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How to Make Solar Garden Lights? [And More]

Tim Carter
Written by Tim Carter Last Updated: August 21, 2022

There are many solar lighting options on the market. You can find solar lights in many colors, shapes, and sizes. But what if you want to employ your creativity and imagination and make your own solar lights? In this article, we’ll show you how to make solar garden lights in just a few easy steps.

But first, let’s learn how solar lights work.

Table of Contents

How Do Solar Lights Work?

solar lanternWe’ve all seen outdoor solar lights lining driveways and sidewalks. But how do solar lights work?

Solar lights have a solar panel that collects energy from the sun during the day and uses it to recharge a battery. At night, a sensor detects the lack of sunlight and turns on the light.

The solar panel is made of silicon solar cells.

When sunlight hits the solar cell, it causes electrons to be knocked loose from their atoms. This is called the photovoltaic (PV) effect.

The PV effect was first discovered in 1839 by French physicist Alexandre-Edmond Becquerel, but it wasn’t until 1876 that English inventor William Grylls Adams used it to create electricity.

The solar cell converts sunlight into electricity, which is then used to charge the battery.

The battery stores the energy until it’s needed to power the light at night. S

Solar lights are a great way to save energy and money, and they’re also good for the environment because they don’t use fossil fuels.

Besides, solar lighting is a great way to light up your yard without having to worry about running electrical cords or hiring an electrician.

They’re also very easy to install – you simply stake them into the ground and let the sun do the rest!

This means that you can put solar lights just about anywhere – as long as there’s enough sunlight during the day.

How to Make Solar Garden Lights?

Decide what type of light you want, how you want it to look, and prepare a list of the tools you need, and start assembling your lights.

Which Tools Do I Need To Make Solar Garden Lights?

  1. A solar panel that you can find at your local hardware store
  2. A rechargeable AA battery that will power the LED lights
  3. LED lights
  4. A thin wire that will connect the solar panel to the LED lights
  5. A drill to make a hole in the bottom of the vessel that will hold the LED lights
  6. A cookie jar, a mason jar, an amphora, or any other vessel of your choice that will house your solar garden lights
  7. A soldering iron to strongly connect the solar panel and the LED lights
  8. A screwdriver
  9. Wire cutters

How To Assemble My Solar Garden Lights?

  1. Start by drilling a hole in the bottom of the mason jar that should be big enough for the wire to go through easily but small enough for the solar panel to stay firmly in place on top of it.
  2. Take the wire and make a loop at one end to wind it around the screw of the solar panel.
  3. Thread the other end of the wire through the hole that you drilled in the bottom of the jar and then up through the hole in the base of the solar panel.
  4. Place the AA rechargeable battery inside the mason jar so that the + end faces up.
  5. Take the LED lights and connect the two wires by twisting them together and then connect the other end of the LED wires to the — end of the AA battery.
  6. Finally, place the solar panel in place on top of the hole in the jar’s bottom and screw it in place.

If you want to use your creativity and imagination, paint your mason jar or decorate it. To make your solar garden lights as beautiful as you want them to be, experiment with different sizes and colors of jars, LED lights, and types of solar panels and batteries until you’ve created your masterpiece.

What Types of Solar Lights Can I Find on the Market?

There are many types of outdoor solar lights you can find on the market. The two most common types are stand-alone solar-powered lights and solar-powered string lights.

Stand-alone Solar Lights

solar garden lightsYou can place stand-alone solar lights anywhere in your garden or yard. These lights are more expensive compared to solar-powered string lights, but they’re also sturdier, more reliable, and easier to maintain.

The most common type of stand-alone solar light is path light, which people usually stake into the ground along a path because they provide a soft light that illuminates the way sufficiently.

Another type of stand-alone light is spotlights that emphasize sculptures or fountains in the garden.

Solar-powered string lights

People usually use solar-powered string lights to decorate trees, shrubs, fences, patios, and other outdoor areas. Solar-powered string lights are cheaper compared to stand-alone outdoor solar lights, but they’re not as reliable and may require more maintenance.

However, they are great for festivities, celebrations, and gatherings. In those situations, you can also use solar lanterns that you can easily hang on walls, trees, bushes, or place on tables.

Lanterns provide a warm glow and help in creating an intimate atmosphere in your garden.

What Are the Cons and Pros of Solar-Powered Lights?

The Pros

  1. They’re easy to install and don’t require wires and on-grid electrical energy.
  2. The power of the sun charges the rechargeable battery that powers the lights.
  3. They’re low maintenance. Occasionally, however, wipe their solar panels to eliminate dust and allow efficient charging of the batteries.
  4. They come in different colors, sizes, and shapes.

The Cons

  1. Solar lights have a shorter lifespan compared to traditional lights.
  2. They rarely provide as enough light as you might want.
  3. Although they are sturdy and can withstand severe weather, they are not as reliable as traditional electric lights because batteries power them.

How Can I Use Solar-powered Lights Outdoors?

solar string lightsYou can use solar garden lights in a variety of ways and only your imagination is the limit.

However, before purchasing outdoor solar lighting, consider your wants and needs.

You can use solar lights as

  • Accessories to decorate trees, paths, and basically any dark or shaded area of a garden, including festivities, celebrations, and family gatherings.
  • A safety and security measure by using solar lights to illuminate darker areas of your property or motion sensor lights that turn on when they detect movement.
  • During emergencies such as power outages.
  • Simple garden lights, deck lights, path lights, or driveway lights to light up areas of your home and create an inviting atmosphere.
  • Pool lights to create a lively environment around your pool.

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Last update on 2024-06-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Is It Expensive to Make Solar Garden Lights?

Making your own solar garden lights is not expensive because you can buy all the tools you need in a hardware store or order them on Amazon.

However, if you are planning on purchasing solar lighting, you should know that quality solar lights are not cheap.

The price depends on manufacturers and the quality of materials they use, including the type of solar panels.

regardless of whether you’re purchasing or making solar garden lights, thoroughly research all the options.

You can find great deals or get an awesome idea when working on your DIY project.

Final Thoughts

One of the great things about solar lights is that they’re low-maintenance.

You don’t have to worry about changing the batteries or anything like that.

Solar lights are a great way to add some extra light to your life adding no extra hassle.

So, if you’re in a creative mood, grab your tools and start working on your solar garden lights.


Tim Carter
Tim Carter

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