Introduction: Solar Bike Light

Picture of Solar Bike Light

Modify a solar garden walkway light into a solar powered bike light that charges during day riding and can be turned on at night!

Step 1: Obtain Materials

Picture of Obtain Materials

1. Solar Garden Light (G15439)
2. LED Lamp, from flashlight, I used (G15654)
3. Epoxy
4. Wire, solder, etc
5. Tools, drill, knife, screwdriver

1 and 2 have part numbers from the electronic goldmine.

Step 2: Take Apart the Solar Lamp

Picture of Take Apart the Solar Lamp

This should come naturally to most people here :)
There are 3 screws holding the 2 halves of electronics enclosure together, the transparent dome pops off easily.

Step 3: Add Your Lamp in Place of Exsisting LED

Picture of Add Your Lamp in Place of Exsisting LED

Using a soldering iron, de-solder the exsisting LED on the lamp and put it in your parts drawer/box/floor.

Be sure you have the polarity correct when you solder the leads of your lamp to the leads where the first LED used to be!

I covered the soldered connections in hot glue after I was done.

Step 4: Expand/Add Hole for Mounting to Bike

Picture of Expand/Add Hole for Mounting to Bike

Using a drill I expanded one of the holes in the plastic that held the solar panel. This let me mount the unit where my reflector used to be.

Step 5: Cut and Epoxy Lamp to Solar Lamp Unit

Picture of Cut and Epoxy Lamp to Solar Lamp Unit

I had to use a knife to expand the hole opposite of the mounting hole we drilled in the last step.

I set the lip of the lamp into the notch and epoxied it there, I also added epoxy to secure the wires and the LED's PCB.

Step 6: Mount to Your Bike!

Picture of Mount to Your Bike!

I was able to mount this by removing the reflector and just using the same screw and mounting plastic.

Use a screwdriver to tighten and loosen things and position the lamp to your liking. I found that when riding, the circuit turns off the light when under a street lamp.

Have fun, be safe, wear a helmet yada yada...


janisalnis (author)2011-09-28

I have converted regular bysicle lights into solar charged ones using a solar charger from Ebay.

mischka (author)2011-05-03

I just had the Idea to modify a solar garden light to a solar bike light ;-) - so nice to see that someone has done it before! Nice work, I have to build one.

hasan82 (author)2011-01-17

This is an undeniable fact that solar lights is a very useful application. This looks so simple to make a Solar Bike Light and I hope practically it will be as simple as it looks to design one.

secondhandsmote (author)2009-01-17

This looks like a fantastic project and I can't wait to try it, my neighbors moved out recently and left me with a stack of these garden lights. Any other cool projects using these? I'm trying to figure out how to combine them with some paper lamps from IKEA to make a delayed sunset in my bedroom.

jrgcool35 (author)2007-05-25

Hey I have a question... People usually use their light at night... last time a remembered at night there is no sun. Plus most people aren't really up to the idea to leave their nice bike outside where some person can see it and take it easily... But still a very good idea... You need to put a very large capacitator in there to power this thing.

zootboy (author)jrgcool352007-05-28

Good for you! You know there is no sun at night. That's why there's a RECHARGEABLE BATTERY in it. Not a capacitor. Also, have you ever heard of a bike lock? Then you can leave it in the sun and it won't be stolen.

awang8 (author)zootboy2009-01-05

I would just simply take the light off the bike and put in under direct sunlight in the backyard.

snapster (author)jrgcool352007-06-21

Ha ha... this reminds me of one of the funniest product reviews I've seen:
The guy didn't actually own any of the solar christmas lights, but he thought the idea was crap because he usually uses his christmas lights at night.

Pagemaker (author)2008-06-27

Could someone show me a way to convert this to a simple blinking LED. This is perfect , but I need one that will blink a red led all night and then turn off in the morning, which this would already do. I really appreciate it.

nak (author)Pagemaker2008-06-27

Get a solar light, find where they soldered the LED(S) remove the ones they installed and put a blinking LED from Radioshack in its place. I hope that helped.

Pagemaker (author)nak2008-06-29

I tried that nak, however there was not enough power to get the LED to blink. If I doubled the battery power it would blink... but one AA battery would't blink the led that I bought at RadioShack.

awang8 (author)Pagemaker2009-01-05

That's because red radioshack blinking LEDs are approx. 3v. That NiCd battery is approv 1.2v when fully charged. You can use 2 solar panels and 2 batteries but one solar panel and 1 battery is not enough.

joey2542667 (author)2008-11-22

umm, if you were to need a bikelight then it would probably be dark and you wouldn't get very much juice out of the solar panel.

nak (author)joey25426672008-11-22

Modify a solar garden walkway light into a solar powered bike light that charges during day riding and can be turned on at night!

Critical words to convey the idea, and it works, too bad my bike was stolen. :(

joey2542667 (author)nak2008-11-22

oh yeah, i guess i skipped over that. but ehere's the battery?

awang8 (author)joey25426672009-01-05

Look at the photo in step 2. What does the big round yellow thing on the top look like to you? In case you got brain rot and can't tell, it's called a battery.

digitalmouse (author)joey25426672008-12-26

and joey wins the Darwin award for not reading the first line in the article!

but it's a great idea! will be perfect for my velomobile!

joey2542667 (author)digitalmouse2008-12-26

W00T!!!! what do I win? a smack across the face, a bop on the head, decapatation, or all of the above?

awang8 (author)joey25426672009-01-05

All of the above.

bullet-head (author)2008-09-13


wiretapstudios (author)2008-05-21

Right now you can get these lights at Wal-Place and Big Lots for about 5 for 9.95. I have made quite few things out of them...

redsox59 (author)2008-05-15

The link for the light supplied in the instructable is dead. Is there a particular model that works better than others?

redsox59 (author)redsox592008-05-17

Also any tips on desoldering the LED? Its soldered into the back of the board, any tips of getting that out?

nak (author)redsox592008-05-15

Not really, just any solar LED walkway light!

redsox59 (author)nak2008-05-15

I mean the LED flashlight. Already got the solar garden light.

nak (author)redsox592008-05-16

Hmm, not really. Something cheap :) That one used to be around $2-3 if I am remembering right.

WeaponX (author)2008-04-22

This is a great instructional. I do have a question though. Can this set-up get wet? I use my bike all year long, even in snow and rain. I figure the solar panel would be alright, but not so sure on the LED light used. Thanks for a great idea.

nak (author)WeaponX2008-04-22

Yeah I think that would be fine, as long as you used epoxy over the power connections and other points that could short out in water. I would recommend making a better mount, I lost this one while going over some bumps and had to go find it the next day :/ But yeah, definately worked great before it fell off, I could probably update the instructable with a better mount if I get around to it, so many projects!

Yerboogieman (author)2008-04-19

how would you make it more voltage to use a different bulb

nak (author)Yerboogieman2008-04-20

For this you would have to wire in a battery holder with ni-cads in series to get a higher voltage. Same goes with solar cells, wire in series for higher voltage, parallel for current. :)

night_wolf2300 (author)2007-11-04

well some of people are just learning about the site and getting interested in do it yourself stuff

DIYfer (author)2007-10-06

NIce job Nak, don't give attention to the naysayers. I did something similar to your project. I'll leave you with one of my favorite quotes "Imagination is more important than knowledge." Albert Einstein Keep imagining and building.

James (pseudo-geek) (author)2007-05-04

pretty sweet. but for some reason only 2 people (including myself) have posted on this is almost one year. why dont people respond to such cool ideas?

ponytail (author)2006-12-25

If you install a switch in line with the solar panel. It will simulate a no light condition to the circut board thus keeping the led on. You just need to turn the switch back on to charge the battery in daylight. :)

About This Instructable




Bio: Twitter: @mindsforge
More by nak:MSP430 Accelerometer microSD DataloggerHow to make a Filiberto's post cardHomebrew C64 "Paddle" box
Add instructable to: