Sun jars -- small solar-powered lights in decorative jars -- are great for patio lighting or as mood lighting in any room. It's possible to make a sun jar for well under $20 using a single LED garden light, a glass jar and a few decorative touches like ribbons and colorful pebbles. By stripping the components out of a solar-garden light, you can create a beautiful, useful lamp that requires only exposure to light during the day to glow for several hours at night.
Items you will need:
- LED solar garden light stake
- Mason or canning jar
- Decorative stones (optional)
Twist the top of the solar garden stake off of the glass base. Most solar lights can be stripped into three main pieces. Discard the glass shroud and ground stake, leaving the top with the light, solar panel and battery housing.
Place the top of the solar-light assembly into a mason or canning jar. If you use a jar with a metal lid, remove the lid and set it aside. Place the panel so that the top of the light sits flush on top of the jar. The solar panel should be exposed and you should see the LED light inside the jar. If you use a jar with an attached glass lid, you can opt to place the light and panel inside the jar and close the lid -- sunlight must penetrate the glass lid to reach the solar panel.
Wrap the rim of the jar with a layer of ribbon to decorate it and to cover the edges of the light assembly. Secure the ribbon with clear tape.
Leave the jar in direct sunlight to charge the light's battery, according to the instructions that came with solar garden stake.
- Fill the bottom of the mason jar with colorful rocks or glass stones.
- Buy frosted-glass jars or tint or frost the jars by hand to better conceal the light assembly and provide a softer light.
- You can use epoxy or craft glues to better secure the light assembly to the jar, but this may make it difficult to replace the LED bulb or other components should they malfunction.
Heath Robert has been a professional writer since 2001. Covering news, politics and local communities, he has worked for daily newspapers across Colorado, including the "Columbine Courier" and the "Colorado Statesman." Robert holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in journalism and political science.
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