This time I made illuminated house number powered by solar panels.
How I made it - you can check by looking DIY video or you can follow up instructions bellow.
For this build you will need:
6 solar garden lights
1 AAA rechargeable battery
a piece of plastic board
some wires and isolating materials
L shape aluminium profile
Drill and bits
Rotary tool (for example Dremel)
Step 1: Solar Garden Lights
The power source for this project will be solar garden lights. They are super cheap and simple construction. In day time, they collecting solar power and store it in one AAA battery. When solar cell can't detect light any more - internal circuit turn LED On. For this project I'll use 6 of them.
Step 2: Preparing Materials
Like I said - there's solar panel, simple circuit and battery. From 6 solar garden lights I'll use all LEDs, all solar panels, one circuit and one battery. Let's take them a part and desolder necessary parts.
Step 3: Making One Big Solar Panel
To hold all solar panels in one place I made a simple holder by drilling 6 holes in piece of plastic.
Drilled small holes for wires and soldered them together.
All panels was connected in parallel and soldered to operating circuit board. Soldered two wires to connect LEDs later.
Step 4: Working on Panel
Those solar garden light came with one AAA 600mAh battery inside. I tested the real capacity of them - and got only about 50mah of capacity. So I'll change that crappy battery with Panasonic Eneloop with 750mAh of capacity.
Assembled everything back.
Sanded holder surface and painted in black. All panels fitted very snugly, so there's no need any additional glueing.
Step 5: Engraving Acrylic Plate
A number plate was made from 8mm acrylic. I have possibility to use a friends engraving laser machine. All engraving process took about 15 minutes.
Acrylic plate dimensions is 21 by 17 centimeters.
By cutting with laser it leaves very nice edge. It looks like been polished.
Laser engraved about few parts of millimeter in acrylic surface. Top quality job.
I left protection film on back of plate, until I'll finish fabrication process. So that's why acrylic is looking a little bit blue.
Step 6: Engraving Option With Rotary Tool
Engraving process could be done with any rotary tool and engraving bit. Here is a quick example. This is really time consuming process, but with some patience you could get very good results.
Step 7: Soldering LEDs
Drilled 6 holes to fit LEDs inside.
Before start soldering - I want to remind you, that LEDs are sensitive for polarity. There is the negative and opposite side the positive terminal.
All 6 LEDs will be soldered in parallel. I measured a good place for soldering point and marked it by pressing with nail. With electric wire striping pliers prepared surface for soldering, twisted wire on LED leg, soldered and isolated with shrinking tubes. In same technique was soldered all of rest LEDs and connector too.
Step 8: Mounting Bracket
Mounting bracket for acrylic plate was made from L shape aluminium profile. Drilled few fixing holes. Screwed bracket in place and glued connector. To make good joint I sanded both surfaces.
Step 9: Testing...
Ok let's peel off protective film of and take a look at final result.
Solar panels are detecting light, so LEDs are off. When lightning source was turn off - at the same moment LEDs will kick in and numbers starts glowing.
As you could see - glowing only engraved surface and edges of acrylic plate. This could be eliminated by painting edge, but at moment I like how it is.
Step 10: Instalation Outside
Let's mount every thing outside. Solar panel fixed on a roof.
Step 11: Operation at Night
Here is how it glows at night. I'm very happy how it looks. Numbers are illuminated very evenly. The intensity of light is very delicate. It it easily visible from 3 meters.
I hope you liked and will try to make it:)
Second Prize in the
Solar Contest 2016