Flickery Flame conversion to yard solar light
  • First off I'm a bit of a noob to electronics so please excuse my ignorance. I have put three of these Flickery Flame kits together and they are a really cool effect. I had an idea to use the fourth unconstructed one that I have and power it from a outdoor solar light setup. I have hacked a few of these led yard lights and they all seem to run on 1.2v. Even one I got that had 10 LEDs. Now the flickery flame module will light up on 1.2v but not flicker. The kit comes with a 2 AA battery pack and works great. So with that preamble could I just wire in a second Ni-MH into the solar pack and be ok or would it be better to build from scratch. This is going to be for a gift so I would hate for it to crap out. If building it from scratch would be better then could some one point me some reading to give me a jump start. Thank any help you could give me.
  • The flickery LEDs require a DC voltage source in order to operate the little circuit that flickers the LED. However, most solar yard lights rapidly flash the LEDs to dim them for low power. In cases like that, there isn't really any DC voltage there to power the flickering LEDs-- it's like turning off power to your computer every second-- it will never boot all the way to the desktop.
  • So better to build from scratch then. I didn't realize that the commercial solar led lights were using PMW and the makes sense that it would mess with the chips in the flicker LEDs. Here is a stupid question why it doesn't effect the slow color changing versions of these lights? Are they also using a small controller to get the color changing? Like I said I'm a bit of a noob.
  • I haven't really played with the color changing lights-- I don't know how sensitive those are to "rebooting" -- my expectation is that it's a similar circuit, but I don't know its properties well enough to advise on that.
  • Ok thanks for the information. I may just convert this project to indoor that you can be run off of wall voltage. It sounds like an easier fix. I do want to come back to this some day. I think they would make nice ornament for around a patio fire pit. Thanks for your time.