Solar Powered Night Lights

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About: I like to tinker and experiment with electronics, robotics, programming, and photography. Along with my latest interest in Steampunk.

Intro: Solar Powered Night Lights

Do something useful with your solar powered garden light. Instead of lighting up the garden path at night for that opossium raiding the trash, bring the light into the house. Use it as a solar powered night light.

I mounted two garden lights on the roof with wire extensions of the leds brought into the house. Just the solar cell unit with built-in batteries are on the roof. The led (Light-Emitting-Diode) that makes the light is in the house. The solar lights are mounted on top of a swamp cooler on my roof with the wiring brought through the vent.

Step 1: Mount the Solar Lights

Use 1 inch PVC tubing to make a holder for the lights. This is what the light holder looks like after construction and mounted on the cooler. But first, go get your saw and start cutting some tubing. The next step will show you how.

Step 2: Make the Light Stand

Cut two pieces of 1 inch PVC tubing, each one foot long. Join in the middle with an elboe. Use two more elboes on the end to support the up right post (black posts included in 4 pak) for the lights. I used two lights from a 4 pak at Home Depot. Hampton Bay # 498-959 on sale at the time for $16. The black upright posts fit in the elboe perfectly.

Step 3: Remove LEDs

Remove LEDs from the lights and attach to a twisted pair of wires long enough to go down the vent into your house. I used a small connector attached to a short pair of wires coming from the light. Then connect to your longer pair. Doing so will make disconnection for servicing easy. You can use a pair of wirenuts instead of the connector.

Step 4: Attach LED

Attach the led to a connector or a short lenght of a twisted pair of wires. This is installed inside your house were you want your night light. I mounted my leds just poking out the vent inside the hallway of my house. Wirenuts instead of a connector can be used to connect the mounted leds to the wires brought down from the solar lights. Led is shown with short leads connected to a connector. The heat shrink tubing is unshrinked to show assembly.

Step 5: Night Light Is On

Solar Night Light (my webpage)Now when the sun goes down, the led will light up inside your house. I used two lights to make two night lights. You can use just one if you like. You can also place leds in other areas of the home.

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    57 Discussions

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    SIRJAMES09

    3 years ago on Step 5

    vaseline on any & all electrical connections wil stop corrosion in its tracks...

    cost of vaseline is about $2 max n my area as opposed to some of the other products that run $5 to $10 per ounce....

    Just a thought....

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    SIRJAMES09

    3 years ago on Step 5

    so Is everything just stuck together? or did you use PVC adhesive??

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    antoinix

    4 years ago on Introduction

    It gave me an idea for an aluminium solar light stand with 3 poles. I needed something strong enough to hold 3 BIG solar flood lights and their respective solar panels.
    Working on it.

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    Love this concept, but made a couple of changes to fit my projects. Placed the solar panels inside my sun-facing window, at the very top behind the Venetian blind (so even if it is all the way up you can't see it). Put the battery pack just out of the sun and ran the wires to the closet door next to it and mounted the LEDs inside the door frame with a contact switch on the door. When the closet door is opened,lights pop on and together, the two are good enough for most days. Completely hassle-free.

    3 replies
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    Thanks. Looking over your version again, I'm sorely tempted to give it a try. I'm thinking of doing this on my front porch, but a small adjustment. I notice that the lights are just left exposed, but I would run them right behind the actual light cover. Picked out some nice ones, and running the night light through them would avoid excess clutter and give a more professional look.

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    storre

    7 years ago on Introduction

    I want to make garden led lights using those 12v LED strip lighting. The ones I have are waterproof and use 4.8W per meter. I want to use 1 meter per light. I need to do about 20 so want to keep the parts to a minimum but all have their independent solar panels and batteries. Can you suggest a cheap way to do this? The lights I already have rolls of. I get a good amount of sunlight and just want the lights on most of the night. Maybe an auto shut off at a certain voltage so to not totally discharge the batteries.

    Thanks!

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    jontj2000

    8 years ago on Step 5

    I have a solar panel on the  outside of the south wall that goes with a set of solar rocks for a pond. I ran the wire threw the wall and put the lights over the kitchen cabinets for night lights. Free night lightning      t l

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    flying pie

    8 years ago on Step 3

    im going to camp a i want light in a tent and to charge a ds and phone/ labtop also power a cfl

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    botronics

    9 years ago on Introduction

    I was on my roof adjusting my home built UHF antenna (doesn't work for digital) for the switch over and took a look at my lighting system. The garden lights fell apart in my hands as I was removing the top. The sun has totally broken down the plastic. The black abs plastic part is still in good shape. Thats the part with the solar cells and electronics. I came up with a way of fitting the solar heads to glass canning jars. The solar head makes a nice power unit for jarred devices. Now I have a total of four broken lights with good solar heads. I wrote a blog at this link to share with the world.

    2 replies

    Let me help you out With the plastic part here is what you need to do first is it on a stick or flat on the ground let me no then i can help you with the prob k (%)

    With the lights on the ground, the sun does not hit the plastic at low angles.  When mounted up high on a roof, the plastic gets exposed to UV more. Painting or covering the clear plastic helps with this problem.

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    botronicsdoo da do

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    The newer ones have a single cell powering a Joule Thief type of circuit. One advantage with single cells is no cell reversal during over discharge. A "C" cell would give more storage capacity without the cell deep discharging every night. Meaning longer life.

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    Hycrodoo da do

    Reply 8 years ago on Step 3

    The solar lights we have that are similar in look to those ones are two-battery setups...

    Well i am making one solar yard light and i hooked 3 panels together and hooked all 3 lights up 2 lights to the one light and then now it works great & for the batterys i am using one C.battery.

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    Hycro

    8 years ago on Step 4

    Lol...I was about to say..."Awful big leads on that LED, don't you think it's overkill?" then you said the heat-shrink wasn't shrunk yet...

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    Hycro

    8 years ago on Introduction

    Now up here where I live, where we get colder winters (with ice, snow, all that stuff, though we're getting more rain than snow every year, but still have the icy coldness) it would be advisable to have just the solar cell and the photocell on the rooftop, though as a personal choice I would have the photocell inside, near where I have the night light, so that it would come on when I need it inside, which is usually before it's needed outside.

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    hcold

    10 years ago on Introduction

    What's the possibility of keeping the LED with the lamp, and just using fibre optics to transfer the light into the house?