Introduction: Solar String Lights

About: I like taking electronics apart and finding a project to do with them, like one time I took apart a computer. Or two, of three, or four! And I put one in a cardboard case, but it would not boot up, I did not…
These are some solar string lights made from 97 cent solar garden lights from Wall-Mart, and a broken string of LED lights from IKEA.  So the total cost for ME was less then 3 dollars because I had most of the parts laying around the house.  All I had to do is wire, cut, glue, and add some finishing touches and then I was done!

Step 1: Parts and Tools


1. 3 solar lights
2. 1 string of LED lights
NOTE: The string can not be more then 10 LEDs
3. wire

1. hot glue gun
2. soldering iron
3. screwdriver
4. drill
6. solder
7. wire strippers

Step 2: Preparing the Solar Lights

Start by twisting the top off of the light so you just have the solar panel and light.  Then unscrew the screws on the light to reveal the circuit board, a good way to not lose your screws it to put them on a magnet.  I used a HD magnet.  Then push the LED out of the hole by using the screwdriver, make shure to save the cap!

Step 3: A Little Bit of Math...

Yes there is math in this part.  The batteries in my lights are 1.2v so here is the problem I did:

Step 4: Patterns

Now figure out a pattern that you would like the solar panels to go in.  Mine is a triangle.

Step 5: Mark the Lights

Now mark the lights where they meet.  This will be where the wires go to connect the lights together.

Step 6: Masher THEN Mark

Masher 2cm. down from the mark that you just made, and put a dot.  This will be where you drill so that the wires can go through.

Step 7: Cut Holes

Use a drill to drill out holes big enough to fit a wire through.

Step 8: Marking

Line up all of the lights in a row with the circuit boards facing outwards, and mark a dot on the right side this is the positive lead of the LED

Step 9: Glue

Glue your shape together with the hot glue gun do not glue over the holes, but make sure all of the holes are lined up correctly so you can put a wire through it.

Step 10: Cut LEDs

Take the batteries off, and snip the LEDs off of the board, but leave a space to attach wires onto them later on

Step 11: Wiring

Wire it all up as shown.

Step 12: Glue

Put a dot of glue in between the two leads so that they don't touch.

Step 13: Close It Up...

Step 14: Finished!

Now you are finished!  There are lots of things that you can add to improve the design of the solar lights like adding a switch to control the lights.  So go experiment with it!