Now when I go camping I like to escape technology and just enjoy nature, however I often want light at night in my tent, who doesnt? With all your electronics at home and an outlet far from reach light is hard to find at night, so in this I will show you how I made a solar rechargeable light bulb using LEDs and common materials. Its eco friendly and fun! Ok now lets get started :)
Step 1: Things needed. (no image)Things needed;
9 white LEDs
1 standard diode
1 solar panel ( i used two)
1 dpdt switch (i used two spdt side by side)
rechargeable battery. ( I used a 4.7 nickel based battery)
1 ten ohm resistor (might not be needed in your case)
OTHER THINGS NEEDED;
2 liter pop bottle
white spray paint
some fishing line
Step 2: The cardboard and pop bottle
First cut off the top of a 2L pop bottle and then cut a small cardboard circle that would fit nicely inside of the bottle top.
The cardboard circle will be our make shift circuit board. It will hold all the electric componets.
Step 3: The circuit.
This circuit is pretty easy and before we start putting the componets together on our make shift circuit board lets take a look at the schematic. The most important componet in this circuit is the DPDT switch. in one position it allows you to charge the battery (solar) and in the other position it turns on the leds. The DPDT switch also acts as an off switch.
Step 4: Making the circuit on the card board
In this step we are going to make circuit board. First mark where the leds are going to go, one in the middle and the rest around the edge spaced evenly. the middle led will be the led where the power is inputed and before that lies the 10 ohm resistor. simply draw the symbols for the componets on the cardboard then poke holes in there place. and insert the componets. after all the componets are inserted you can start connecting all the positive wires and negative wires together. then solder. after everything is connected you then solder a long wire to the resistor (positive) and then solder a long wire to one of the negative connections (ground), the resistor should be soldered to the middle LED. Connect all the LEDs in parrallel starting with the middle LED. (L1).
After the circuit is done cover the exposed cardboard in tinfoil. The tin foil helps reflect the light making it brighter.
Step 5: The solar panels
This step is easy, You hot glue the solar panel (s) to the top of the bottle top and run the wires trough the mouth of the bottle. I used two solar panels in parrallel to increase amps. be sure to add the diode to the solar panel output before running it to the switch. Before you add any cricuity you could spray paint the bottle white, I chose to paint it to give it a light bulb look .
Step 6: The switch.
This step could be hard if youre new to dpdt switches. solder the battery wires to the two middle legs of the switch then solder the solar panel wires to two legs on next to the battery and then solder the led wires to the other two legs. One side should be positive and the other side negative. I cant explain that any easier so if youre having trouble with that just message me or comment.
Step 7: Closing it up.
After everything is wired to the switch, cut a little hole in the bottle to mount the switch, mount the switch using hot glue. I also added a usb connection. I am not going charge it using usb power from an outlet but from my solar usb charger i made a while ago, the solar panel on my usb charger charges a lithium ion battery and I can then charge anything at any time of day using that charge.
Step 8: Almost done!
after everything is connected and mounted its time to glue the card boaard inside the pop bottle. I hot glued the battery on the carboard then shoved the card board up the bottle and glued around the edges.
Step 9: Adding the hanger
take the coat hanger and clip off the hook part, then tie some fishing line around it and the bottle. this allows you to hang the light.
Step 10: Finished!
You are now done and can have light in your tent every night! And every morning just set it in the sun, switch the switch to the charge position and let it charge!
I hope you enjoyed this project :) If you are on facebook from time to time be sure to check out my page electricreations. Its a page dedicated to DIY projects. heres the link https://www.facebook.com/Electricreations .
if you have any questions or need help just comment or message me :)
Check out the last step!
Step 11: We have light!
I hung my light off of my shower curtain and turned it on. You can see its very bright!