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Has anyone converted their Christmas string or icicle lights to solar?

I'd like to learn how to connect a small solar cell to power my Christmas lights so I don't have to plug them in. I expect that this would include some rechargeble batteries, and a blocking diode? What about resistors? Any help with this idea and the steps involved would be welcomed.

8 Replies

Thaikarl (author)2010-12-23

most of the "how to's" i've found use 12v xmas lights or start with battery powered lites. i have boxes of 110v led xmas lights. there must be something in the LED string that brings the voltage down to 4v or so and rectifies the AC to DC. there should be a way to find the voltage-lowering thing, remove it, and insert a solar panel supply. (if i knew what i was talking about i could use more precise language) so i would also like to see a instructable on this conversion. i found *part* of the answer:   http://www.fly.net/~thundt/xmas12v.htm    but this is for regular incandesant bulbs.  might be the same concept for LED lites....????

morjt11 (author)2010-12-01

Yes it has been done type this into utube and you will see it done (How to make Solar CHRISTMAS Lights)

mrgre99 (author)2009-03-11

Although i havent tried it I have considered attatching my christmas lights to some of the solar garden lights you can now buy cheaply. I havent looked at the voltage ect but assume it would be pretty straight forward as they are already made for converting solar to led.

arnold54 (author)mrgre992009-03-11

Interesting -- how would you go about doing that? Are you thinking of dismantling your solar garden lights and using their solar cells?

mrgre99 (author)arnold542009-03-11

I'm not sure, until I read your question I forgot I wanted to do it. I saw some solar lights in the 99p store and thought if I were to disonnect the light and solder wires to the terminals then I could attatch it to any similar powered lights i had available. I also thought that at 99p each I could put a few on top of the chicken house, remove the lights and reattatch them inside the house. the solar lights I had simply charged batterys and had a light sensor inside so if you taped over the sensor and placed them in a window on a little bracket it might work. Without having both the solar lights and the tree lights in front of you theres no way of knowing

arnold54 (author)mrgre992009-03-11

Thanks for your comments -- you've given me something to think about.

iPodGuy (author)2009-03-11

Yeah, I'm going to go ahead and rate this question with a 5 because I'd like to know too.

arnold54 (author)iPodGuy2009-03-11

Thanks! I hope someone responds with the "know how".