December 2, 2012


Over the Thanksgiving break I had a notion to make an Advent wreath for the front of the Child Development Center using solar yard lights. I let the idea percolate for several days and then finally came up with a working plan using a board, four dowels, and four lengths of PVC pipe.

Then Thanksgiving weekend came and went and I pretty much didn’t leave the house, so no supplies were purchased and nothing was done.

However, we have some lengths of foam pipe insulation that a dad brings us from his heating/ac job, and they seemed like they could work just fine on their own. They are split down the side already, so I spray-painted them blue and stuck them on the railing around the basement window (in lieu of dowels and a base), then jammed some greenery underneath. On my sickly Saturday, I putzed around with how to make the lights look like flames. Tinted Elmer’s glue seemed to be the right choice, since it would dry translucent. Plus, I could paint on some glue and then go nap for a hour.

It took several layers of glue, and it took for.eh.ver. to dry, and they look only very slightly like flames, but keep in mind – this is a prototype and I knew from the start that this could very well look terrible.

It is painted in a vague flame shape.

After church we took everything over and assembled them. It did not go very smoothly, and I had to keep re-sizing the tube that connects the stake to the light base, otherwise the ‘candles’ looked like they had freakishly long wicks.

This is the pointy bit that usually goes in the ground.

Ok, up and ready to charge for the day. We would check them after getting back from Lloyd’s staff party.

The white is a spacer, but is supposed to be a candle holder. Are you buying it?

Huge disappointment! We pulled into town at 8:30 p.m. and it wasn’t on at all because there are so many street lights around. Grrrrr.

I got some paper to tape over the light sensor so it would come on, then drove across the street to get the full effect.

The full, underwhelming effect.

It looks better in the picture than it does in real life. It is unnoticeable.

Oh, well.

About Lauren

Lauren Sommerer is a preschool teacher who likes to build prototypes, grow cats, cook things once, save money, reduce, reuse and recycle.

View all posts by Lauren

3 Responses to “Underwhelming.”

  1. Brad Said on:

    Ha! Clever idea!


  2. Kris Said on:

    Lauren, that’s a great idea! I’m going to have to steal it!


  3. Peggy Said on:

    That is AWESOME!! I love it! And it looks so good next to the lit tree. If you can’t see it that good at night, it’s ok….because it shows up good in the day!

    You need to get writing a book filled with all your great ideas!


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