1 Easy DIY To Transform Old Lamps Into Outdoor Solar Lights

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Do you have old electric table lamps in your home you are not using? 1 easy DIY to transform old lamps into outdoor solar lights will show you how to repurpose your old lamps and upcycle them into solar table lamps, solar floor lamps, or any solar lamp you can imagine for your outdoor livi


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Why You’ll Love The DIY For A Solar Light Lamp

Don’t worry about possessing any crafting skills because this is a very easy DIY project and in fact, you can make this DIY as easy or advanced as you prefer!

You’ll love making an outdoor solar light lamp because…

  • easy to make
  • simple materials needed to repurpose old electric lamps into solar table lamps or solar floor lights
  • you can style these with any flair you prefer from fun colors to decorative accents
  • no need to use electricity
  • great for camping / RV’ing
  • good for kids’ outdoor sleepover parties
  • great around pool areas and patios
  • bugs don’t gravitate as avidly to solar as they do electricity
  • you can make more than one solar lamp from old lamps and you should share them with others
  • no special tools are required to repurpose old lamps into new outdoor lighting via solar lights

Tools You’ll Need To DIY an Outdoor Solar Light Lamp

Scour your basement, attic, your parent’s homes, and your aunt’s home and find lamps that they are not using, and don’t worry about the lampshades you don’t need them!

You’ll need to understand the anatomy of a lamp because we will be working with either a table lamp or a floor lamp or any standing lamp you prefer!

Don’t worry if they are electric, they won’t be using electricity when we are done doing this solar lamp DIY using old lamps!

  • diagonal cutting pliers (or really sharp durable scissors)
  • gloves (disposable) optional
  • glue gun (optional)

What You Need To Make A Solar Light Lamp

This project is like a junk-collector paradise and also for a person that loves to clean out and reuse what they have! 

  • lamp body (no need to have the lampshade)
  • spray paint - the color(s) of your choice
  • solar light source (ground stake kind or any kind you prefer such as solar light bulbs) to fit inside the socket of the lamp body (pole)
  • masking tape - which is optional however if you want to leave colors on the lamp body you will want to tape them off to maintain, I did that in one of my solar table lamps.

Where To Score An Inexpensive Old Lamp If You Don’t Have One

What’s worse than reading about a DIY you’d love to do, but not having the items to do it? NOTHING!

Here are a few places you can buy a cheap old lamp from or a few places you might even find one for free!

  • Facebook Marketplace - is a great place to search for old lamps you can convert to new solar lights if you can survive the sale and the person selling them (lol)
  • The Red White & Blue Salvation Army Thrift Stores
  • Goodwill - they’ve got great finds all the time so you might find the next lamp to upcycle and convert into a solar outdoor table lamp.
  • Garage Sales - you will find some really great deals here and if it is towards the end of the day most owners want to dump their items so you might score the best price of the day on old lamps that you can convert to solar lights here!
  • Online Garage Sales you never know what you’ll find online and if you want tall solar floor lamps this is a great place to look!
  • Canvassing trash nights (this is a goldmine!)
  • Flea markets

How To Transform Old Lamps Into Outdoor Solar Lights (Solar Lamps)

Before I continue converting electric lamps to solar, please do not plug this lamp in, make sure the lamp is UNPLUGGED before you begin working with the old lamp!

There is a lot of personal choice in seeking out and converting old lamps (from floor lamps to table lamps) because you’ll want them to fit your style.

Remember to look at the colors of all the available solar lights as well as sizes before you start your project as solar lamp ideas are only as good as they are balanced when you look at them!


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Things To Consider For Your Solar Lamp Ideas To Transform Old Lamps Into Outdoor Solar Lights

These are a few things to consider as much as this list is also how to assemble.

  • For each upcycled lamp post, you’ll need to choose the appropriate size solar light (outdoor, width, and height because you have to place a fair-sized solar light fixture atop the lamp post or it would not look right.
  • If you are upcycling an old lamp base that is more of a stick shape, you’ll want to find the appropriate solar-powered outdoor light to affix into the old bulb housing area and make it not too big yet not too small and you will know what looks right when you begin trying out different-sized solar light options.
  • I worked with what started out as an old buffet lamp that ended up being tall enough to be a floor lamp that I could situate next to my patio couch.
  • I shopped at Walmart (this time) which has a great selection of varying sizes of solar lights so that no matter what size lamp you are upcycling you are sure to find a great light that is solar for the outdoors. You can also find great solar lights at Dollar Tree, and Dollar General depending on what size you need.
  • Don’t forget that you can also choose colors such as gunmetal, silver, chrome, black, etc. which also add to your repurposed old lamps and you’ll want to consider that when you are spray painting your lamp base!

Step 1 For How To Make A Solar Powered Lamp Is All About The Lamp Body

If you don’t have an old lamp (no lampshade needed) you’ll want to visit a thrift store (Goodwill, Red White & Blue) and find one

I suggest seeking out wood, or plastic, and don’t worry about what it looks like, we will repurpose old electric lamps and make them look fabulous when we spray paint them a little further down in this easy solar light lamp from old lamps DIY!

Wood is a great base as is metal and the right grade of spray paint will weatherproof the sucker!

Step 2 To Repurpose Old Electric Lamps Start By Cleaning It

Wipe off and clean the lamp body of the old lamp and then start your project as chances are it is old, dusty, and has been sitting around for a while.

The beauty of this DIY is that it does NOT matter if the lamp works, it just matters that the old lamp has a body that you can update!

Step 3 Of the Solar Lamp DIY Using Old Lamps Is To Disassemble The Old Lamp

Again, if you do not know the anatomy of a lamp and the lampshade refer here to quickly learn!

Just start by unassembling the lampshade, which means taking the lock off of the lampshade fitting and then the harp.

Don’t worry about the light switch area, or the harp holder as you will be using that as your base so leave it on the old lamp.

If you can take the harp holder off, that is great but most do not come off separately from the switch and socket area so leave them on!

Step 4 To Repurpose Old Electric Lamps We Need To Get Rid Of The Wiring!

There’s nothing like using diagonal pliers to snip that wiring that would have plugged into the wall off! I am telling you it is a powerful feeling knowing you are about to do something great and no longer have to use electricity to run a lamp!

Once you’ve got the wiring out, you are ready to reassemble the body of the lamp and you can move on to the next step.

I do suggest recycling anything from the lamp (lampshade, to the bulbs that can be recycled and make sure to properly dispose of all other pieces from the soon-to-be upcycled lamps.

Step 5: Prep Your Old Lamps For Updating

Now you are going to want to tape off any area you don’t want to refinish with spray paint using masking tape.

If you are going to refinish the entire lamp base then you do not need to use masking tape as you prep for the DIY project for old lamps!

Spray for even coverage and allow the spray paint to dry on your old lamp base that has just been updated!

Step 7: Use Adhesive To Attach The Solar Light To The Lamp Base

You’ll be attaching either the solar pole and solar light to the lamp socket or both pieces depending on how tall you want to make the repurposed old lamps.

If you are working with a table lamp you may not want the solar light to be too tall, then you would not add the solar light stake.

However, if you want to make solar floor lights the repurposed old lamps need to be taller and require you to affix both the pole and the outdoor solar lights.

Use the adhesive of choice and allow it to set and then charge your light in the sun and enjoy it by night!


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