• Thu, May 1 2008

DIY Solar Lantern

solar flashlightI just finished doing my DIY solar lantern project. I’ve always wanted to make one but I didn’t have the time to make one.

After the Earth Day, I decided to make time for this mini project of mine.

I’ve made a detailed documentation of this project including theory of operation, how it works, how to compute for the resistor value, and all these technical stuff.

Here’s a link to the detailed guide on how I did it.

DIY Solar Lantern part 1/3

DIY Solar Lantern part 2/3

DIY Solar Lantern part 3/3

Here are some of the pics.

solar lantern
diy solar lantern blocking diode

diy solar lantern

diy solar lantern wiring

solar LED lights

solar LED lights

solar lantern

solar powered lantern

[Image Source: Noel Bautista ]

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  • http://www.versacreations.net Vivienne Quek

    Worth trying especially when I live in the tropics.

  • http://www.momgadget.com Gayla McCord

    Sounds like a fun project to get my boys working on over the summer.

    I’m looking for and saving up tips on projects that will keep them off the computer, games and phone and in a “learning” mode.

  • http://www.calvinwarr.com Calvin Warr

    Wow! This is really really cool!!


    your’s is the only website giving details of do-how for a solar led light;one more photo showing the amount of light from this lamp will help lay DIY enthusiasts;i am surfing for days to find guidance for converting a kerosene lantern/hurricane lantern to a solar LED lantern for rural poor in india;any suggestions or guidlines or specifications for LEDs,circuit,batteries are welcome.

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  • http://www.unpluggedliving.com Noel

    Hi RKRAO,

    The base of a typical kerosene lantern which is where you put kerosone, usually houses the battery and the circuit needed. Then a wire goes out and connected to an external solar cell.

    The kerosene wick is replaced by a tube usually pvc pipe with holes where the LED is placed.

    I’ll try to find a picture so it will be more clear.

    • Darryl

      I’m a retired man living in the Philippines and would like to help many needy people here that have no electricity for lighting. They burn candles or kerosene lanterns at night and are breathing bad air. I’m totally at a loss to understand how to build a solar lantern,,,but would love to get detailed instructions that I could understand. Please help me so I can help others.


    Hi Noel,
    Thanks;more than a picture i want the specifications for the white LEDs,ressistor,PCB,pv panel and circuit.

  • Doug

    Hi Noel, I’m an editor at Popular Science, and was wondering if you’d be interested in adapting this project for the magazine. Please let me know when you have a chance.

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  • kris


    can anyone tell me where to buy the small solar panels. searching everywhere but can only find large ones.


  • Rex Frasier

    Hey everyone, in-case people are still trying to find the electrical parts, there are plenty of useful parts at Radio Shack (aka The Shack) stores, they ever have solar power kits. Just though this might be useful to some of you. =] Have a great day!

  • Jessica

    I was just wondering why the pictures don’t work anymore?

  • Shirley from Funchkins

    Dear Noel,

    My name is Shirley and I write for Funchkins: The Funky Art of Design
    blog. We loved your tutorial on Sun Jars that we featured them on our blog a couple of days ago, you can visit the post here:

    Kind regards

  • kris

    hi RKRAO i am researching a similar thing to provide alternative energy sources for poor in zambia. I would love to share information if you have found anything useful.