Instructables

Solar-Powered Glow-Jar

Picture of Solar-Powered Glow-Jar
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The idea for this Instructable came from something I found called Sun and Moon Jars on ThinkGeek.com.

http://www.thinkgeek.com/homeoffice/lights/994a/

Unfortunately these jars cost much more than I was willing to spend. Because of this, I decided to make my own version, and share it with all of you.
 
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Step 1: What You'll Need

Tools and Materials
~Screwdriver
~Some form of glue
~Soldering Iron (You may not need this)
~Dremel or similar tool.
~Solar-powered garden light
~Glass Jar
~Frosted Glass Finish Spray (You may not need this if your jar is already frosted)
~Paint for use on metal (Optional)
~Safety Glasses

Before you get started. Make sure you know what you're doing, and observe all safety procedures. That means you should probably wear safety glasses and any other appropriate safety attire. Otherwise, you might end up with a piece of plastic or metal in your eye. Trust me, it's not fun.

Step 3: The LED

Unless you want a white glowing jar, you'll either want to replace or modify the current LED that came built into your garden light.

Replacement:
If you chose to replace the LED, make sure the LED you're using has the same voltage ratings as the one built into the garden light .The LED in my light ran off only a single rechargeable "AA" battery, (1.2v)

Modification:
In this case, the term "modification" is simply a fancy term for "color."
So if you chose to color your LED, choose a suitable Sharpie or other permanent marker, and color away. Try to color the entire LED, leaving no clear space.
jdoyel1 year ago
I bought 4 solar powered garden lights and medium sized jars (both from my nearest Right-Aid store and they fit like a glove. :) unfortunately, I'm having some disastrous problems "replacing" the current LED with the colored LED. I think I irreparably messed up the first two. I need some help. What is the best method in successfully replacing the LED? Also, I think the colored LEDs I have do posses a higher voltage of about 2.1v. Does that also dramatically change things? If so, how do I manipulate the garden light in giving more supportive voltage?
Just cut the leads on old one and solder new ones onto the old ones, you must determine which way it goes first. I had an old tv worked fine one day it popped the full wave rectifier. I cut it out then soldered another one right to the top . The soldered in place fuse went as well, I bought a doubled fuse holder. That is two holders soldered back to back. Put it on the dead one put new fuse in the top one. No solder required. Repairman tried to hump me for 150 bucks over the repair it needed, the month before. He said it had a weak low voltage supply. I explained I could fix simple radios what did he mean. Turns out the solid state 1 piece bridge was cracking open from heat. The part cost 25 cents, he could have charged me another 26 bucks(the set was already apart), he tried to gouge me. It took 5 minutes to fix.

This way of replacing will take same time or less, cut it solder to the stubbs.
MdP1632 (author)  jdoyel1 year ago
The best method of replacing the LED, in my opinion, would be to desolder the original LED and solder a new one in its place. Make sure you match the polarity to the original. If the LED requires more power than is provided from the garden light, you may wish to incorporate a "Joule Thief" circuit such as the one found here: http://www.instructables.com/id/Make-a-Joule-Thief/#step1.
ttaylor101 year ago
How did you get the solar panel off the plastic housing? I can't seem to cut it with anything. Help!!
Oh and thanks for posting this 'ible.. nice work.
MdP1632 (author)  ttaylor101 year ago
I actually left the solar panel attached to the plastic. If you have to remove it and you don't have a dremel or similar tool, you might want to try heating the plastic a little to soften it. Then, while it's still soft, cut into it a little bit, and repeat as needed. Be careful not to melt any wires or break the solar cell. Good luck, and I'm glad you like the Instructable.
bad_pissy2 years ago
You can use pearl white nail polish.I used for my sun jar 2 bottles of nail polish, droped them into the glass jar, put the cover, shake well and then remove the cover and then turn the jar upside down for a few hours, it looks great
MdP1632 (author)  bad_pissy2 years ago
Thanks. That sounds like a really good idea. I'll have to try it when I make my next one.
would Wax paper work instead of glass frosting?
MdP1632 (author)  RadioactiveBees2 years ago
Yes. Wax paper should work pretty well. Even just a piece of white paper works. I tried it that way initially, but I prefer the look of the frosted glass.