Thursday, July 31, 2014

Solar Lighting: Cut the Cord!




There is something about summer nights and outdoor lighting. It is a beautiful marriage that we enjoy during longer outdoor hours. 


I love night time accent lighting but it could be costly. Adapting to inexpensive solar lamps is easy but the characteristics of them are just way too common. You see one, you seen 'em all.

After seeing so many repurposed solar chandeliers and trying one of my own, there was a realization... hey, why not modify all kinds of actual lighting fixtures for everywhere? At the garage, the garden shed, and the side tables! Just cut the cord!

I set out on a mission, gathering a few lamp pieces in the garage storage, going to the thrift shop and Walmart and grabbing some tools. HA! This is too easy AND exciting!

Exhibit A: Cute little porcelain lamp. $3.99 @ Thrift Shop  



Exhibit B: Brass candle holder wall sconce.  $.99 @ Thrift Shop 



I like it better upside down for outdoors, but being a solar unit, that is not happening. 



Exhibit C: Ceiling fan light fixture. $2.99 @ Thrift Shop. 






For the porcelain lamp, I took it apart, discarding the electrical parts into my electrical junk box.  

Then painted the porcelain black.



Snagged a solar lamp I had in a deck planter and some waterproof epoxy weld.  Then globbed the stuff around the base of the plastic globe. 



Put the lamp back together after the paint dried and wah-lah. 




At dusk, the side table light was auto on!  




For the candlestick wall sconce, I bought two of the small solar lights. 



Painted the candle holder...



and when the paint dried, globbed on the epoxy and stuck the solar light sticks in the holders. 



Too stinkin' easy! 




Auto on at dusk and... it doesn't look like a basic solar light in the ground. 



For the ceiling fan light fixture turned solar chandelier ... just five solar lights



A ceiling light fixture plate to attach a link chain to hang the fixture from. 



Some paint for the ceiling plate and indoor/outdoor caulk. 



To attach the chain to the fixture, I drilled a hole through the screw rod and linked up the chain.



Then globbed caulk around the base of the plastic globes. 



Placed the globes into the fixture where light bulbs originally went.
(kinda looks like a kaleidoscope there... that's cool)




Then mounted the plate on one of the pergola beams and hung the fixture to dry the caulk thoroughly... 


to replace the solar tops. 

Then enjoyed the lighting over the deck bar. 

I got this wrought iron room divider with 18 candle holders throughout it for a mere $8 at the Thrift Shop. I mounted it on a wall at the deck. Then removed the candles and placed the small solar light tops in each.  As a wall of lights, the deck is brightened up. 


I use solar lights everywhere; hanging and taping them into the trees and landscaping.  




On plant hangers... 

drilled holes into the 4x4 posts for them on the BBQ deck...

and staked them around the pond which makes the frogs happy because...

 it helps them eat dinner.














I have a few more fixtures to add here after I gather some more parts for them. Stay tuned and go ahead and cut some cords!