UV LED Solar Light Modification





Introduction: UV LED Solar Light Modification

Change a yellow or white light solar path light to an Ultra Violet Path Light.

Step 1: Take a Solar Path Light and Remove the Top From the Clear Globe

--DO NOT look directly into a UV led when it is on...EVER. UV light is dangerous to unprotected eyes so throw on a pair of UV blocking sunglasses for this project--

Take the top off the solar light and place it on your workbench solar cell side down. This should cause the led to light up and shine into your face. If it is not on figure out where the photo cell is and tape over it to trick it into thinking it is night. You will need to have the light ON. When you have the light on use your wire cutters and snip off the LED.

Step 2: Polarity Check and Solder

Take your UV LED and touch the two wires that are now exposed from the light to the two ends of the LED. If it does not light flip it over so the ends(long and short) are reversed. LEDs are diodes and as such they will only allow current to flow one direction. Knowing that the light was ON when you cut it you can assume there is power(1.5 volts) in these exposed wires.

Step 3: Solder

Once you have a lighting diode you can solder it. Don't worry about the power being on it is only 1.5 v

Step 4: Paint It GLOW IN THE DARK

Find something white and paint it with glow in the dark paint. I found the plastic tab from an orange juice carton. I use Glow PaintGlow Paint fromwww.glowinc.com Glow Inc. www.glowinc.com It is the BEST glow paint by far.

Step 5: Put It All Together

Put the painted glow tab in the cup and put the light on top of it. Turn out the lights!
You can use the patio light's original globe and paint the insides of it if you like also. I am using a glass votive cup here.



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    16 Discussions

    I'm wondering what the uv led rating was. Most small solar landscape lights run on 1.2v to 1.4 volts from the battery. Is a 1.2v to 1.4v uv led available anywhere for purchase? I'm interested in trying this but that is one piece of information that was left out of the directions. Most of the uv led's that I can find are powered by 4volts.

    The ideal uv led is 365 nm. I found a 405-365nm but again, it's forward voltage was 3.5 volts.

    Can anyone assist? Thanks,.

    The UV glow will be much brighter than the traditional outdoor lighting and will prove to be much better. I am not sure if it will be good on the eyes though at night, but as long as you don't look into it you should be fine.

    Great idea. And I say that because I bought a bunch of bits for making a UV sunjar, with orange UV paint (because my wee boy's fave colour is orange). I'm also scooping the bits from a £1 garden light and so far it's going well. I'll post an instructable on here when it's done...Good job! I thought I was the first person to do this on this site, however.

    3 replies

    If you want a really interesting effect try mixing some daylight white fluorescent pigment into a clear paint and painting the insides of the jar. Daylight white is just that, it looks white until you shine UV on it and then it turns fluorescent. This is a truly stunning effect. I have only ever found this pigment powder at a company called
    I would recommend the sample pack to get you started and believe it or not this stuff looks white under normal light. Do not confuse this with glow in the dark. This UV powder needs the uv light to display it's color where glow in the dark gets charged up and will glow with no light. For awesome Glow In The Dark Paint water based and solvent based in a huge a variety of colors Please consider using
    Glow Inc.

    Also check out the only glow in the dark forum at

     im confused about the 'paint something white' part of your instructions. so, could you put a pic of how u painted the inside of a jar with this stuff (if you did it at all) 

    I did not paint the jar, I painted a small whiteplastic tab with the glow paint. You can paint the inside of the jar if you want but the white/glow object in the direct path of the uv light will maximize the lighting effect.

    would i be able to use this as a rechargeable battery for my digital camera? or would something go wrong. please write back because i am very curious and want free battery power from solar!!

    4 replies

    This is a GREAT Idea ! YES, You would be able to use these solar lights as battery chargers but only for NiCad rechargeable batteries(AKA Nickel Cadimum). These type of rechargeable batteries(NiCad) do not last as long per charge as the NiMh type that are popular now but on the up side they come free with the solar lights! Otherwise you can buy them as "replacement" batteries for solar lights and they are a bit cheaper than the NiMH type. If you are going to use them(solar lights) as battery chargers I would recommend removing the LED entirely so your batteries will never discharge when the sun goes down. Maybe do an instructable on it!

    i will hopefully buy 2 of these, that way i could get free energy for my camera. but do the NiCd batteries heat up and may explode if used in a digital camera?

    I do not know for sure because i have not done it myself. Check the instructions for your camera to see what they say. I do not think it would be a problem but you should be certain and check with your manual first. If you do not have your manual any more check the cameras manufacturer website. Please let us know how it works out for you.

    I should do this, but leave in the normal light. Scorpions glow under UV and this would make it safer to walk at night

    1 reply

    The normal light would work good for the glow but, this week I worked with some glow paint and UV LEDS and that combination seemed to make the "glow" brighter and last much longer. At least that it was it seemed to me. That is a great idea about the scorpions too by the way.

    Good idea, this glow product will maintain a visible light long after the lamp goes dark, making this light actually useful long into the night.