ff Kathe With an E: Solar Lights~DIY Quick Fix -

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Solar Lights~DIY Quick Fix

Hallelujah! We FINALLY have some Spring weather going on here!
Highs in the 70's, sunshine!
Birds singing, squirrels being squirrely!
I.AM.LOVING.IT!

I have spent as much time outside as I can.
Saturday night we sat out on the back patio
enjoying the cool, not cold, evening.

Sitting there I remembered I needed to put out my
solar lights into the garden.
I like the warm glow they send out and I have missed them.

But, of course, once I dug them out of my shed,
they didn't work.
Now these are not expensive lights but,
I didn't want to go buy all new either.
Luckily, I know how to fix them right up!
And, I am going to share my tip with you!
Cuz, well, we're friends and all and that's what friends do, right?
Kathe With An E~DIY Solar Light Fix
Take your light and check it out closely as some are different.
Kathe With An E~DIY Solar Light Fix
By the bulb you should see some small screws.
I grabbed my Mr. B's small Phillips head screwdriver
and took all three of them out.
Kathe With An E~DIY Fix Your Solar Lights
SLOWLY pull the two pieces apart.  Looky there!  A single AA battery!
Yep, that is what gets charged by the sun during the day so that
it glows at night!
Check out our battery organizer.  This is the very first Pin I ever copied.
We found it at Big Lots for $3.00.
It has four compartments perfect for all of the different batteries we use.
Pretty nifty eh?

Simply replace the old battery with a new one, put your screws back in and,
Kathe With An E~DIY Fix Your Solar Lights
let there be light!! (*edited. I have been hearing from you that if you use regular batteries, they will explode.  YMMV but, I have never had one explode in all of the years I have been doing this.  Also, you probably should use batteries designed for solar recharging. But, I have opened many of these to replace the battery and the manufacture of the light had put in regular everyday, cheapo batteries. I accept no responsibility for any harm to you or to your lights.  I am just informing you of what works for me)  

Now, if you have a different type of light, say like this one from WalMart,
Kathe With An E~DIY Fix Your Solar Lights
with the globe on top, it gets even easier to replace the battery.
Kathe With An E~DIY Fix Your Solar Lights
Simply pull the stake out and you will see this on the globe end
Kathe With An E~DIY Fix Your Solar Lights
One single screw. Leave the three screws by the bulb alone.
Kathe With An E~DIY Fix Your Solar Lights
And there is your battery. Change it out, put the screw back in and you are done!
Now, you know I am always honest with you. 
Two of my lights didn't make the cut. 
They had gotten corroded inside the battery chamber.
But, I am okay with that because, I have had these lights for 4-5 years now.
I can either chose to replace them or,
admit I had too many in the garden anyway LOL!
Now that you know the secret, are you ready to shine some light
on your garden or pathways this season?
Pin It
Click here to see where I may be partying this week.
AND
Don't forget to come by on Tuesday's
for the link party.





65 comments:

  1. THANK YOU for this helpful post, Kathe! I will be unscrewing some things right away! Love that battery case too, need to go to Big Lots pronto!

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  2. Thanks for the lesson! I do have some lights that have stopped glowing and I will certainly try to get them fixed! I love my "fairy lights" with that crackled glass globe.♥♫

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  3. I have been recharging and putting out solar lights all weekend! Did you use solar batteries or regular? If regular, do they recharge by the sun? Just curious, as I've only used solar batteries, which I can also quickly recharge in a battery charger.

    Great post!

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    1. I just use regular batteries.

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    2. you need to use rechargeable batteries....alkaline batteries are not meant to be recharged and can start to leak battery acid...use solar batteries or rechargeable (ni-mh)

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    3. My lights came with just cheapy regular batteries in them and I replaced them with the same type. I have only used cheapy, regular type batteries, not the rechargeable type and my lights will last several seasons before I have to change out the battery again. They do get recharged by the sun. They turn off by themselves when the sun comes up and come back on at sundown.

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    4. Careful using batteries that are not rechargeable. If your solar lights take a rechargeable battery, definitely use a rechargeable battery. Yes, the others will work but you will damage the light and could potentially cause more damage that could be a safety concern.

      The on at dusk off at dawn feature is common with many lights. The solar panel (be it crystalline or amorphous) will charge the battery on the inside. Then once the sensor detects darkness, they go on.

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    5. In the fall when you take the lights in and put them away for the winter consider removing the battries to help prevent some of the corrosion problems. I would also take a look in your favorite dollar store for cheap recargable battries as they are meant to be recharged without blowing up or starting to leak battery acid.

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  4. I think I only bought a couple of these so far but think I will buy more this year. Thanks for the tip!

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  5. Such a great tip for those lights on the fritz! Thanks for sharing with us this week at Monday Funday!

    Take care,

    Trish

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  6. Good to know. I don't have any of those lights, but I'm not sure I would have thought of a battery first. So happy to hear you're finally getting some spring!

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  7. I never even thought about them having batteries in them...duh! Good thing I don't have any, I probably would have thrown them away :) Awesome tips

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  8. Thank you so much for that tip! I need to go check all of my lights now.

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  9. Thanks for sharing this Kathe! I never knew they simply had a battery inside!

    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a fabulous week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success
    http://www.jembellish.blogspot.com/

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  10. Kathe I never knew this about the lights. I just might buy some now that I know you can keep them going a lot longer then I thought!
    hugs,
    Linda

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  11. Thanks Kathe ... never thought to look what was inside. I hope I have not thrown mine away. Great tip.
    Blessings,
    Audrey Z. @ Timeless Treasures

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  12. Kathe,
    I had to chuckle when I read this because I just did the same thing with some of my solar lights!!

    Hugs,
    Deb

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  13. Look at you!! Awesome fix. We are finally getting some nice weather here too... makes you excited to get out there, doesn't it??

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  14. Awesome Post! I am going to have to try this!

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  15. Kathe, thanks for the great tutorial! This post has me further pumped about spring! :D Happy day!

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  16. So glad I read this. I never knew there was a battery in them. Such cost saving info. Thank you.

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  17. I was digging around for my solar lights and batteries all weekend! I think I will need to buy some new ones because I found a box in the shed with all tops and no bottoms:) (I wonder if the bottoms are still in the ground!)
    Great Post!! Thanks for sharing it at Plucky's Second Thought Party~ Lynn @ Turnips 2 Tangerines

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  18. What a neat tip! :)

    Thanks for joining the Blog Hop this week!

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  19. what a helpful post! I saw you on Our Delightful Home party! http://pleasegivepeasachance.blogspot.com

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  20. Ok, I am going out to check my lights. Thanks for the tip.

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  21. Now I know why I follow you Kathe. I didn't know there was a battery inside my solar lights. Not gonna throw them away this year and buy all new, thanks to your brilliance! Blessings, Patti

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  22. Thanks for the tips, Kathe! I will have to look at mine to see if I can do anything with them. I hope so because most of them have gone out!

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  23. This is so clever. I love this idea. Thanks tons for joining Inspire Me. Hugs, Marty

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  24. I have been changing my rechargeables now for about 2 years...but I have actually had some that for some reason one of the wires becomes detatched...very simple fix to (with battery out) make sure that the ends are clean on the part that goes toward the battery, and it usually is either wrapped around a screw or if it goes to a circuit board my hubby can quickly solder it to the board where it was before (this takes a little skill) and works great!

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  25. Woot Woot! I guess I wont be RE-purchasing solar lights this year! That is brilliant! I would have never thought to look for a battery! Nice work!! Going home to pull all my lights! Thank you!

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  26. I thought those lights were disposable! Thanks for the battery tip!

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  27. OMG! Thank you so much!!! I had taken all the old ones out and bought new ones! But I have the old ones in a bag in the garage! I bet this is all they need.... now I'm gonna have TOO many in the garden! haha

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  28. Great tip! Thank you for sharing at the Give Me The Goods Monday Link Party! http://dimplesandpigtales.blogspot.com

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  29. Hello, I started following you today. I am so happy you posted this becuase I bought a cool yard art item at a yard sale and it does not light up. I am going to fit it now. Thank you again.

    http://www.atmycounter.blogspot.com

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  30. I have a couple that need to be fixed! Thanks for getting me off my bum to do it! Thank you for sharing on Fluster’s Creative Muster Party!

    Robin
    Fluster Buster

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  31. Yes, I need to do this because I don't want to through them away. Thanks for showing how easy it is. : )

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  32. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  33. Getting the solar lights ready is a sure sign of sunny days ahead! Thanks so much for joining the Rock N Share party! Hope to see you again soon! Blessings, D@TheShadyPorch

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  34. Thank you for this tut, Kathe--I totally have some lights that I need to do this with! I hope you enjoy the weekend!

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  35. Great tips - and I love the battery organizer too! =) Thanks for linking up at the Pinterest Power Party!!

    Danielle
    SewMuchCrafting.com

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  36. Hey Kathe,
    Great tips and good tutorial.
    Have a great weekend.
    Debi

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  37. Will try and ck my solar lts too....when we had a Hurricane graze by us last yr we used our solar lts inside at night I put them in a vase and on our porch and we had Safe lighting to boot

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  38. Will try and ck my solar lts too....when we had a Hurricane graze by us last yr we used our solar lts inside at night I put them in a vase and on our porch and we had Safe lighting to boot

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  39. Visiting from Monday Funday. I'd like to invite you to my Friday Flash Blog, where you can share your best blog entry of the week! The party goes on ALL weekend at thejennyevolution.com. And who knows, you may just get featured next week.

    Jennifer
    thejennyevolution.com

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  40. NO WAY! Too cool. I wish I had known this about 10 lights ago! Great tip!

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  41. Hi Kathe!

    Thanks so much for this tip! I never knew you could do that. duh :-) So glad you linked up at Transformed Tuesday.

    Hugs,
    Peggy~PJH Designs

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  42. Kathe, thanks for sharing this great tip with SYC. I really like the battery organizer. Hubby stores ours in an old cigar box.
    hugs,
    Jann

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  43. My husband and I are cursing right now!!! Just want you to know!! Every year for the past 5 years we throw away all the cheap lights that we buy from Wally World and go buy new ones!!!! I just threw 4 away a couple of weeks ago!!!!! I can't wait to try this out and am going to share it on my blog too - that is if you don't mind? I just can't believe it! I could have fixed them all!

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  44. I am a new follower of your blog! I can't wait for you to share more interesting stuffs!

    CuteyPatutyCrochet

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  45. Thanks for the pin! But mine are cheapo too from Walmart for $1.............but my batteries were sunbean rechargables..............so am recharging.........and I leave mine up all year round (Charleston) and have had them in for 3 years and 2 have finally lost their beam................thanks again!

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  46. PLEASE make certain you're using rechargeable Nickel-Cadmium (Ni-Cd) or Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) type batteries, when you replace the batteries in these lights.
    As already pointed out, Alkaline batteries are NOT designed to be recharged, and will not last, and COULD leak battery acid inside the light....pretty much ruining it.
    While the battery that came out of the light LOOKS like a typical AA battery, they are definitely rechargeable batteries. Just generic (cheap) Chinese brand, is all.

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  47. I read a blog recently that rechargeables are available at wally that have more amp hours for about the same cost as the light.

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  48. In my solar garden lights, I can only use solar batteries. If I put regular batteries in them, they just work and do not recharge. I have had them for two years. Maybe yours work now, but the battery is not being recharged. Buy solar batteries.

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  49. Use the NiCad batteries and they will recharge. Not all lights use AA but you can get what you need at any of the battery specialty stores or Radio Shack.

    I have a bunch that no longer have the posts, or the clear plastic cone so I will be putting those in baby food jars as soon as my supplier finishes his creamed spinach and bananas.

    Just, carefully, cut a hole in the lid the size and shape of the solar cell and glue the top of the light to the inside of the lid with silicone caulk. Then you can set them anywhere they can get sun, even float them in water (that's my plan for my garden pond).

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  50. Standard batteries, whether they're alkaline or carbon-zinc will not recharge via a single solar cell like the ones in these lights. What's happening is the current draw of a single LED is so low that a regular battery will power one for a very long time; you're just getting a lot of life out of the batteries. And hey, if it works for you, I won't tell you not to do things this way, but they aren't recharging, believe me.

    Remember the shaker-style flashlights that were popular a few years ago? A lot of those were made in China very, very cheaply. They weren't actually capable of recharging -- the manufacturer just put a couple of large-ish watch batteries in them, and since they seemed to work for awhile people would buy them. When they stopped working, they would be tossed out because the initial cost was so low, and nobody really complained.

    If your lights came from the store with *regular* non-rechargeable batteries in them, they may not even have a real solar cell! It could be the same thing as the shaker lights. There are no federal regulations or inspections done to prevent this sort of thing. Stuff like this is still very much buyer beware.

    You are 100% correct, however, that replacing old rechargeable batteries with new will give a true solar-rechargeable light new life!

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  51. It's good to see that these are so easy to change. I have seen these in the stores didn't know if they used very expensive batteries. I was thinking like Geoff that they wouldn't charge with out rechargeable batteries.

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  52. Really just change the battery? I thought this was about fixing broken lights not how to change a battery.

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  53. Thank you so much for your wondetful insite! I love the design of my solar lights and it is great that I will be able to keep them that much longer. I am pinning this!!!

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  54. Who knew? Thanks for the great tip!

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  56. I bought 10 solar lights 2 weeks ago from Big Lots. They stopped working after a few days. I am very dissapointed. Perhaps it's because of bad batteries or the fact they weren't rechargeable in the first place like Geoff said.

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  57. I have bought pateo lights from Walmart last year and I,m forever trying to recharge them I,ve change all the batteries with new ones They say they should be charge 16 to 18 hrs So you put the switch off at night and continue charging the next day

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  58. HELLO EVERYONE --I REALLY NEED TO TELL EVERYONE!
    IF YOUR SOLAR LIGHTS HAVE DEVELOPED A CHALKY SURFACE ON THE RECHARGE AREA AND PREVENTS THE SUN FROM GETTING THROUGH --YOU CAN REPAIR THE SURFACE WITH --CLEAR NAIL POLISH JUST MAKE SURE SURFACE IS CLEAN AND DRY-APPLY CLEAR NAIL POLISH---I USED TWO OR 3 COATS AND USED THE STRONGEST POLISH I HAD AVAILABLE( SCROLL DOWN)
    SALLEY HANSON DIAMOND-OR ANY GOOD WATERPROOF VARNISH--CAUSE THAT WAS WHAT I HAD-- FIGURED I HAD NOTHING TO LOSE ---CHANGED BATTERY AND USED THE NAIL POLISH-
    GOOD AS NEW AND SINCE I AM A SENIOR MONEY IS HARD TO FIND-- I ALWAYS TRY TO REUSE AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE!PLEASE FORGIVE THE USE OF CAPITAL LETTERS , I HAVE BAD EYESIGHT . SORRY!
    HOPE THIS HELPS RENEW YOUR LIGHTS AND YOUR WONDERFUL SOLAR DISPLAY-- GRANDMA

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