I had a few antique soda bottles lying around collecting dust and finally decided to do something with them. This was a fun little project and it turned out very well! Hope you like it!
What you'll need:
-A log (I used cedar)
-A few bottles (I like the look of old soda bottles, but you can use just about any type of bottle for this project)
-An old solar garden light with a 5-6V solar panel in it.
-A few LEDs (one for each bottle)
-Bottle caps (one for each bottle)
-A battery holder (I salvaged this and my LEDs from an old flashlight)
-Rechargeable batteries (I used 3 AAAs)
-Drill and bits (You will need some specialty bits: a 1" Forstner bit, a 5/16" diamond glass drilling bit and a hole saw)
-Soldering iron and solder
-Hot glue gun
-Screwdriver(s) (to take apart your solar light)
Step 1: Take Your Solar Light Apart
This is usually a fairly simple task. There are tons of different types and designs of solar garden lights, so each one will have a different way of coming apart. The top of the lantern is usually a 'twist and lock' type design, so all you have to do is hold the bottom of the light with one hand and twist the top counter-clockwise and it should come apart. Most of these lights have all of the circuitry in the top part that you just removed.
You may need a screwdriver to actually take apart the top cover to get all of the circuitry out of it. Use caution when removing the solar panel itself from the top cover. Sometimes you need to stick a very small flathead screwdriver or blade in beside the panel and wiggle it a bit to free the panel in order to remove it. Be very careful if you do this, as the solar panel is fragile and can break fairly easily if you start trying to pry it too hard. You may also need to snip the wires going from the circuit board to the solar panel in order to separate them from the top cover.
In my experience, the majority of solar garden lights don't fail because of the solar panel. It's much more likely that the batteries are just dead. You may get lucky and have some batteries that you can reuse from the light, but you may have to get some replacements.