As an alternative to the cottonballs in vaseline, save all of your dryer lint and use that in place of the cottonballs. I have a couple coffee cans full....and its free!
I saw the solar lights for charging batteries, and it reminded me of the super cheap ones they sell at Walmart for $0.97...they are about the size of a standard aspirin bottle if you remove the stick (which is designed to be removed). You're left with this:
They take a licking! I shot this thing across the yard with my weed-wacker, shattering the plastic lens and breaking the plastic peg it sits on....and it still works! The lens thing doubles the height of the unit, and does help diffuse the light a bit. For a dollar, you cant really go wrong getting a couple to try.
This is whats inside:
I know nothing about electronics, but for a buck each, I'm going to see if three of the 'two-thirds AA' batteries with power a 2AA penlight....if they do, then I'm loading up on these and cheap penlights! If they don't, they still make great 'candles'...and will even work in a pinch to light a path!