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Converting garden lamp post to solar

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  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Williamstown, Victoria

    Default Converting garden lamp post to solar

    I've got a tall (8ft) colonial style lamp post which is current powered by 240V. We leave it on in the evening for visitors; however often leave it on by mistake over night - and don't realise until the morning.

    I'm thinking about adding a solar light to the lamp post (in addition to the 240V globe), so it comes on for a few hours when the sun goes down. I was planning on getting a solar garden type spot-light or similar (something high power) from bunnings, removing the housing and placing the solar panel on top of the lamp post and installing the globe in the lamp. Has anyone tried anything similar and if so any recommendations on suitable lamps/parts. Purchasing the parts separately (solar panel, etc), seems much more expensive and difficult than using the parts from garden lamp or similar.

  2. #2
    1K Club Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007


    I haven't tried it but as long as you can get separate the different parts from whatever lamp they are built into then it shouldn't be too hard.

    Another option would be a sunset switch and timer for 240V operation. That would switch the light on when it gets dark and off at whatever time you set (or sunrise, whichever comes first).

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008


    You may find that the packaged solar light combos will be too dim if you put it in a foreign enclosure (like an old style lamp post). It will be missing the appropriate reflectors around the energy efficient globe.
    What you could try though is to build something yourself that is more powerful. Check out the attached images. You can put a kit like this together for about $100 from Jaycar. But is it really worth it?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails productlarge_2773-solar.jpg   productlarge_4110-fluro.jpg   productlarge_4691-battery.jpg  

  4. #4
    Golden Member GraemeCook's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006


    Hi Tricky

    The el cheapo packaged solar lights from the deep discounters can be surprisingly good except for the battery, which is almost always crap. Just replace the rechargeable battery with a good quality one - minor soldering may be necessary.



  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007


    check out www.dealextreme.com for luxeon or similar new style mega output led's.

    controller, solar panel can be from a cheapo unit, buy a good battery.

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