Solar Powered Garden Lights
Solar garden lights. Exactly how in the world do they find a way to offer some thing with a solar panel, rechargeable battery, step-up converter, LED therefore the plastic and steel casing for a dollar/pound. You cannot even buy the bare components for anywhere near that, in fact the solar power alone may possibly cost 5 times the cost of the whole light!
This task is all about hacking your solar power lights to ensure they are various tints and possibly enhancing the battery pack life too.
Solar power lights are superb to hack. They're inexpensive adequate never to be concerned in the event that you screw up, and incredibly gratifying as they are efficiently absolve to run because being run on sunshine.
Listed here is the test topic for this project. a solar power pillar light from an UK store labeled as Poundland (A British buck shop).
Prior to starting, change the light on with all the small switch often mounted next to the LED, and cover the cell to test so it lights up. If it doesn't then it may need to be remaining switched on and stood in sunshine for a time to obtain a bit of a charge.
Inside is a tiny NiMh mobile and a PCB with the LED, a small inductor, a switch and a COB (Chip onboard) which will be basically a bare incorporated circuit that will be trapped towards the board, linked and then covered with a blob of black colored resin.
Many of these lights use a four pin package form of this chip instead of the blob variation. These chips are particularly innovative. They have a diode for charging you the single NiMh mobile from the solar power, and use the voltage through the solar power to identify when it is dark enough to turn the light in. The circuit pulses a small inductor at about 100kHz to step up the current to drive the Light-emitting Diode in an equivalent style to a Joule Thief circuit.
The employment of just one NiMh rechargeable cell keeps the fee down, means the solar power is a cheaper reduced current variation and by the nature of being only just one mobile instead of a number of in series, the battery can not be harmed by reverse asking off their series cells every evening when it operates away from charge.
After noting the Light-emitting Diode polarity, (the unfavorable side of the LED is usually the one because of the anvil shaped reflector) you can easily desolder the existing white LED by pulling it while warming both it is solder shields with a soldering metal.
I made a red dot on PCB in the good side of the LED for research.
If LED pads have solder remaining throughout the holes then it may be eliminated with a little bit of desoldering braid, which can be a fine braided copper line soaked in resin. It sucks up solder when heated and simply leaves on a clean pad.
Now devote your brand-new Light-emitting Diode noting the polarity (lengthy lead is positive). Use today's high-intensity LED. common fashioned signal LEDs will loook really dull.
I used a higher output diffused generated distribute the light about in all directions.
Solder just one of the prospects initially to adjust the Light-emitting Diode before soldering one other one.
And test by turning the light on and within the solar power cell. If it generally does not light it is that LED is placed the wrong method round. If you fail to get it to light then take to desoldering it and placing it in the various other way round.
But why stop with just one LED. Playing about I noticed that whenever two are wired in series these are generally almost as bright as a single LED, however the circuit draws less existing. Moreover, you can easily blend tints!
To participate two LEDs in series you ought to join ones negative resulted in others positive lead. i have marked the positive leads with purple marker to really make it better.
Start with folding one LEDs good lead sideways while the others negative lead sideways as shown.
Keep the two LEDs side-by-side and solder the cables collectively.
Then cut the extra.
And profile the causes go in to the holes into the solar power lights PCB.
Solder in with just a single lead first, align all of them and solder the second, then test.
I decided to do a side by side comparison of one versus two LEDs. I have mentioned battery pack existing draw of each arrangement regarding test sheet.
And when lit there is almost no intensity huge difference, however the reduced battery pack current can lead to over 25percent even more operate time.
Now for a few color mixing. Red and blue offers a purple colour while blue and green provides a turquoise color. You might even use a colour and white in series which will make pastel tints.
Four combinations on test as noted. The camera is very sensitive to green light so that they seem to swamp others colours. But they look an identical intensity whenever viewed by eye.