Solar Light Take-Apart

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There was a box of solar path lights on sale at Target. Something like $30 for a 10-light set. I picked up a set and stripped it for parts.

Step 1: Basic Units

There are two types of lights in the set: eight path lights and two spotlights. The path lights have their own, built-in solar cells. The two spotlights have a single, larger solar cell.

Step 2: Path Lights

Each path light contains:
- AA nicad
- white LED
- solar cell (roughly 2.5V no load)
- photocell
- charging circuit
- AA battery holder

The charging circuit consists of a couple diodes, a couple resistors and a capacitor.

Step 3: Spotlights

The spotlight set contains:
- 2 white LEDs
- 2 AA nicads
- a battery holder
- a slightly more sophisticated charging circuit
- a larger solar cell (3V no-load)

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    12 Discussions

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    ianb505

    9 years ago on Introduction

    i use these same lights and three 'seven segments' leds (you know, the number 8) to make an advanced perminiet led throwie. i'd make an constructable but i don't have a camera of any quality. ps: the lights read "PCP" it's a limited medium.

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    hhhh1997

    9 years ago on Introduction

    i am in NZ i brought 30 solar lights for 7bucks 7bucks for 30 light

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    Yerboogieman

    10 years ago on Introduction

    thats really kool, an instructable dedicated to taking apart solar lights and you listed the parts inside.

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    digjam

    10 years ago on Introduction

    I love that you tore this thing apart (for whatever your evil design calls for), but I think maybe going forward you may want to get a Dremmel and save yourself some of those rough edges! In any case, hurry up and post your project, we all can't wait to see to what evil ends you have repurposed this light... BTW has anyone seen a post using pathlights to make a solar powered illuminated house number sign? I could have sworn I saw one here somewhere...

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    Thanks for posting this - I was thinking of doing this for a project, but now I know they would have the parts I need!

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    mspitze

    11 years ago on Introduction

    What about the LED's ? Are they bright? I think the charger in the spotlight uses a FET or Transistor to deliver the proper current to the LED. I am curious as to what type of LED is inside the spotlight.

    1 reply
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    degroofmspitze

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    The LEDs aren't overly bright but not bad. I've added a photo to the last step that shows the LED from one of the spotlights.