Intro: Solar Powered Ostrich Egg
Some time ago I won an instructables contest and received all kinds of solar powered gadgets. Wonderful! Among those things were three solar powered camping lights. A fun design, like a bulb with the middle part missing. I put them outside in the garden and at night they shine with a bright white light for several hours. So? Why mess with a success story?
Well, for camping and hiking the plastic shape seems fun and fine, but for permanent use in the garden its a bit eh..., cheap?
And as I'm using the lights for atmosphere, and not for reading I did not mind making them a little less bright.
A dear friend of mine brought me a bag full of empty ostrich eggs from South Africa. "You will find use for them". And so I did.
Follow me along a few simple steps to create a mesmerizing sight in your garden at day ánd nighttime when automatically the eggs light up without any effort, batteries or electric cables.
Step 1: Tools
Tools I used:
mini multi purpose drill ( Dremel)
with accessories: grinding wheel,grinding cilinder, 3 mm drill.
small nylon ring
Step 2: Light Adjustment
Really, it's only a light adjustment.
Remove the socket like part of the light. It destroys the "bulb" effect, but somehow I like the design better without. No "would be" smart gadget, but a straightforward object to use. Put the hook directly on the metal handle.
Step 3: Egg Hatching
Draw a circle the same size as the light. I used the inner circle of a masking tape roll. With the grinding wheel cut off. I did one with a metal hacksaw and that worked too ( only slower). Don't be alarmed by the smell. Like scorching hair; "yough".
If present remove as much from the inner skin of the egg, a thin white membrane. See if the light fits and adjust the hole with the other grinding tool.
Step 4: Holes
Drill a 3mm hole in the other side of the egg. It's purpose is to attach wire and release rain caught inside. To protect the egg, and secure the drill from slipping I put some masking tape over the egg before drilling.
I drilled a hole in the light as well to release rainwater. The lights are not as watertight as the claim to be. You can see drops on the inside of the light before drilling.
Step 5: Wire
Cut of a piece of wire approx. 80 cm. I used a brass(copper?) like wire. Fold it in half and turn the top a few times to form a circle. Thread a nylon ring on the double wire up to the circle. It should not fall of.
Insert the two wire ends through the big holeat the top, and out the small hole at the bottom. Pull them through as much as possible until the ring hits the bottom.
Step 6: Assemble and Enjoy
Put the light in the egg and twist the wires around the handle of the light. Find some branch, trellis or pergola to hang them outside. Set the switch to "1" ( less bright, longer lasting than "2") and wait for the dark.
Meanwhile set up chairs, wineglasses and prepare some snacks.