What's Inside? #4: Solar Garden Light! (Salvaging Electronic Components)

About: -----------------------------------------------------------------16 year old, sick with a deadly disease called DIY-itis!-----------------------------------------------------------------Hi FTC! My I'bles con...

This is a solar garden light that suddenly stopped working. Why not take it apart? :)

Step 1: What's Inside?

I've added notes on the pictures to explain the components, You can see them by hovering your mouse over the pictures.

Solar Panel

350 Milli-Amp hour NI-CAD Battery


Useless short legged resistor

3 small screws

Do you like taking apart electronic devices? I've made a collection of a couple"What's Insides" If you're interested:




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    8 Discussions


    3 years ago on Introduction

    That "resistor" is an inductor. These devices use a voltage booster circuit to drive the LED, and the only part not inside the blob is the inductor, otherwise known as a coil.

    2 replies

    Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

    As I said, it is not a resistor. It is an Inductor. A circuit with an inductor can indeed raise voltage. This is how those cell phone chargers that use 2 AA batteries work. They take the 3 volts from the batteries and turn it into 5 volts for the USB output. Look up "Joule Thief" on this site or Google and you'll get plenty of examples.


    3 years ago on Introduction

    I've got several of these that are slowly dying mainly because they are not very water proof,I told my wife they have salvagable parts now I'm vindicated /


    3 years ago on Introduction

    If you want to charge batteries that have a higher capacity, You'd have to have a bigger solar panel that can supply more current...

    The resistor is useless for me because I wasn't able to salvage it because the legs were really short


    Wow so simple. No charging circuitry or anything. Hmm. makes you wonder if larger batteries could be charged in that simple way. I don't think the resistor is probably useless. I really dont know what it's for, but it's got to be for something. Maybe limiting the current charging the battery or acting as a buffer between the battery and the led so as not to stress it. I dont know. At least in the minds of the manufacturer there had to be some logic to justify the additional component.