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Windtriggeredgardenlight
From the MAKE: Flickr pool

Morten rigged up an LED lantern for his yard that turns on with a breeze -

I read about a lovely project yesterday on Inhabitat, where a team of Japanese guys and girls created some lovely solarpowered lights. When hung in trees, these lights only came on if there was wind (and dark enough I suppose).

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I didn’t have what I needed to make a solar powered version, but I did make one powered by a button cell battery instead.

My version is very bare bones and not as techy and beautiful as the “original“, but it works, and is hanging in my garden right now, blinking away happily.

Nice and simple – and hey, achieving functionality is first priority. Aesthetics can always be considered after you’ve got an idea up and running. Check the site for the step-by-step – Creating a flickrering garden lantern triggered by the wind

Collin Cunningham

Born, drew a lot, made video, made music on 4-track, then computer, more songwriting, met future wife, went to art school for video major, made websites, toured in a band, worked as web media tech, discovered electronics, taught myself electronics, blogged about DIY electronics, made web videos about electronics and made music for them … and I still do!


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Comments

  1. mskogly.myopenid.com says:

    Thanks for linking to my little project, makes me super proud! I wish I had put some more energy into the estetics of it, making something a little more in the line with the japanese original, that uses wax for the housing. I have about a kilo of beeswax that would have made a beautiful housing, but no point encasing a prototype in wax, makes it kind of hard to get at things later :)

    I also want to make a version that is solar powered, but the sad thing about living in the middle part of Norway is that there is VERY little daylight during winter. I tested with a cheap garden solar light today, but could barely get a charge.

    Another idea I’ve toyed with is adding a little amp + speaker, plus using a small solar cell to sense light from the blinking light, generating sound. Multi media tree lantern :)

  2. Collin Cunningham says:

    very cool – always happy to report on cool ideas and work!
    The Multi media tree lantern sounds like a must-make, share pics if/when you do.
    Sorry to hear of your current lack of rays. If you get to hanging the led inside the jar, a lining of yellow paper/etc may simulate a bit of sunshine – ok, a very tiny bit, but the symbolisms still there ;)

  3. Nick says:

    The thing I love about this project is that it doesn’t depend on too much on complex and expensive components. The japanese version is much more complex, with charging circuitry and a custom PCB.

    This version is nice and simple: it’s a glorified LED throwie. And the wind-triggered switch extends the battery life. I like this combination a lot. It could scale up to a neat display without an artist’s grant…

    Casting in wax is a cool idea. Cheap, waterproof, easy.

    Remix ideas :
    - Cheapest solar charging possible
    - Make the hanger/spring mechanism easy to reproduce, eg a simple spring made from wrapped steel wire. Someone clever could probably figure out a way to build in a battery holder here too.

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