How to Make Acorn Cap Solar LED Lights

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About: Our aim is to inspire you to create, explore and discover. We blog about our original craft tutorials, recipes, foraging, the Cotswolds, and developing well-being through being creative, spending time outdoo...

Our little acorn cap solar LED lights are perfect for adorning a fairy garden. They are powered using an adapted LED garden solar light, and light up our fairy herb garden beautifully when the sun goes down.

This tutorial is in two halves. First, we show you how to adapt the garden solar light and then how to make the string of acorn cap lights.

Step 1: Adapting a LED Solar Light to Power Your Own String of Lights.

LED Garden Solar Lights are cheap and readily available on the high street. The one we used for this project cost 79p. Our super simple step by step video shows you exactly how to adapt one so that you can use it to power your lighting project.

Note: This is a project that EVERYONE can achieve - you don't need any prior electronics experience. LED solar lights are low voltage which means there is no risk of electric shock.

Step 2: Making a String of Acorn Cap LED Lights.

To make a string of acorn cap LED lights you will need:

  • Acorn Caps
  • LED Bulbs
  • Copper Wire
  • Sticks (we used wooden round lolly sticks)
  • Solder and Soldering Iron
  • Small drill bit for making holes in the lolly sticks to feed the wire through
  • Something to stand your poles up in while you attach your wires and lights

We used plastic covered copper wire so had to strip the plastic off before we started to assemble our lights. We also assembled our street light poles and dipped them in a solution of tea to stain them.

Step 3:

Our caps were freshly collected and soft, so we were able to push the wires of the LED bulbs straight through them. If you are using dry caps, you may need to drill a little hole before you can insert yours. If you look closely at the photo above, you will see that one of the LED bulb stalks is longer than the other. The longer stalk is the positive. When you come to mount your bulbs onto the copper wire, all the positives must join the same wire otherwise that bulb inserted wrong will not light up!

Step 4:

Our string holds six acorn cap LEDs (any more and the solar unit might struggle to light them up). We started by stringing the copper wire onto our posts. Pilot holes drilled through the arms of the posts are used to pass the wire through. It is then wrapped around the arm to hold it secure. Once the lights are in use it is vital that the two copper wires don’t touch; otherwise, it will cause them to short.

Step 5:

Once the posts and wire are set up, you can solder the acorn cap LEDs into place. Remember to have all the positives (the long stalk) attached to the same wire.

Step 6:

Next solder your adapted solar power unit in place.

Step 7: Our Finished Fairy Garden Lights

Then it’s simply a matter of choosing where to position the lights in your fairy garden.

Step 8:

And waiting for the sun to go down.

Step 9:

If you have got this far you will see that I am no great film maker or electronics expert! What I am is someone who loves to craft and having a go at things. So I hope this tutorial encourages other people like me to try out some simple electronics projects - If I can do it, anyone can :)

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    5 Discussions

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    jessyratfink

    6 weeks ago

    AHHH! So cute! Just the perfect size for a fairy garden :D

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    Kink Jarfold

    6 weeks ago on Step 9

    I think the whole idea of a fairy garden is fascinating. Is there a video on how the entire layout was created? -- Kink

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    1 reply
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    CraftInvadersKink Jarfold

    Reply 6 weeks ago

    It's a working progress Kink - most of the bed is still under plastic waiting for me to finish it! I set myself the challenge of only having useful plants (eg herbs) in it, so it is proving a slow process to find plants that are small enough but are either edible or have another use. Thanks so much for your interest - I will share it all once it is finished :)