Author Options:

I cant run power to my shed so I want to know can I use the solar cells from the outdoor lights to make a solar panel? Answered

I want to make a solar panel out of those outdoor LED solar yard lights to make a Light for my shed, Can I use the Solar panels on them to make this? I have seen the DIY solar panel and I am going to try to do this but I want to know if I can use the outdoor lights to try this. Chris



I love your idea! If I were going to tackle this I think I would try just one first. You're going to have to figure out how much area 1 yard light will light,(I'm thinking that they are low wattage). This maybe the stumbling block here, you may find it will take a whop of yard lights! But it depends on how big the shed is and how much light you need. If the shed is small and you won't be working or reading out there, I could see were just a few might work. If this is your 'Dog House' and you're in it much, you may need more lights and some plumbing too! If you just need enough light to pop in and grab an item once in awhile, then you should be able to pull this off. Evenly space the lights on the inside, locate an on/off switch close to the door. The mini solar panels can be grouped together, but must be positioned with respect to the travel of the sun. I'd hook all the batteries in parallel, or maybe if I could get a bigger battery to replace them, depends on the exact circumstances though. Next the positive wire would feed through the switch and on to the lights,(the lights should be hooked in parallel with each other). While this is only a concept it should guide you down the right path. Good luck!!!

Gidday Chris;
Have a look at this retail shed light.... http://www.graysonline.com/Lot.aspx?id=3692971 ...
You could make better but it'll probably cost more.
Don't be led down the garden light path (pardon the pun), buy some decent cells, a 4 amphour 12volt battery, a 6 watt controller and make a top notch unit for yourself.
The cells in the garden lights are sealed in a polyurethane laminate which loses it's clarity after 2 or 3 years, reducing it's efficiency.
If you're determined to do a DIY, which is a good thing, then have a look at the instructables I've posted on panel building and My Solar Setup.
There might be something there you can use.
All the best with it.

Iplan on using the LED lights that are on the panels and placing them through out the shed. So I think that the light would be sufficient I hope. I was just wondering if using these types of Panels would be good. I will try to do this and put it up on here soon. My wife hates when I get into things because I make a heck of a mess.

"My wife hates when I get into things because I make a heck of a mess. " Mrs_Bob is the same way! But once you make something that benefits the Mrs, and she likes it, she will start to overlook the mess more and more. The mess' I made during my coffee roaster adventure generated alot of nagging, but once she started to drink the fruits of my labor, she was hooked! Hang in the Chris, experimenting and inventing is the coolest!

Thh panels are the same - wire them up with some sort of charge controller and you'd be fine. Theres an ible on here where someone extends the leds from the solar lights themselves - keeping the original hardware.