Need Advice - Making Outdoor Bright Solar Lights Hanging Containers

I need advice on how to make homemade outdoor bright solar lights to insert into a hanging light holder. This hanging lantern/container will hang off of a planter hook from a deck post. I need 10 of them that are extremely budget friendly, quick and easy. I have some instructions on how to take apart existing solar light stakes but they are not bright enough. Any ideas on different kinds of hanging container ideas and/or how to supercharge the brightness of the solar light? All suggestions are welcome!
  5 answers
  • solar lights use small wattage bulbs for lighting sidewalks etc. Solar flood fixtures also use low wattage bulbs but use high reflective surfaces to throw the light a further distance. The issue you have is the battery that is charged by the solar collection plate is fairly small in size. So any increase in wattage in the bulb, (higher wattage = Higher light output) would drain the battery faster. So the first thing you need to determine is the voltage the solar batter is putting out. Then try to find LED bulbs in the same voltage range. LED bulbs put out more light with less battery drain. Check out Radio Shack once you know the voltage of the battery. This will take a bit of soldering and wiring, but should be fairly easy to do.

  • LandlightS LandlightS on Apr 24, 2013
    Angela....could you explain, or post a picture of what the "hanging light holder" looks like. Is is covered or will you see the lamp (bulb). One thing Bob left out of his comments is the fact that solar lights require a good amount of sunlight to charge the batteries for decent length of time to produce light. You cannot increase the light output of the solar fixtures. You might consider using Low Voltage LED lamps (bulbs) and a small transformer and use the low voltage cable to actually hang the fixture, You could use a small MR11 lamp which uses 3 watts and produces the lumens (light output) of a 15 watt MR11, or you could use a mini bi-pin LED lamp that uses 3 watts and procuces the lumens of a 15 watt lamp. 10 fixtures would require a 50 watt transformer and you could use 16 gauge cable for the entire system. As you can see below, the mini bi-pin lamp needs to be in a covered fixture, whereas the MR lamp can be used as is. The mini bi-pin lamp is multi directional and the MR lamp is directional. Let me know if you want to pursue this method and I will give you the resources for the lamps and the lamp-holders, transformers and wire, I hope this will help you "Light up your Life" Gary

  • LandlightS LandlightS on Apr 24, 2013
    Sorry, here are the images of the LED lamps.

  • Hi, Angela-I totally agree with LandlightS on this one. Solar lights simply don't perform well and low-voltage LED lights are DIY friendly. LED is the wave of the future and you can do some very creative things with them.

  • Nancy Nancy on Nov 21, 2015
    I love the mason jar look for solar lights, but the wind is problem where we live. I have been trying to find clear plastic mason craft jars but all I see are blue & green. I am doing s similar thing with solar yard sticks, and was thinking of adding a half cone of shinny material by the cap to reflect more light to the solar panel.