For real brilliance, build your own Solar LED
Staff posted on June 05, 2012 |

We can’t stand those lame stick-in-the-ground solar light thingies. If you really need to light a yard/walkway/patio, you’ve got to build your own!

Solar lights are great applications for a remote application, like your back yard. But the ones you buy in stores are so dim they won’t safely light a walkway. You can make your own more powerful solar lights using LEDs.

We made a fun video of this, but the steps are pretty simple. By following the wiring diagram and the pictures you can probably build this in about half an hour. Garden gnomes and pink flamingos are optional.

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Things you will need:

  • Solar panel
  • Charge controller
  • Direct burial wire
  • LED controller
  • LED light
  • Various connectors


  • Wire stripper
  • Crimping tool
  • Screwdriver

Step 1 – Make your wiring connections from the solar lighting system. They don’t come with the right connection to your charge controller. First strip the wires about half an inch.

Step 2 - Then use the crimping tool to make a nice contact.

Step 3 - Then insert the contact into the connector to make your first “whip”. Repeat with the second wire.

Step 4 - Connect the solar cells to the charge controller with your new connectors.

Step 5 - Connect to the charging regulator with your screwdriver.

Step 6 - And the LED controller to the LED.

Step 7 - The 22 watt LED we used was pretty bright.

Not really a step - How bright is it?.

You can get the gear you need at

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