How To DIY: Modern Concrete and Rebar Outdoor Solar Lights.

Saturday, January 6, 2024

modern concrete and rebar outdoor solar lights
Well this is a nifty little project!  How to DIY concrete and rebar outdoor solar lights!  They're really quite easy too!

I'm always on a quest to light up the outdoors with subtle decorative low-light solar lighting as I've pointed out, lighting is like room jewelry.  Not only for an indoor space, such as lamps, hanging fixtures, and such but also for an outdoor space.

Multiple sources of light and multiple types of light, as in varying bulb wattages, plus the ability to adjust said light with dimmers create visual warmth, cozy ambiance, and all-around comfort.  Rockin' good things in my book.

Your home is yours, it should be a place of solace, joy, and where you can live out loud your best design, decor, and lit life.

Of course indoors, and out, sometimes just some bright ol' task light is required but in general, I strongly encourage skipping harsh overhead or singular light sources and instead use varying light sources and light types in your daily life.  

Trust me!  Give it a whirl!

Lighting doesn't have to be expensive either.  I mean, obviously it can be, but thrift stores or buying secondhand can result in some amazing gems.

Or, get handy and DIY it.**  Even turn a recessed can into a pendant.  I mean, c'mon!

Indeed, I was on a concrete kick for a bit there.  Mostly because I'm a big fan of the material, its ease of use with spiffy results, and too, I kept ending up with full bags lying around, wanted to use them.

This idea crept into my brain while making those Modern Concrete Solar Lights for the fence, as in, what else can I shape this nifty concrete into.  Ah, heh, hey, more lights!

Modern Concrete and Rebar Outdoor Solar Lights, in fact.

After some reverse engineering, here's what I used:
concrete and rebar solar light supplies
The pool noodle and the lights themselves I picked up at Dollar Tree* which surely can be found at similar type dollar-ish stores for cheap.  So in some ways, this is also a dollar store DIY decor item too!

You might not necessarily need to spring for the spray release as it's mostly for added insurance that the waxed cardboard containers will not stick, but I used it and needed it.  While I haven't tried it, I hear cooking oil in a spray can works.

Now, the design is completely up to you.  I'm here to provide tips, the recipe on how to get you there so please feel free to modify what I did to fit your desires.

Note, my second home Menards has two foot long pieces of rebar so zero cutting was involved.  Nice, right?!

Oh and hey, don't forget to use Rakuten* when you shop online as you get cash back, even when you shop online and do store pick-up.

Ok, let's hop to it!

First, trim up your cardboard container to the finished height, or close to your finished height, of your fixture head.  I did this randomly.

Next, trim up the pool noodle the same length as it is deep in the container.  Again, random for me.

gluing pool noodle in milk container
Heat up your hot glue gun* and mind your fingers.  Run a nice bead of hot glue around the cut side of the pool noodle right along the edge and while it's still screaming hot, plunk the glue end down into the bottom of the container.

The hot glue is going to act as a leak barrier while your pool noodle is making the shape for your solar light to fit into.  You could try caulk but that might take forever and a day to set up.

Try to be as tidy as you can with the hot glue bead and not drip over the edge onto the sides as concrete reflects every bump and wiggle.

Ok!  Let this set up a minute or two and go mix your concrete.

Now, obviously we're not using the whole bag here, heh.  Grab a plastic cup or container, dump in a little of the powder, wear a mask and don't inhale it please, add a little bit of water at a time until you get to a nice slurry.  A bit runny, not too stiff, but not too watery either.  

I slid the piece of rebar down a corner, or in the case of another one, made an X, then clamped* or leaned the rebar onto something tall and plumb, making sure the rebar didn't touch the very bottom as to be exposed on the top, and with space around it so the grippy concrete coats it.
filling containers with rebar and concrete
Carefully pour your concrete mix into the container going all around the pool noodle but not in the center of it, back away slowly, and wait for it to set.

Once set, all you gotta do is remove the cardboard container, pull the pool noodle out, and voilá, you've got yourself a cool, modern concrete and rebar outdoor solar light!

Well, I suppose it's not a light just yet.  

Disassemble that solar light you picked up as we're only using the light part itself.  From the bottom, push the light in so that the solar panel is up and facing the glorious sun.

solar light inside concrete rectangle
I went a little extra knowing the solar light isn't terribly strong and painted the interior with some outdoor acrylic craft paint* in gold hoping for a metallic reflection boost but you do you.

metallic gold outdoor patio craft paint
A little tung oil to seal them up...

tung oil on concrete rebar solar light
All that was left was to smush them into the ground outside!

modern concrete rebar outdoor solar lights in a row
I think they're super cool.  Sure, they don't throw a lot of light and it might take some experimenting with different solar gizmos, but they definitely look snazzy.

modern outdoor concrete and rebar solar light
There we have it, modern concrete and rebar outdoor solar lights!

modern concrete and rebar outdoor solar light x legs

Finn update:  he's doing ok.  Most of his present troubles stem from his calcium being too high thanks to that rude cancer in his tummy lymph node.  He started a new chemo this week, today being day three -post so side effects including some, um, messy have begun.  A long, hard, stressful road.  Next week is a blood test and we evaluate from there.

**Disclaimer:  Electricity is dangerous.  It can hurt you.  It can kill you.  Bad wiring can burn your house down.  It's best to hire a qualified, licensed electrician if you don't know how to wire things.  Do not attempt to wire anything without the proper knowledge.  Do not ever take wiring advice from me.  And do not blow your house up. 

*The hot glue, hot glue gun, and spray release are Amazon affiliate links.  The pool noodles, basic solar lights, and Dollar Tree links are Dollar Tree affiliate links.  The Cement All and clamps are Home Depot affiliate links.  The outdoor craft paint is a Michaels affiliate link.  The tung oil is a Lowes affiliate link.  Mwah, thanks!  The Rakuten link gives us both bonus cash when you make an initial qualifying purchase.  Please see the "boring stuff" tab for more info.

Post a Comment

Please no spam or links, thanks!