How to Connect an LED Light to a Small Solar Panel

Jordan Gaither
A typical LED light bulb

In an ironic twist of physics, energy from the most powerful source of light in our solar system can be harnessed by the solar panel and used to power…a light. More specifically, an LED light, capable of being powered by a single low-voltage solar panel. By replacing the battery from normal power schemes with a solar panel, you can light up an LED light through the power of the sun within minutes using a single, basic tool.

  1. Strip at least one-eighth of an inch of insulation from the end of the solar panel’s wires, making sure not to cut into the metal itself.

  2. Wrap the positive solar panel wire (usually red, and denoted by a “+” symbol) around the positive terminal from the LED.

  3. Wrap the negative (black, “-“) solar panel wire around the negative LED terminal, and make sure both connections are solidly wrapped together. A faulty connection can affect the performance of both your solar panel and the LED.

  4. Place your construction in a source of bright, consistent sunlight. Your LED should power on within seconds.