If you are an electrical nerd, you might actually like this project. And even if you are not that "electrically-inclined", still, you might want to give this project a try. Here`s how we do it: We`re gonna disassemble your solar garden light, "hack" it to change its light color.
The great thing about this project is that the solar lights are so cheap, you`re not gonna worry about the price. And they`re solar!
First, make sure your light is really functioning. Switch it on and see if the LED lights up. If not, you need to charge it for a while under the heat of the sun. Test again. If it lights up, then you can begin.
Unscrew the "body" of the solar light and carefully open the lid. Inside, you can see a PCB with LED, a Chip on Board (COB), a small inductor and a switch, and a small NiMh cell. Different solar garden lights may be different in looks but their inside is basically the same. The COB is the one responsible for charging the NiMh cell from a solar panel. (You might want to research about it just in case you want to know more about its electrical flow or process.)
Remove the white LED from the circuit. To do this, heat the solder pads using your soldering iron, and pull the LED as the small iron extensions (leads) of the LED are melting. Take note of the polarity of the LED before taking it away so you won`t have a hard time when you connect it later.
Remove solder remains on the holes with a fine braided copper wire soaked in resin, also known as desoldering braid.
Now get your new LED--a colored one--and insert it on the hole. Take note of its polarity as well.
Solder one lead and adjust the LED to really fit in.
Test the light by turning it on while covering the solar cell. If it doesn`t work, then maybe there`s something wrong with your LED. You may have inserted in wrong. Desolder it and change its position. Solder one lead and test again. If it works, then you can solder the other leads and screw back the lid of the solar light.
And you have your new color solar garden light.
And if you really want to expand your experiment, you can have two LED--or more.
Hold the two LEDs, and connect the adjacent wires together using your soldering iron. Cut excess wire.
Solder one uncut wire to the PCB and do the testing. If the LEDs don`t light up, desolder and change the position. Otherwise, fit them into the hole and solder the other uncut wire.
And that`s it! Your hacked solar garden lights.
This project does not limit you to only two LED with the same color. You can have as many LED as possible with different colors.
Enjoy your lights!