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This is an easy mod to dollar store solar lights using a Tilt switch. To build one of these you will need access to a 3D printer.Basically the tilt switch is just added before the LED in the circuit. This will allow you to control when the LED turns on in the dark, instead of it always being on, which is the inherent function of the Solar lights. I live in an apartment, but I plan to make a couple of these to give to my cousin who has a couple of patio tables.

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Here are a few pictures of opening the solar lights and soldering in the tilt sensor just before the LED. To read more about Solar Garden light circuit, check out a blog post by Jon Clift at Solar Garden Light  .



{gallery} Soldering Tilt sensor


Opening the Solar Light from the Dollar store


Desoldering the LED from the board, and remove the LED from the housing.


soldering the Tilt sensor just before the LED


I also designed a 3D printed enclosure using Fusion 360 , and 3D printed one of them in Green PLA and two of them in wood filament, which I then finished with wood stain. I had to stain the lights to match my cousins fancy patio table and chair set. Here is quick tip, I learned in Fusion 360 to add text  on a curved surface, I spent a couple of hours doing it the wrong way and then finally watched on Fusion 360 tip video’s here.


{gallery} 3D Print


3D print the STL file attached


Sanding the 3D printed holder


Staining the part first in darker wood stain


Applying another coat using a lighter stain


Using super glue to add the electronic components to the 3D printed part.





Here is a quick demo video, of the Tilt Solar Light in action ..