Solar Panels Upcycle

For my upcycle project I hope to stick to the aesthetic described in my first post and possibly incorporate lighting inspired by Braden’s Futuristic aesthetic. Solar-powered lighting has been around for quite a while now, mostly in the form of street lighting and garden lighting.

They are many times incorporated in the decorative aspect of landscape and facade lighting purely for aesthetic purpose.

In fact, I believe that if solar panels can be used outdoors then they can very well be used indoors as well and what could be a better use other than in lighting. They are low power consumption devices, especially since the LED technology has emerged. And when we talk about futuristic lighting then what could be more futuristic than having solar panels integrated into those decorative fixtures.

For my upcycle project I plan on making a miniature model of such a decorative fixture for either outdoor or indoor lighting. As far as materials are concerned I have 2 nos. of 1×3 cm solar panels from my broken Casio fx-991ES-Plus calculators to use as the panels on the light fixtures. A cardboard cylinder from the tin -foil wrap,  a rechargeable button cell that I have from my previous project(I still have to check its specs). For tools(that I already have), I will need an Exacto blade (to carve a decorative design in the cardboard cylinder) and a glue gun.

Such a solar panel lighting apparatus can be made modular and can be used with multiple fixtures on different occasions. For example, it can be used inside the carved pumpkins for Halloween as well.

Reference images:

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Upcycle Spaceflight Aesthetic
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The Realism Aesthetic for the Upcycle Project

2 Comments. Leave new

  • Brayden Shelley
    February 9, 2021 3:53 pm

    Super cool idea for using the panels! As Jake mentioned, I would try to check to see if you can find specs on the panels. I can’t imagine they would have a very high output. Maybe if they are in the sun for a while it would be enough to charge up the battery though! Overall its a cool idea though, I’m excited to see how it works!

  • Cool idea Ankit!

    I love that you’re planning to use old solar panels from casio calculators that’s such a great idea. It also sounds like you’re doing a good job of making a true upcycle product with a amalgamation of random junk. You mentioned that you still have to check the specs on your little battery, but the only thing I would worry about is the cells having enough capacity to charge the battery enough to power an LED that is powerful enough to produce any meaningful light. I’m excited to see how it turns out, best of luck!


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