If you love spending time outdoors in the evening and relaxing in your backyard, you may want to explore some DIY solar lighting ideas. Solar lights are a great way to add a little extra something to your outdoor space without having to worry about cords or outlets.
They are also relatively easy to make yourself if you have basic crafts. Keep reading if you want to know how to create solar lights for your garden, porch, and landscape! Creating your solar lights is not as challenging as it might seem.
With the help of this article and a few simple supplies, you can easily create your own set or kit of solar lights. Having them as an addition to your patio or gardens will make them appear more beautiful than before and safer during the evening hours. Discover the things that you can use in making solar lights.
They work by using the sun’s energy to power a small solar panel, which then charges a battery—the battery powers an LED light to light up your home at night. Solar lights are a great way to save money on your electricity bill, and they are also effortless to install.
It also gives you less carbon footprint compared to different lights like a chandelier that uses many light bulbs. Different solar lights are great ways to add light to your home, and give thanks to them as they do without adding to your electricity bill.
They come in various styles, so you can find the perfect light to complement your home. You should try doing this variety of light projects:
How To Make Mason Jar Solar Lights
Walkway solar lights are a great way to add light to any outdoor space. They are easy to install and come in various styles to fit any decor. Walkway solar lights are also a great way to add safety to your home by providing light to walkways and other areas where you may need them.
Prepare your materials and tools, and follow these instructions to make this DIY sun jar:
- Prep Your Mason Jars for Painting
Wash and dry the mason jar or bottles and place it upside down on paper away from sunlight. The paint fumes can be toxic.
- Spray Paint Your Mason Jar
You can now start painting it with the color you want and you may also add a design. After the paint has dried on the product, lightly spray the jars with frosted glass. According to the label, the paint should dry in 5-10 minutes.
Proceed to the next step while waiting. Inspect the jar once it has dried to see if you missed any spots somewhere. Touch them up, if desired, and let the jar dry again.
- Prep Your Solar Mason Jar Lid
To begin using your solar lid, flip the switch to the ‘ON’ position and remove any plastic tabs sticking out of the battery compartment. The LED lights should be turned on; they are entirely normal. To finish using your LED string lights, unwind them completely.
- Feed the LED String Lights Into Your Mason Jar
It’s simple to put together a solar lid light with your mason jar. Once all the lights on your lid are connected, screw the lid on. You may need to switch on the light to see it. If you do not want to use a wire hanger, stop here.
Cover the solar panel with your hand to block incoming light. If you don’t have any lights, you can still finish. You must be in a darker location to ensure the lights turn on.
Try again if the lights aren’t turned on; it may be too bright even with your hand covering the solar panel. When the solar panel receives adequate sunlight, the LED lights are switched off, and the solar energy is used to charge the rechargeable battery in the lid.
When the solar panel doesn’t receive adequate sunlight, the battery’s stored power turns on the LED lights.
- Attach the Wire Hanger (Optional)
Carefully remove the hook from the wire hanger and place it around the neck of your mason jar solar light. Ensure you don’t scrape off too much paint when reattaching the hook (Nassar, 2013). If you want to hang your light, make sure the solar panel still receives sunlight.
- Test Your DIY Mason Jar Solar Light
You’re finished! You can now test it at night and see if it does its job. Ensure the solar lid is turned on and sufficiently dark before attempting your mason jar. If it doesn’t work, the battery may be dead.
Leave it in the sun to charge for a day, then try again if it still doesn’t work. You may also use a bottle if you don’t have a jar.
How To Use Your Mason Jar Solar Light?
You can charge your light by turning the switch ON and placing it in direct sunlight or using a charge controller if you have one. Once it becomes dark enough at night, the light will turn on automatically. You can also force the light to turn on by obstructing the lid’s solar panel with adhesive or paper.
How Long Will It Last?
The light will last as long as the battery has charged. You can expect the light to last for 5-7 hours, depending on how much sun the solar panel gets during the day.
DIY Solar Lantern
Solar lanterns are a cost-effective alternative to hardwired lighting that nicely add ambiance to a space. This tutorial will teach you how to produce your DIY solar lantern for an amount of $15. A solar lantern provides a slight atmosphere without the hassle of costly hardwired lighting.
This DIY project is perfect and provides a water-based water-resistant urethane that dries quickly and is simple to apply, as well as a water-based urethane sealant to prevent water leakage.
For this undertaking, you can use scrap 1x planks and gather square dowels, wire hardware cloth, and a solar light bulb. In making this light project, the steps will surely challenge you, but it’s gonna be worth trying!
- Cut the Parts
Cut the parts using a miter saw. Set the saw to 2.5-degrees to cut the dowels. Cut the dowels as shown, tipping them on edge during the cut to ensure they splay outward in both directions. You may also use a stake, just cut it down to your desired size.
- Drill the Top Hole
Drill a hole in the lantern top to accommodate the solar light bulb.
- Assemble the Parts
Drill pilot holes through the top and bottom boards and into the square dowels, then assemble the parts using wood glue or different types of glue available in your home and screws.
- Size of the Hardware Cloth
Mark the location of the inner edge of the frame on the hardware cloth.
- Cut the Hardware Cloth
Cut six pieces of the hardware cloth into three panels.
- Apply the Stain
Make sure you sand the pieces well before cleaning them with a lint-free cloth. Apply a coat of Varathane Weathered Gray stain or some colors that you want to the wood in the direction of the grain using a brush. Allow the stain to dry for two to three minutes, then wipe off the excess with a clean cloth.
- Apply the Top Cloth
Apply a layer of Spar Urethane with a synthetic bristle brush. Let it dry for an hour.
- Coat the Hardware Cloth
Finally, paint the hardware cloth flat black twice.
- Attach the Hardware Cloth
Attach the hardware cloth panels to the filler strips.
- Secure the Side Panels
You should secure assembled hardware cloth and filler strips into the lantern frame.
- Install the Light Bulb
Glue the solar light bulb securely and wait for the night to see your lantern glow.
This lantern is right for a wedding reception, just put it on trees and make your guests amazed!
Nocturnal Solar Light Bulb
A solar light bulb designed for use at night is powered by solar energy and does not produce emissions. These bulbs, typically used in outdoor lighting applications, such as streetlights, are environmentally friendly as they require little maintenance.
Features of solar light bulb:
- A 2000mAh AA battery can be fully charged in two days of bright sunlight, providing up to 20-22 lumens of light throughout the evening (three times as bright as a kerosene lamp).
- One-day charging can provide up to 20-22 light throughout the evening (three times as bright as a kerosene lamp).
- The hanger and multi-purpose stand may both be used to charge the device. Hang it outside or place it at your window for charging.
- A high-quality AA NiMH battery that lasts at least five years is used in this device.
- The battery is charged using a high-quality solar panel.
- It switches off in bright light to preserve battery charge and turns on in dim light.
- It has a circuit that prevents the battery from being overcharged.
Steps in making this solar light bulb or a solar lamp:
Schematic and Working
A small IC referred to as the QX5252F is at the heart of this light bulb. A Joule Thief circuit is used, but it requires an inductor and a bulky, heavy toroid. The QX5252F, on the other hand, is used in a lot of solar garden lights.
My friend sent me the data sheet and information after learning about this chip from another instructor.
Bread Board Testing
Before you solder a circuit on a breadboard, it’s always a good idea to build a prototype first. You can verify that all of your components function correctly by building the circuit on a breadboard per the diagram.
Make sure the LED does not light if the circuit is working correctly. Cover the solar panel with your hand to create darkness to assess the circuit’s performance.
Remove the LED and connect your oscilloscope probe to the circuit. The result is a voltage that fluctuates quickly. The peak-to-peak voltage is around 7.28 V, and the average voltage is approximately 1.0 to 1.2 V.
You may not be able to measure the voltage with a typical meter, as your meters only track fluctuations.
Drill Holes for Hanger
You drill the container in two locations opposite one another near the top of the container. A hanger can be mounted using this technique. First, cut the hanger into two parts with the pliers’ bladed cutters positioned on both ends, leaving the hanging portion.
Cut the straight section to your desired length. You should now trim the hanging portion to match the height of the hanger. Bend the hanger’s tips using a plier. Insert the straight part of the hanger into the holes created during the previous step.
Next, bend the hanger at the center. Then make two folds 9 cm away from the center. Finally, fold the ends of the straight part 1.5 cm long. Insert a plastic container at both ends, and subsequently cover it with a lid.
Solder the components onto a perforated platform to finish the circuit. You can use a PDF copy of the schematic to complete the circuit. You can use it while soldering.
Solder the Solar Panels Terminal
All of the solar panels have predefined polarity markings. The positive (+ ) and negative (-) terminals must be soldered to the wires of the solar panel, which are red and black, respectively. A 3mm hole is drilled in the lid, and the wires are routed through the underside of the lid.
The solar panel is glued to the lid to ensure airtightness (or you can use glue to seal the hole). Glue is applied to the back of the battery holder, which is then placed on the underside of the lid and pressed down until it dries.
Connect a Switch
Cut the red wire on the battery holder into two parts. Join the trimmed pieces to the switch’s center terminal, and the red wire still connects the battery holder to the switch’s outside terminal. Ensure that the connections are covered with insulating tape to prevent shorts.
Connect the Solar Panel and Battery to the Circuit
Solder the solar panel and battery wires to the circuit board. You should connect the red wire to the positive terminal and the black wire to the ground terminal. Apply hot glue to the center of the bottom lid to hold the circuit board in place.
After securing the circuit board, place the switch on the side and glue the surrounding area. The lid will no longer fit on the container if any glue gets on the inner edge. Use duct tape to finish the extra wire, then insert the battery.
Turn the light on bright sunlight to test the slide. To charge the light, keep the light on and close the lid. You’re finished once the lid is closed. Tilt the light towards the sun to charge it quickly. You can now test your DIY project and see the perfect image of your work!
Solar lights are a great way to light up your home and garden. They are easy to make, and you can find all the materials and everything you need at your local hardware store.
With a little effort, you can have a beautiful set of solar lights that will add a touch of class to your home. You may also check some DIY projects through Instagram and Pinterest, watch videos on YouTube and check some posts on different site.
Can LEDs be used as solar panels?
Yes, you can use LEDs as solar panels. Solar panels are many small solar cells that convert sunlight into electricity. Two layers of semiconductor material make up each solar cell, and LEDs also make up the semiconductor material.
When sunlight hits the solar cell, it causes an electric current to flow between the two layers. You can use this current to power a load, such as a light bulb.
What voltage are solar string lights?
String lights powered by the sun are called solar string lights. They are made to conserve energy while also being harmless to humans and other animals.
Solar string lights generally have a voltage between 2 and 4 volts, making them safer to use around children and pets than lights that use more power. Because of their low voltage, they are both safe to use and good for the environment.
Do solar lights need batteries?
Rechargeable batteries are the power source for solar-powered lighting. Rechargeable batteries like NiCad (Nickel Cadmium) and NiMH can be used in solar lamps (Nickel Metal Hydride). Because they can be recharged several times, these batteries are ideal for use in solar lights so that they may keep shining without always needing new batteries.
Non-rechargeable batteries are uncommon in solar yard lights due to the high expense and inconvenience of frequent battery replacement.