How To Make a Hanging Solar Light

How To Make a Hanging Solar LightUpdate 12-15-14

I have a few of these on sale on eBay right now. You can see them here:

  • Solar Light Glamping Pair
  • Solar Light Glamping
  • Solar Light Glamping Sconce

I saw these Solar powered umbrella lights on Amazon and immediately loved them so much that I wrote an entry about them on Starling Travel.

  • Starling Travel » Solar Powered Umbrella Lights

My biggest problem with them was the COST. They seemed VERY expensive for only four lights when I can get solar lights at Home Depot for only two bucks apiece. So, I decided to create my own.

I used parts I found at Home Depot, but here are some links to parts you can buy on Amazon that are similarly priced.

Parts

  • Set of 8 solar-powered LED Accent Lights from Amazon.com
  • IKEA curtain clips from Amazon.com
  • Invisible Hanging Wire at Amazon.com Don’t use this wire. It’s not strong enough.
  • Sunrise Floral Wires – 18 gauge – Green at Amazon.com Use this wire instead. It works MUCH better and looks good, too.

Tools

  • Wire cutter
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Drill with a small drill bit
  • Hot glue gun (and glue)
  • Screwdriver

Here is a video showing you how to make a hanging solar light.

If you take just a few minutes, you can have expensive looking solar lights to hang off your backyard umbrella.

Update 07-10-12: I took some photos of them at night after they had a day to charge up and they look spectacular.

Update 07-24-12: If you live in a place that regularly experiences heavy winds (40 mph or more), these hanging lights will NOT work for you. After a wind storm last Sunday, I lost four out of the eight lamps that were hanging on my umbrella. The wind either broke them or took them away completely.

I decided to repurpose them into a candelabra instead. I brought out the old candlestick holder, put some electrical tape around the base of each lamp and tucked them into the spots where candles go.

They look good and the candelabra is MUCH more stable in the wind.

If you don’t regularly experience hurricane force winds, then you’ll probably be okay with hanging solar lights. For those of us who live in a windy area, however, they just don’t work.

Update 09-13-13

This summer, I took all those solar lights and tried again with heavier wire (18 gauge). Not only did they last all summer long through heavy wind storms, they look better than they did before.

For these, I used 18 gauge green floral wire:

  • Sunrise Floral Wires – 18 gauge – Green at Amazon.com

Additionally, I was able to secure the candelabra from the wind as well. I took two cord organizers that were left over from a wiring project on my camper.

These have worked great and I haven’t had the candelabra fall since I secured it, but I think it might have been a bit overkill. They probably would have stayed secure with these products without permanently affixing the candelabra to the table.

  • Command Cord Organizer Pack
  • GE 18166 Cord Management Kit