We have purchased several small solar powered path lights over the years. These little lights come on automatically at night for a few hours till their rechargeable batteries discharge then they recharge the next day to repeat the cycle. Eventually, far too soon in my opinion, they just stop working or stay on for minutes rather then hours. Rather then throwing them away, lets take a look at what might be salvageable for other projects.
Pictured here we see the insides of a used path light. there are some open holes in the plastic cover for mounting. These openings let bugs and grass get inside which explains the filthy contents. I am surprised that the electronics are in such good condition considering they were almost totally exposed. I believe this unit is over a year old.
Pictured here is a close up of the small PCB. A plastic battery holder holds two NiCad batteries and provides mounting for a small PCB. The PCB has two bright white LEDs Two transistors, two diodes and several resistors. There is also a CdS sensor and a small solar panel mounted to the plastic housing.
Unless you are scrounging a new path light, the batteries are probably no good but there are several parts two scrounge.
- Solar Panel
- CdS Light Sensor
- Battery holder
- Two bright white LEDs
- Two Transistors
- The rest is probably not worth keeping.
I planned to keep the LEDs, the battery holder, the CdS sensor, and the solar panel. Turns out the solar panel is hard to remove. I cut and pried to the point I was sure the panel would break. Then I decided that it would be better to scrounge the complete solar path light as part of a larger project. Its a ready to go solar power system. Just remove the LEDs and tap the batteries for some other project. Maybe a Zigbee temperature sensor…
I put the pieces back together and stuck the thing, minus the batteries in the TGIMBOEJ box leaving from here this week. I hope someone can make good use of this. If I do a project where I need solar power I will buy a brand new one. I think they are inexpensive. More later…