Introduction: Solar Arc Reactor

About: Worked in electronics for 15 years. The soldering iron is mightier than the pen! ✍

The idea of Iron Man's infinite power Arc Reactor is awe-inspiring and led me to create the next best thing..a solar Arc Reactor night light!

Step 1: How It Works

The solar cell charges a lithium ion battery during the day and at night the LED Arc Reactor style ring switches on.
The circuit uses a LDR especially tweaked using a 270k resistor to turn on the night light when it starts becoming dusk.
The transistor in the circuit simply activates as the on switch when the light levels change.

Step 2: The Parts List

Soldering iron

x10 white smt LEDs (XPCWHT-L1-0000-00C01)

Tin copper wire, any strong flexible gage.

Insulated wire

Blank pcb breadboard.

3904 transistor


270k resistor

Schottky diode

3.6v Lithium ion battery

5.4v + solar cell

Glass jar

Step 3: The Circuit

Follow my circuit drawing and picture of the PCB.
The schottky diode is on the back of my solar cell between the positive of the solar cell and battery positive.

Depending on what value LDR you have, you might have to change your normal resistor value accordingly.
Use a variable resistor first to get the LEDs to switch on at the right light levels.

Create a ring of tin copper wire and a slighlty smaller one to fit inside and solder ends together.
Solder the negatives of all LEDs to one ring and positives to the other ring.
It can be tricky and the rings get very HOT!

Step 4: Future Reactors..

I've since created an arc reactor bag, with a wafer thin flexible solar cell and a smaller battery.
Also I've made a replica arc reactor from the Iron Man 1 movie, check out my other Instructable!

MAKE ENERGY: A US-Mexico Innovation Challenge

Participated in the
MAKE ENERGY: A US-Mexico Innovation Challenge