I love my solar lights, as I've documented here and there on this site, particularly those that I put in jars and bottles. I've had this oversize glass cookie jar cluttering up my counter space for years, and when we decided to get rid of it, I figured I'd repurpose it instead of sending it off to the Goodwill. With a quick trip to the dollar store, a bit of cutting and soldering, and some liberal application of silicone caulk, I built a giant sun jar with the power of SEVEN normal jars!
Step 1: Gather Materials
To build your own Giant Sun Jar, you'll need:
- Several dollar store solar lights
- A big jar of some sort
- Various LEDs
- Speaker wire
- Silicone caulk
- Glass frosting spray
Step 2: Harvest and Prepare LEDs
If you don't already have some LEDs lying around, or if you want some specialty LEDs, you can harvest them from electronics. I have a good supply, but I wanted a couple of color changing LEDs, so I took them out of some keychains I got at the dollar store.
Whether you get them from old electronics or have them on hand, you'll probably need to diffuse them by buffing with sand paper, or use hot glue to do the job.
Step 3: Extract Components from Lights
Solar garden lights are great, but when you're building sun jars from them, you don't need the whole thing. I usually save all the components, but really all you need for this instructable is the battery and clip, circuit board, and solar panel. Trim everything else away and either save it for a future project, or recycle it.
Step 4: Change LEDs and Add Wire
Almost without fail, solar lights come with a white LED. It's a simple matter of a snip of the leads, the addition of some speaker wire, and swapping out the white LED for a different color to change all that. Make sure you're soldering positive to positive, and make sure you test before you call it done! Since there will be so many of these, it wouldn't hurt to wrap the exposed leads in electrical tape or heat shrink tubing.