Use Cheap Garden Lights to Make Solar Ornaments

Dollar stores are a great source of hackable electronics. Usually those are commodity products that are produced in massive quantities overseas, and are sold for what is seemingly less than the sum of their parts. That means that you can salvage components for less than what you’d pay for them in any reasonable quantity. One such product is a cheap solar-powered garden light, and Emily Velasco shows you how to turn those into colorful solar ornaments in her newest video.

As Velasco demonstrates, those solar-powered garden lights really only have four primary components: the small solar panel, a rechargeable battery, a voltage booster, and an LED. But, purchasing those parts individually would cost you a few times more than just buying the garden light from a dollar store and upcycling them. To use those for a colorful ornament, you’ll start by removing the original LED, which is almost certainly just white.

Then you’ll solder in a new LED with the color of your choice. Make sure you use an LED that’s rated for the proper voltage, which is about 2.5V here. Also double check the orientation of the LED, as they have a polarity. Then just screw the garden light’s housing back together. Now you can cut a small hole for the LED into a ping pong ball. Place that over the LED, and use some hot glue to hold it in place. Finally, use Velasco’s 3D-printable sleeve that adds holes that you can thread wire through to hang up your new ornament! Optionally, you can also use a color-changing RGB LED for a little extra flair.

Use Cheap Garden Lights to Make Solar Ornaments was originally published in Hackster Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Original article: Use Cheap Garden Lights to Make Solar Ornaments
Author: Cameron Coward