Solar powered garden lights are one of the most economical and eco friendly power sources you can look for in a DIY project. All the components that are required can be readily sourced from an electronics or hardware shop.

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Recycling old garden lights

Opening up an old solar garden light will show you what components to look for. These are very simple devices and can be all assembled within a glass jar. The tools required are a craft knife, a screw driver and a hot glue gun.

The rest is simple. Using the old garden light as a guide assemble all the components in the jar in that order and an economical garden light can easily be made at home. It’s a cheap and fun way to recycle old garden lights.

Building a garden light from scratch

Yet another quick and easy garden light that’s ideal for lighting up various areas of the garden can be made up of lithium coin batteries and white LEDs.

The long wires of the LED are taped to the negative and positive sides of the coin battery (+) and (-). Carefully twist the wires, ensuring they won’t touch each other, into a right angled position which will enable to the battery to rest flat against the inside cover of a glass jar. Tape the battery in place and screw on the jar.

These little lights will add interest to an evening garden party and are quite cheap to make. The only problem with these is that they stay lit and the only way to turn them off is to separate the battery from the LED.

Paper lanterns

Beautiful paper lanterns can be made at home and can adorn a patio or be hung up on trees. These lanterns can either hold candles or LEDs. However, a word of warning: when lighting candles within paper lanterns it can pose a fire hazard and should be done with the utmost caution. It is far better to use LEDs, as explained earlier.

The framework for the lanterns can be constructed out of bamboo skewers and the coloured paper previously cut with an added margin is then glued on.

Circular lanterns can be constructed with stiff wire rings and strips of stiff handmade paper can be laced on to the wire rings for added effect. Alternatively intricately cut lacy designs fashioned from decorative paper can also be used to cover the bamboo frames by gluing them on.