Circuit Lake

Electronic Project and Circuit Collection

Solar Project : Reading Lamp

12/16/2009 Category: Analog, Power Supply, Project

The solar reading lamp project aim was to produce a self powered reading lamp that could be used by students in developing countries for reading at night. The circuit can be used for a wide variety of lighting applications.


The project consists of a small solar panel, a standard UPS style lead acid battery, and an LED circuit board. The circuit board contains a low power solar charge controller (regulator), a set of 8 white LEDs, a switch, an LED current regulator, and a low voltage disconnect circuit. The circuitry will insure a long battery life by preventing over charging and excessive discharging. The circuit was designed to work with lead acid batteries, it should also work with a string of 10 NiCd cells. Both the charge controller and LED regulator circuits can be used independently for other applications.

Newer VW and Audi automobiles come with small solar panels for keeping the battery charged in the sales lot. These panels are available on eBay for around $15 and are a perfect fit for this project. An inexpensive 12V 7AH lead acid gell-cell battery that is typically found in a computer UPS is also a good fit for this circuit. Solar based Reading Lamp Solar Schematic