I had an old skylight sitting in my ceiling in darkness. It was the result of a roof repair.
The skylight in the roof section had to be removed due to leaks, and it has been some years now.
When speaking to people about re-installing a new skylight, I was getting feedback from suppliers, that there are no promises of no leaks, or the quotes went through the roof. So I sat pondering what to do.
After completing my garden solar light project (see my instructable ), I thought I would use up some more of the LEDs I had left over, and retrofit my skylight and make my own solar powered LED skylight.
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Step 1: Equipment & Tools Needed.
1 x Old skylight
1 x Can a white spray paint (Bunnings / hardware store)
1 x Clear Plastic Sheet (ebay - purchased left over from a different project)
1 x 10w Solar panel (already had laying around from an old solar pond pump I no longer use)
1 x 20m Garden Lighting Cable (Bunnings / hardware store)
1 x LED Strip light connectors to suit 5050 LEDs (ebay)
1 x part of 5M 300led 5050 LED SMD Flexible Strip Light 12V Waterproof (re-used from umbrella project)
Step 2: Assembly and Testing
The solar panel
I tested the solar panel with a single string of LEDs and found the panel still worked, even in a shaded room. Which meant the rest of the project could go ahead. The solar panel had been sitting on my old patio roof for some time it was used once for a small pond pump, but the pump wasn't that great.
But now I can use the panel for something different. I didn't need a battery with this project, as I just wanted light in my dark hallway when it was light outside, not at night.
Step 3: Skylight Set Up
The old skylight had a horrible shade of yellow, which really showed against the ceilings white paint job, so I used a can of white spray paint and gave the exposed part of the skylight a quick coat.
Closing off the back of the skylight
My roof cavity has blown in insulation which makes it very dusty up there, and the inserts of the skylight diffusers got quite grotty, so they got a good scrub. But I wanted to close off the back of the skylight unit to the roof cavity to stop this from happening again. I had a sheet of Clear PETG Plastic Sheet, that was left over from another project, so I used what I had left to fill the back of the skylight, then used duct tape to seal around the edges and the hole where I ran out of the plastic sheet. This was used only to stop the dust and insulation getting into the skylight and keeping the diffuses clean and bright from the inside.
Step 4: Setting the LEDs
Setting the LEDs
I wanted the LEDs to point down towards the diffuses, so I used some tape to keep the LEDs in place, then super glued them into place. In setting the LED strip I shaped the strip into little waves which made it easier to place around the inside diameter facing down, but also to fit the long strip, so it didn't overlap.
When the glue dried I removed the tape but found it ripped some of the paint off the inside of the skylight, look I wasn't that worried because the LEDs where pointing down and not reflecting off the sides, and if I really wanted to I could have covered the LEDs and painted the inside of the skylight with the spray paint.
Connecting the LEDs to the panel
I used a LED Strip light connector, to the LEDs in the skylight and slipped the wire of the connector out one of the small side holes. This was then connected to the 20m garden cable, then to the solar panel, everything worked and the skylight shone bright. So next was to get the solar panel back on the old patio roof and to disconnect the wire and get it through the roof to the skylight and rejoin it again.
The only painful part of this project was the old wire clips on the skylight (getting them back into the ceiling).
I am so happy with the end result.
Even days later just walking into my once dark hallway, that needed a light switched turned on. To now a hallway filled with light and putting a smile on my face, so happy I finally got around to it.
I hope you enjoyed this instructable.
This is an entry in the
Indoor Lighting Contest