Solar Lighting: Cut the Cord! | Redo It Yourself Inspirations : Solar Lighting: Cut the Cord!

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 stake 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!  

Update:  The new post "Cut the Cord" Part 2 is finished!  Posted here----->  


Featured at

Be Awesome Link Party No. 8


  1. What an awesome idea!! Need to pass this on and make some myself! Love them!

    Pinning it!
    Thanks for sharing!

  2. I have a few more that I'll add here. But I was having so much fun with this I posted before finishing them all. It's just too stinking easy and with summer so short, had to share ASAP!

  3. Thanks, Jennifer. It's amazingly easy. You are going to have too much fun with this.

  4. Can't wait to see those! Thanks!

  5. Fabulous idea! I would love to try this. I see great lights at the thrift store all the time.

  6. Never thought to do this but this is genius!! These would be great on the back deck.

  7. I can't wait to see yours. You are going to have fun! This is a craft that is way too easy and can get quite creative.

  8. That is where I put mine, Rachel and it is so awesome to have solar accent lights in unexpected fixtures and places.

  9. What a creative way to save on energy bills. Thanks for sharing at #theWeekendSocial. Hope to see you back on Thursday 9:00 PM EST. Pinned!

  10. What awesome ways to display those solar lights. I love the table lamp, it looks so cool!

    Thanks for sharing at Marvelous Monday on Smart Party Planning ;-)

  11. Great redo for sure!! That black & gold combo makes a real statement for sure--I dig it!

    Thanks for linking up to our Betwitchin Party! Be sure to come back every Sunday starting at 6am EST over at to link up your projects again!

    ~Cathy Mini~

  12. You're welcome :)
    Thank you for stopping by!

  13. What an awesome redo! Great pictures too! Thanks for linking up at Whatever Wednesday. Pinned!

  14. I look forward to it! Thanks, Cathy!

  15. I appreciate the pinning! Thanks, Emily!

  16. My Repurposed LifeAugust 7, 2014 at 10:03 AM

    great job! I have painted 2 lamps for this exact purpose, but they ended up being too tall, or not tall enough for the solar lights I bought. Not giving up.... I'll make it work eventually.

  17. What a clever idea! I so want to do this for my own backyard! Thanks for linking up to the Be Awesome party! :)

  18. I'm finding the same situation with the different fixtures, only certain solar lights will suit the piece. This is one of those projects that takes time because of waiting for the right parts. I'm in the process of being on hold with a few that I'm working on.

    Thank you, Gail, you made my day stopping by! :)

  19. Hi Tara! Have fun doing this and I hope you share yours!

  20. WOW these are such clever ideas, I love them all, such a great way to provide a bit of ambiance to a yard!!!

    Thanks for participating in last weeks party, I wanted to stop by and invite you to this weeks "Weekends Are Fun Party" Oh My Heartsie Girl, again this week. Hope to see you there!!

  21. Love these ideas. And I definitely want to try the solar lamp idea. Hmmm...cannot wait.

  22. Also...thank you for sharing at Share it Sunday last week. You had some of the top votes so we featured you this week and are sharing out on our FB page this week. We shared last week as well.

  23. Or Whatever You DoAugust 10, 2014 at 11:15 AM

    Very cool ideas! I bet it looks incredible in person. Thanks for sharing with the Merry Monday Linky Party!

  24. Dawn Spatulas On ParadeAugust 10, 2014 at 4:06 PM

    I love these! Thanks for sharing at The Southern Special. I will be sharing your link on Tuesday morning as a "host favorite" great job!

  25. Hi Karen! Thank you for the invite!

  26. I'm posting a few more in the next couple of days. I hope you check back this week for the update in case you like those better.

  27. Ha! I found your note today @FB and got so excited over it! Thank you so much, Denise!

  28. Thank you for the invite and visiting! :)

  29. Thrilled! I look forward to the next party! Thanks so much, Dawn :)

  30. This is awesome. Drop by and share your post at this week's party if you have time. Hope this find you well! Theresa @DearCreatives

  31. Just amazing, all of it from start to finish. Wonderful wall of lights too. Will you bring them all in during the winter?

  32. Thanks, Sue! I usually keep the lights outdoors all year, but will put the table type lamps in the garden shed for the winter. I even leave the lights staked at the pond during the snowy months and it really looks pretty with the snowdrifts getting "highlighted" at night :)

  33. I will be happy to! Thank you for the invite!

  34. What a great use of solar lighting. I haven't been that inventive but I do use solar led strings to light up arches and trees etc

  35. I haven't tried the string lights yet. I must! That would be wonderful under the pergola! Thank you for the information!

  36. Here's a little tip for you; The "Solar Cell" part of the light doesn't have to stay where the maker places it in the light. The cells can be moved to a location that receives better sunlight, simply extend them by adding wires.

  37. Great tip! Do you need to get creative to disguise the wiring though? I'd like to try it! Thank you!

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