Archive for month: March, 2016

Solar Powered Chandelier DIY

We survived!

The harsh winter is over. It’s time to shake off all that nastiness and welcome spring.

My husband, Shawn, and I decided to celebrate the impending bloom by creating a solar-powered chandelier to adorn the giant elm tree in our front yard allowing us to extend our spring porch-sitting well into the evening hours. I have to admit, I was surprised at how easily this project came together. For about $50.00 we created a beautiful light fixture using an old chandelier we found for $20 at the ReStore, a can of spray paint, a little caulk, and five solar-powered yard lights from our local hardware store.

Directions for Making Your Own Solar Powered Chandelier

Solar Powered Chandelier

Remove all electrical wiring from the chandelier, but leave the bulb bases intact. Simply cut the end of the electrical wiring and pull it though.

The stems of the solar lights are about the same diameter of the bulb bases. Test fit the stem and determine the proper height of the bulb relative to your chandelier’s size. No science here, you just have to eyeball it.

Mark one of the stems and cut it. If the stem is metal you will need a hacksaw.

Solar Powered Chandelier

After cutting the first stem, assemble the light head and test fit it to make sure it is the height you desire. Once this is confirmed, cut all of the stems to the same length.

Remove the cap of the light heads and carefully cover the solar cells with masking tape, trimming neatly around the edges with a knife.

Solar Powered Chandelier

Spray paint all surfaces of the chandelier, solar light covers and stems. The chandelier is much easier to paint while it is hanging. Don’t forget to paint the chain!

After the paint is dry, remove the masking tape and assemble the lights and stems. Apply a liberal amount of silicone caulk (clear is best) around the tips of the bulb bases. This will secure the lights and help keep water out of the old bulb base.

Solar Powered Chandelier

Install the stems over the bulb bases, allowing the caulk to squish out and form a nice seal at the bottom.

Next, carefully adjust the angle of the lights and stems to make sure they are all pointing straight up. This is harder and more time consuming than it sounds. Hang the chandelier at a reasonable working height so you can rotate it while eyeballing the alignment of the solar lights. You need to do this while the caulk is still wet. If necessary, use masking tape to temporarily hold the lights in alignment until the caulk dries (up to 24 hours depending on what type you use).

Once everything is dry and straight, make sure the batteries in each light has been activated (usually by pulling a little plastic zip tab underneath) and hang your chandelier in a place that it will get some sun in the daytime.

Solar Powered Chandelier

Remember in November

Bring your chandelier inside this fall for safe storage from the harsh winter weather.

Solar Powered Chandelier

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