My Solar Lamp


IMG_2043This is my solar powered lamp. I made it myself.

I had a cheap solar powered outdoor light that I never used in a yard; I used it in my van as a nightlight. I’d leave it in the sun all day, and by dark I had a nightlight that lasted almost until morning. It wasn’t bright enough to read by, but it provided me with enough light to find my phone or my keys in the middle of the night.

First the long part meant to go into the ground broke off. After rolling around on the floor of the van for a while, the plastic protector around the tiny light bulb broke too. I thought I had nothing but a piece of trash, but for some reason, I didn’t throw away the chunk of plastic housing the light bulb and the solar panel. I stuck it in the pocket on the van door and forgot about it.

While I was cleaning the van at the Rubber Tramp Rendezvous, I found the light bulb/solar panel combo. I thought I’d drop it off at the free pile in the event someone could use it for something. Then I thought, maybe I could use it for something. I thought about how I could use the light and solar panel to make a lantern.

My first idea was to glue the bulb/solar panel piece into a mason jar. I knew the solar panel had to be able to receive sunlight in order to charge the battery inside. So I thought I’d turn the mason jar upside down so that the lid sat on the table (or floor or whatever surface of my choice) with the light bulb facing down and the solar panel facing out of the glass.

The next time I was at the Quartzsite Salvation Army thrift store, I took a look at the mason jars they had for sale. Nothing seemed right. Then I saw a sturdy, thick glass mug for sale for a quarter. AHA!

IMG_2044     This is what I see when you look down into the mug as if I were about to drink from it. The light bulb is facing up, but when the mug is flipped over so the sun can reach the solar panel, the light “hangs” from what is then the top of the mug. The glass allows the light to shine out of the mug.

This is the solar panel glued to the bottom of the mug, facing so the sunlight can reach it.     IMG_2045     The original cost of the yard light was 99 cents. Even if you add that to the 25 cents the mug costs, plus a penny’s worth of glue, the lamp only cost $1.25, But when you figure I was about to toss the solar panel/light bulb, and I already had the glue, this really only cost a quarter, and kept two items out of the landfill.

IMG_2079     Here’s my solar lamp lighting up the night.

About Blaize Sun

My name is Blaize Sun. Maybe that's the name my family gave me; maybe it's not. In any case, that's the name I'm using here and now. I've been a rubber tramp for nearly a decade.I like to see places I've never seen before, and I like to visit the places I love again and again. For most of my years on the road, my primary residence was my van. For almost half of the time I was a van dweller, I was going it alone. Now I have a little travel trailer parked in a small RV park in a small desert town. I also have a minivan to travel in. When it gets too hot for me in my desert, I get in my minivan and move up in elevation to find cooler temperatures or I house sit in town in a place with air conditioning I was a work camper in a remote National Forest recreation area on a mountain for four seasons. I was a camp host and parking lot attendant for two seasons and wrote a book about my experiences called Confessions of a Work Camper: Tales from the Woods. During the last two seasons as a work camper on that mountain, I was a clerk in a campground store. I'm also a house and pet sitter, and I pick up odd jobs when I can. I'm primarily a writer, but I also create beautiful little collages; hand make hemp jewelry and warm, colorful winter hats; and use my creative and artistic skills to decorate my life and brighten the lives of others. My goal (for my writing and my life) is to be real. I don't like fake, and I don't want to share fake. I want to share my authentic thoughts and feelings. I want to give others space and permission to share their authentic selves. Sometimes I think the best way to support others is to leave them alone and allow them to be. I am more than just a rubber tramp artist. I'm fat. I'm funny. I'm flawed. I try to be kind. I'm often grouchy. I am awed by the stars in the dark desert night. I hope my writing moves people. If my writing makes someone laugh or cry or feel angry or happy or troubled or comforted, I have done my job. If my writing makes someone think and question and try a little harder, I've done my job. If my writing opens a door for someone, changes a life, I have done my job well. I hope you enjoy my blog posts, my word and pictures, the work I've done to express myself in a way others will understand. I hope you appreciate the time and energy I put into each post. I hope you will click the like button each time you like what you have read. I hope you will share posts with the people in your life. I hope you'll leave a comment and share your authentic self with me and this blog's other readers. Thank you for reading.  A writer without readers is very sad indeed.

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