How to Make a Cheap Eco-friendly Light Up Cane.


Introduction: How to Make a Cheap Eco-friendly Light Up Cane.

This is my first instructable, so bear with me.

My friend recently gave me a cane to go with my prom costume, however the cane he gave me was old beat up and most importantly, the head or handle if you prefer was completely detached. After looking for ideas into what to replace the head with I came up with the following.

Step 1: Materials

You will need the following

-Body (in my case just an old beat up cane, but I am 100% positive you can get great results just by getting a wooden dowel or other paintable rod)
-Rubber chair leg stoppers (make sure the diameter is appropriate for your body) - About $2.50 for a four pack
-Spray paint - 96 cents
-Yard light - $4

See second picture for a better view of the top of the yard light, you want one that has a solar panel and a light sensor that activates the light.

Step 2: Prep the Body

You will want to give the body a good sanding with fine grit sandpaper, this helps the spray paint stick better and in my case, cleans up a lot of the scratches and nicks and such in the cane. You can't tell very well by the pictures but the cane was an ugly brownish red before I painted it.

Step 3: Spray

Using good spraying techniques (short bursts, about 12 inches, don't let it run, ect.) coat your body. Depending on the starting color of your body more coats may be needed, follow the instructions on your spray paint. When you are finished it should look something like this.

Step 4: Put the Foot on It.

Using a strong glue (I used gorilla glue) Coat the bottom part of your cane and slide on one of your rubber feet.

Step 5: Place Top

This is the trickiest part of the job. Take the yard light and remove the shaft from the bottom (On the one I had it slid right off with a little bit of a pull). You should see a small portion of plastic sticking out of the bottom of the light (the part that was previously in the shaft). Now you can do one of three things. First and probably the best, is to drill a hole in the top of your body so that the plastic piece slides in. This gives you a good surface area for gluing. Second and least recomended is to cut off the protrusion of plastic and glue the two flat surfaces together. This will leave your cane weak and prone to snapping apart should you drop it on its head. Third is if you are lucky (like I was) and your body already had a convenient piece of wood sticking out that fits inside the plastic piece. Regardless of what you do glue together the cane, and if desired (which in my case was a necessity) trim the joint with electrician's tape.

Step 6: Light It Up

After allowing the glue to dry on both ends, your cane is complete. To use simply place your palm over the light sensor and the light activates, or place a piece of non-clear tape if you want a constant glow without your hand. Then after a night of fun, simply place near a window to recharge the cane for later. Handy as a fashionable flashlight, as it always lights up in the dark. The best part is that you can feel good for using clean solar power in your wardrobe!

Note: Don't leave this in your room uncovered, as when you try to sleep the darkness in the room also turns the light on, and its very bright in a dark room. Unless of course you can sleep like that, then by all means go ahead.

Note: In the yard light that I used, the top with the electronics could screw off quite easily. If this is the case, simply secure it with more glue.



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    14 Discussions

    wow, props. A thought that might be cool, is hollowing the cane farther down, and inserting a small LED circuit and switch, and replacing the light with a pimp-cane-sized clear glass fake jewel.

    1 reply

    Awesome! If I was any bit talented with electronics (or drills, for that matter) That would be an awesome idea. As it is, i am not, so i will go with the original idea. :-)

    I made mine as a walking stick/staff instead of a cane and it gets lots of comments, especially at artwalks which are usually in the evening. Ive encountered 2 problems, 1 is keeping the battery charged because the windows with the best light are inconvenient, not really a big deal. 2 is the plastic "stub" keeps breaking and isn't really sturdy even when inserted in a hole at the top of the staff, Im on my 3rd light = ( All in all though a really great idea, thank you for the idea

    1 reply

    Yeah I have run into that problem. Also the batteries on those lights aren't very resilient. I'll have to do some screwing around to improve the life of the lights.

    wow cool ! the whole cane is so style :P gona make one myself soon thanks for posting :))

    I make canes for people and needed something like this ,but I did not want to hollow it out to put in a light, this works for me i'll see what this one customer has to say about this one ... Thanks

    4 replies

    Just remember I got lucky with the head fitting on the old head conector if you can call it that, you might still need to fiddle with a drill to get it to sit on the top right, but thanks for finding my idea helpful

    I spoke with a friend at breakfast this am whose wife I made a cane for due to hip replacement ,She leaves early in the morning for work usu. before daylight. his sidewalk is lined with solar lights Sometimes they go out before she leaves, so He put a switch on the solar lights that he pushes on several of the solar lights Take the solar light apart so the light is exposed, Cut one wire connect one side to the charger side and the other side to the light. solder connections. wrap with black tape. cut a hole in the side of the solar light to fit your light and glue in place... now the switch will keep the light off till needed without interrupting the charging process suggest push button switch so the sides will be smoother... Good luck

    We get inspiration for projects and to make our projects better from this site. that is what makes instructables great . If i have something that will help I will sent you a note .

    excellent combo. This will get noticed very quickly.