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Thread: Solar power source for small lights

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    MCRN Tachi Ttaskmaster's Avatar
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    Solar power source for small lights

    Hope this is in the right place.

    I have three little battery powered lights. Each light runs off a pair of CR2032 cells.
    I need some sort of solar powered battery source, like in those garden lamps, that can run these three together for several hours.

    Can anyone suggest a product I can use or modify for this purpose?
    I presume I'd be wiring the lights together, in series or parallel?
    _______________________________________________________________________
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Tyson
    like a chihuahua urinating on a towering inferno...

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    ALT0153™ Rob_B's Avatar
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    Re: Solar power source for small lights

    Those lamps just use low capacity rechargeable AAs (usually something like 400/500mah) and sometimes only 1, so if you salvage panel/battery parts from one of these and rig up a few a high capacity AAs (cr2032 are 3V?) I imagine it'll power them and for quite a while?

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    root Member DanceswithUnix's Avatar
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    Re: Solar power source for small lights

    Sounds like you need some experimentation.

    A pair of 2032 cells is about 6V, so perhaps the lamps will run just fine from a 5V USB source, which should be fairly easy to try and wire up and try with any USB charger.

    That would let you use a cheap solar power bank, perhaps sealed in a plastic bag if it's living outside, and wire the lamps in parallel.

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    Editable... jimbouk's Avatar
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    Re: Solar power source for small lights

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob_B View Post
    Those lamps just use low capacity rechargeable AAs (usually something like 400/500mah) and sometimes only 1, so if you salvage panel/battery parts from one of these and rig up a few a high capacity AAs (cr2032 are 3V?) I imagine it'll power them and for quite a while?
    Yeah, when it's not been so sunny I've popped the batteries out and popped them in a charger for the lights. And put in some standard capacity AAs as well. Some run off 4 which gives 5V - not sure what comes out the end though?

    Going USB could simply the setup though.

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    MCRN Tachi Ttaskmaster's Avatar
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    Re: Solar power source for small lights

    Sorry, I thought I'd mentioned - This light trio will be part of an outdoor installation, fixed in place and away from any mains/USB power source.
    Wires and power cables are not an option.

    That's why I was wondering if ripping up a (presumably waterproof?) solar garden lamp from B&Q might be a viable option.
    _______________________________________________________________________
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Tyson
    like a chihuahua urinating on a towering inferno...

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    root Member DanceswithUnix's Avatar
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    Re: Solar power source for small lights

    What's so special about the existing lights?

    If you look for "solar wall light" on Amazon, there are all sorts of options on there for things designed to go on walls, fences, decking etc.

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    Re: Solar power source for small lights

    Quote Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix View Post
    What's so special about the existing lights?
    If you look for "solar wall light" on Amazon, there are all sorts of options on there for things designed to go on walls, fences, decking etc.
    These were the Orbiloc dog collar lights worn by our three dogs, the last of whom passed away recently.
    I'm implementing them into a sort of memorial thing for the garden, with the intent that they'll light up after sunset and hopefully through to morning.
    _______________________________________________________________________
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Tyson
    like a chihuahua urinating on a towering inferno...

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    Re: Solar power source for small lights

    Is buying solar lights not an option and just taking them apart and using the bits from them?

    Edit : Realised you just said that, for the cost of them I would do that, nothing lost if it doesn't work really
    Jon

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    ALT0153™ Rob_B's Avatar
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    Re: Solar power source for small lights

    The solar battery bank idea is a good one if you could hide it away somewhere.

    The cheap lights usually only use 1 AA so ~1.2v, buying a better set might get you a nice pre made battery holder for up to 4 so getting close to what you need voltage wise. You could always buy the holder and solar panel separately (dirt cheap on ebay).

    The issue night be the charging, the reason they use small batteries is that due to the small panels you'd never fully charge a 2000mah battery anyway nevermind 4. 300mah at 5v/30ma (a random £2 panel I found on ebay) needs 12hrs assuming full power the whole time.
    DIY panel/battery might make it so you could charge higher capacity batteries or just go cheap and stick in some decent rechargeables and know you'll need to manually charge them now and again.

    From what I can see, cr2032 are about 200mah ish and those collars can last 100hrs, so for 3 collars you need something capable of providing 1200mah at 6v and recharging during 4 of our lovely sunny days. Again, the solar power bank idea might be easier and look better.
    Last edited by Rob_B; 26-05-2023 at 10:36 PM.

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