Having a high electric bill is never something that anyone wants to have to endure. With the cost of heating and water, electricity becomes a larger expense as time goes on. While solar panels are a great solution to acquiring inexpensive green energy, some areas unfortunately do not allow them or they are just too expensive. Even though they save you money in the long run, it can be very difficult to spend the money knowing that the return will not be immediate. This drove me to create something inexpensive that ran on solar that everyone could enjoy and make with a little bit of supplies that would save them money in the long run.
What you will need for this project
*Solar LED lights (Can be purchased online or at your local home improvement store)
*Dremel or hand saw
Constructing the base
The first thing we need to determine before starting the project is how wide and long the base of the fixture will be. This depends solely on the size of the room and the size of the suction cup that you are using, but no matter the size of the suction cup you want to leave about a foot of space on each side. Cut the Plexiglass to the length and width of the suction cup and mark where you would like the suction cup to rest. Apply cement glue to the bottom of the suction cup and press it onto the flat piece of Plexiglass allowing it to dry for ten hours before moving onto the next step, be sure to test that the suction cup is properly attached. To strengthen the attachment you can drill a small screw in the base of the suction cup and use a nut and washer on the reverse side.
Building the housing
In building the housing you are going to want to have five levels of light for the fixture, spacing them according to your ceiling height and preference. Start by constructing walls around the second base that are at least two inches high to leave space for the solar LED’s. Once this is completed you will want to take the solar lights and run them along the edges of the box, being sure to face their small solar panels toward where they will receive the most light. Once completed, cut and attach a top to the first box with rubber Silicone and attach it to the base using cement glue. Wait for the bond to dry and cut a small square in the bottom just big enough for you to properly access the lights inside. Repeat these steps for the next four pieces of housing until you reach the final housing. Once at the boom, cut another hole the same size and cut two small pieces to glue on top of both sides of this piece. Allow the pieces to dry and then put the piece back in place. This will allow for you to cover up the hole and gain easy access to the fixture lights by simply pushing up on the bottom piece and removing it. For the final step, attach the suction cup to your ceiling and ensure that it is properly secured.
Caring for and maintaining your fixture
While normal lighting in most conditions will keep your fixture lights lite, it is best to sit it outside for a few hours a day to recharge. If the solar LED’s happen to go bad, simply pop the bottom of the light fixture out and use your hand and a fork to drag the effected lights to the hole you created. To replace the lights, turn the fixture over and guide them to the desired level of the fixture. If you would like to create easier access to each level you can cut each base to slide together similar to the way the small door at the bottom was created.