Introduction: Solar Mailbox Light for $1

Picture of Solar Mailbox Light for $1

I hate sticking my hand into a dark mailbox to look for my mail at night. We have big spiders in the neighborhood. So instead of buying a mailbox light, I thought of making one when I came across a solar path light at the 99 cent store.

Step 1: Get a Solar Path Light

Picture of Get a Solar Path Light

Buy the solar path light at 99 cent store or get a more expensive one from Walmart or Home Depot. The cheaper the better since you are only using the electronics.

Step 2: Take the Electronics Out

Picture of Take the Electronics Out

Take apart the light and carefully remove the solar cell, battery and circuitry. Be careful not to damage any wiring or the solar cell. Since the plastic housing was glued together, I used a pair of diagonal pliers and simply cut it apart to remove the electronics.

Step 3: Install Circuit Into Your Mailbox

Picture of Install Circuit Into Your Mailbox

My mailbox has a plastic top that was removeable with screws. I simply used double-sided foam tape to stick the solar cell to the sun facing side of the mailbox and the circuit board to the inside wall. Make sure to stick the solar cell on the side that has the most sun during the day. If your mailbox top is not removeable, you may have to desolder the solar cell from the circuit, drill a hole in your mailbox for the wire and resolder the wire.

Step 4: Done

Picture of Done

Here is a picture of the inside of my mailbox at night. It is bright enough to easily see any letters may have in the box at night. The light should work for many hours after the sun goes down.

Comments

graydog111 (author)2013-09-27

Great idea and a great instructable. :-)

doo da do (author)2012-09-02

Cut the wires, make them longer, drill hole big enough for the wire seal with hot glue or silicon (bulb inside). Put solar panel on sunny side. Less opening for leaks.
Doodado

moffett8 (author)2012-02-27

Why not just cut the top of the solar light off (everything buy the shaft) and drill a hole in the top back of the mailbox the size of the light part. Insert in the hole with the solar cell part sticking up on the top with the actual light part inside the top back of the mail box. Seal around the edge of the top part with some silicon caulk and you have a quick and easy way that only tales a few minutes to do. Just make sure you mount in the back of the mail box on the top.

georion (author)moffett82012-08-27

Thats what is so GREAT about Instructables,,,,,
Someone does Something,,,,,,,,,,,
And it gets others to do some Thinking,,,,
I love Instructables..............Dont u???????

warrengoff (author)2011-11-12

Good idea but I'd still wear gloves.

l8nite (author)2011-11-10

neat idea !

knife141 (author)2011-11-10

Nice idea -- very useful and practical. Thanks for posting this!

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