Charging a battery using LEDs as a "solar panel" then using battery to power LEDs at night

Thread Starter

Ross Satchell

Joined Jan 2, 2017
I am in the very early stages of a new project idea.
I have been reading and watching youtube videos about using LEDs as a solar collector to generate voltage.
I was thinking of using this to charge a battery, then at night use the battery to power the LEDs as bicycle lights. The idea is to use them as side-lighting, so they wouldn't need to illuminate the path ahead, just make me visible to cars.

So my thinking is to use LEDs in series into a buck/boost converter into a Li-Po battery charger. Then I think I might need to use a second buck/boost to power a 556 timer to get a kind of strobing effect with the LEDs.

Does this sound feasible?
Can anyone suggest the pitfalls associated with such a project?


Joined Mar 14, 2008
I suspect the amount of power generated by using a LED as a solar panel is very small, and not enough to light the LED for any significant time, even if you collected the energy from a whole day of sunlight.


Joined Feb 20, 2016
An LED will generate power when light hits it but it is much lower than a solar panel.
LEDs can be used to receive light beam communications signals as seen in some projects, but not to power anything in a practical manner.
Even assuming 100% efficiency, (no where near that in reality) only so much solar power falls in a set area. Why would you use a part of a square mm (LED) when you can use hugely larger solar panels?
So the short answer to using LEDs for power generation is, No!