How to Make Your Own Solar Lantern

What You'll Need
Solar cell or cells
Charge controller
Rechargeable batteries
2 fuses or fuse blocks
Electric wires
DC-powered lamp or light

Making your own solar lantern is a great way to save money when you want to invest in something that is dependable during emergencies. A solar lantern is an ideal fallback during power outages. It is safe to use, and since it’s powered by the sun, a renewable source of energy, it does not consume electricity that can boost up your utility bills. The process of doing building one is relatively simple, and the materials that you need are affordable and easy to find. Follow these easy steps and start making your own solar lantern.

Step 1: Check your Materials

It is important to make sure that you have enough and the right kind of materials, especially for the solar cells that you will need to power your solar lantern. Keep in mind that most of the solar cells available in the market only convert 20% of the sunlight it gets to electricity. Compare the voltage conversion capacity of the solar cells with the output of your batteries. Your solar cells should be enough to cover the output of your batteries. To achieve this, you can look for a single solar panel with enough solar cells. If not, you may have to connect your power cells together, which is not that hard to do.

Step 2: Wire the Solar Cells Together

Assuming that you have to connect several solar cells to produce enough voltage, start wiring them together. Start connecting the wire to the positive end of one solar cell while leaving its negative end free. After you have attached the electric wire on the positive end of one of your solar cells, attach it to the negative end of the next solar cell and connect the positive end of this 2nd solar cell to the negative end of a third one. Perform this process until you reach the last solar cell. If you left the negative side of the first cell free, the free end of the last cell should be the positive one.

Step 3: Connect the Fuse

Attach the fuse while observing the respective terminals. Make sure that the proper sides of the terminals are attached appropriately. Check if the wirings are connected securely. It is important to use a fuse to prevent the electricity from going back into the panel once the batteries are fully charged. You may risk burning the battery if you make this without a fuse.

Step 4: Connect the Lamp

Wire the lamp with the fuse and the proper terminals of the cells. Double check if the connection is safe and secure. Bring this contraption outdoors and let it stand under as much sunlight as possible. Do this every time the batteries run out or if you have used the solar lantern for a long time. You may also use a UV lamp if your area does not receive much sunlight. You can attach personalized shades to the lamp to give it a more creative appeal.

These 4 easy steps will help you make your own solar lantern that will come in handy during emergencies.