South Auckland school. Time was a little tight here so we bypassed the hole drilling & largely went for "illuminations".
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manuka (author) 2 years ago
Here's a crowd of Kiwi 12-13 yo's with their  "11/11/11"  pendant creations !
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manuka (author) 3 years ago
Further steps added & technical details moved to the project end.
Great idea! Dimtick is right, this is perfect for Halloween! I volunteer at a rabbit shelter and if I can find a way to incorporate this into a rabbit silouhette, this would be a perfect, green item to sell.
dimtick3 years ago
what a cool project. perfect for Halloween.
couldn't really follow a lot of the pictures but i think i get the basic idea.
nice job!
enatti3 years ago
Awesome idea! I'm off to the w house to buy and try. Cheers!
scoochmaroo3 years ago
What a fun project to get kids into hacking!