Introduction: Cheap Solar LED Throwie!
We have all seen the basic LED throwie: a coin cell battery, a magnet, and a LED. Tape all those parts together and boom, you're done! This is all well and good, but these disposable throwies are incredibly wasteful and bad for the environment. In a world with increasing technology, we should not leave our environment behind in these developments. This new and improved design not only lasts longer then its coin cell counterparts, but it also turns off automatically during the day!
Tools and Materials:
-Path light (see next step for details)
- Thin solid core wire
- LED of choice
- Drill (with bit the size of the LED you chose)
- Heat shrink tubing
- Small magnet
- Soldering Iron
- Hot glue gun
Step 1: Kits for Sale!
I am trying something new with this Instructable! I have made kits for this product, which saves you the trouble of going out and trying to find all the special pieces (some only available in bulk). All you have to do is purchase one of the kits and follow the instructions provided here (starting from step 3).
What is included in the kit?
The kit includes a path light I have found to work the best, a pre-drilled hole for the LED, some wire, and a color-changing LED. They are up for sale on my website linked below for 15 dollars and I am available to answer any questions here or on the site. Now let's get building!
Link to the kits- https://www.gadgetflux.com
Step 2: Finding the Right Light
The key aspect of this project is to locate the right light. I spent weeks trying to find one that supplies the right voltage while maintaining a decent price point. After weeks of searching, I finally found this light at Lowe's and it is ideal for the project. The light supplies the right amount of voltage without breaking the bank, features a flat surfaces for mounting the LED, and easily hacked the internal workings. If you go with a different light, be sure to double check the voltage to see if it will work with your chosen LED.
Step 3: Drill the Hole for the LED
It is easiest to drill the hole first before you open anything and while everything is still secure. Since this light has eight flat sides it makes it really easy to mount the LED. Drilling the hole a little small helps the LED create a waterproof seal without any glue, giving it a cleaner look.
Step 4: Disassembly of the Head and Replacing the LED
This should be pretty straight forward. Take apart the head of the light and unsolder the LED. Be careful not to damage the PCB, they are delicate and are a pain to fix.
Step 5: Solder in the New Wire
Solder in a new wire. A new solid core wire works best.
Step 6: Finishing the Internals
From here things are pretty simple, just slide the heat shrink over the wires, solder the LED to the wires (taking care to make sure you get the polarity right), and push the LED through the hole.
Step 7: Add the Magnet
To finish up this project just add some hot glue to a few of the holes on the bottom to weatherproof the light and and glue the magnet to the middle. Then, SHAZAM, you are a mean green solar throwie machine.
Step 8: Enjoy!
That's it, enjoy your new throwie! I made one of these about a year ago and threw it on my roof and it is still going strong to this day! If you make one on your own post a picture so I can get a chance to see all the different designs. Until next time, keep on creating!