These solar bottle lamps almost fall under the “classic hack” banner after appearing in Make Magazine last year. It’s great to see that this excellent design is still being refined in this latest SMD version of the kit.
The idea is that you take a waste plastic bottle and fill it with water and a little bleach to keep the water clear and install the solar lighting kit instead of the bottle lid to create a versatile solar lighting solution. This version features a nice, pre-assembled SMD circuit board complete with an 8mm straw hat LED. This board is ready to receive the solar panel, and the battery terminals and indeed these items are available as options on the listing. If you don’t have access to a 3D printer similarly the printed enclosure is available for purchase as an add-on. The only option you’ll definitely need to source separately (apart from the bottle and water) is a 14500 lithium-ion battery.
Once assembled this kit has an onboard charge controller that manages the solar charging of the battery and the lamp will light when in darkness. There is an onboard button which allows you to switch the brightness of the LED lamp which is useful if you want a quick burst of bright light for a task or want a longer glow of an evening garden lantern.