Instructables

Solar rechargeable "light bulb". Ideal for camping. (made from recyclable materials)

Picture of Solar rechargeable
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Now when I go camping I like to escape technology and just enjoy nature, however I often want light at night in my tent, who doesnt? With all your electronics at home and an outlet far from reach light is hard to find at night, so in this I will show you how I made a solar rechargeable light bulb using LEDs and common materials. Its eco friendly and fun! Ok now lets get started :)
 
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Step 1: Things needed. (no image)

Things needed;
9 white LEDs
1 standard diode
1 solar panel ( i used two)
1 dpdt switch (i used two spdt side by side)
 rechargeable battery. ( I used a 4.7 nickel based battery)  
1 ten ohm resistor (might not be needed in your case)

OTHER THINGS NEEDED;
tin foil
cardboard
2 liter pop bottle
white spray paint
soldering iron
hot glue 
coat hanger
some fishing line

Step 2: The cardboard and pop bottle

Picture of The cardboard and pop bottle
First cut off the top of a 2L pop bottle and then cut a small cardboard circle that would fit nicely inside of the bottle top.
The cardboard circle will be our make shift circuit board. It will hold all the electric componets.

Step 3: The circuit.

Picture of The circuit.
This circuit is pretty easy and before we start putting the componets together on our make shift circuit board lets take a look at the schematic. The most important componet in this circuit is the DPDT switch. in one position it allows you to charge the battery (solar) and in the other position it turns on the leds.  The DPDT switch also acts as an off switch. 
nodoubtman1 year ago
Hi! You didn't mention the voltage of the solar panel along the mA

thank yoU!
marC:)
out-of-the-box (author)  nodoubtman1 year ago
Hmm I cant really remember the current. I used to 5 volt panels in parallel to get more current. The battery i used is rated at 300 mah (i think, cant remeber for sure). It takes around 8 hours to fully charge. I will try to measure it soon and get back to you :)
JCG51 year ago
On the negative wire from the solar panel,it then is attached to a resistor and then marked positive at the end of the wire. Is that on purpose or does the resistor create an opposite charge?
out-of-the-box (author)  JCG51 year ago
the schematic is a bit clustered. I got confused for a second too and I made it lol
JCG5 JCG51 year ago
Nevermind I messed up while looking at it.
Dr.Bill1 year ago
Ha Ha Ha Ha! Very good. There are automatic charge / automatic on at dusk pcb's that come with commercially made garden lamps that I save when ever I run across them. With the addition of one of these boards and a switch to turn onn and off, charging your batteries would no longer be manual.

This particular board is well marked on the foil side to serve my bad memory ~
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out-of-the-box (author)  Dr.Bill1 year ago
now thats a neat idea! I looked at the pictures and I can see a LDR and a switching transistor. To my knowledge those two componets are what causes the battery to charge and the lights turn on. when the batteries charge the ldr isactivated and once night time rolls in the light turns on (ldr deactivated). I could posibly make a similar circuit. there are a few componets on that board that Im not sure do, but thanks for the share! it helped a lot.
Picture on the left has a slide switch for turning LED's on HighPower that lasts 5 hours and low power that lasts 10 hours with the batteries supplied. 3 volts. I have taken the battery box and rewired it to produce 6 volts to play a radio for the last week with no sign of losing voltage. The last is a picture of one of those cans from the top of a street light that turns the lamp on and off. Good for 105 to 305 volts and still works !
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out-of-the-box (author)  Dr.Bill1 year ago
I like the radio idea :) That sounds very cool. That one picture is a street light circuit? How did you get that lol That would be fun to have
Power Company took down one of the street lights and left it lay on the curb. When they took off I moved in because I knew what that thing was and I wanted it.
If I had ah car I would have gotten the whole thing!
Wyle_E1 year ago
A SPDT switch would work. Just connect the cathodes of the LEDs to the negative terminals of both the battery and the solar panel.
out-of-the-box (author)  Wyle_E1 year ago
You are right, I guess I over looked that. I must have thought switching both + and - was the only way. It works tho :p. thanks for your feed back :)