Salvage a Solar Yard Light

I had six broken solar yard lights lying around outside for years.  Was there anything I could salvage from them?

yard light
Here is one of the yard lights.
take the top off
A simple twist, and the top came off. There were two LEDs underneath the top of the lantern. Note the reflective plastic mirror at the bottom of the body.
tea light
The lantern part could be cleaned up and used with a tea light candle.
lantern shell
The translucent inside part could be separated and used as a pencil cup. The lattice could be used as a decoration, too.
convex mirror
That mirror at the bottom turned out to be cheap plastic with silver paint. Still good enough to put on a monitor, to see if anyone is looking over your shoulder.
lantern top
This is the top part of the lantern. There’s a Ni-Cd battery in there.
NiCd battery
Amazingly, the battery was still good, and held a charge.
battery holder
After some cleanup, there’s a nice AA battery holder, if I needed one.
top opened
Remove 4 screws, and the top comes apart. Note the tiny circuit board with a photocell standing up on leads. The top part held a solar cell.
solar cell
The solar cell consisted of 4 polycrystalline cells in series. Unfortunately, the cell was no good. In fact, not one of the solar cells was good in the whole lot of six lights.
There was a small printed circuit board in there, with through-hole components. When I was in high school, I would have gratefully salvaged the transistors. Today, this goes right into the electronic recycling bin. There were a few parts worth saving though – see the next picture.
photocell and LEDs
Each lamp contained a photocell and two yellow LEDs. The LEDs were actually through-hole parts meant for PCB mount. I could remove the wire leads and use them that way. All tested out fine. Ultimately, LEDs and photocells were the only things I kept.
metal parts
All metal went into metal recycling. In fact, all the plastic and electronics went to recycling, too, except for the photocells and LEDs.
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