Introduction: Solar Powered Mason Jar

Picture of Solar Powered Mason Jar

Solar powered mason jars are a beautiful garden decor to bring life and light to your backyard. This is a simple solar powered and charged mason jar made with reused items.

Step 1: BoM

Picture of BoM
  • Pickle Jar
  • Solar Panel - I got mine from a broken camping lamp
  • LED
  • Capacitor
  • JST Connector

Tools

  • Knife
  • Hot glue

Step 2: Measure the Solar Voltage Output

Measure the voltage output of the solar panel with a multimeter, connecting the leads to the positive and negative terminals of the solar panel

This solar panel can only output 1.5V when I shine it under my indoor lamp. It could be more if's directly under natural light, so I used this as my lower threshold. This can power a Red LED easily with enough sunlight and charge. Other LEDs with shorter wavelengths require a more voltage to drive it, so I chose a red one, since it is the lowest in the colour spectrum.

Step 3: Peel the Sticker

Picture of Peel the Sticker

Peel as much of the sticker away as you can. Then, soak it in a stream of hot water and the rest of the paper will peel easily.

Step 4: Make a Hole for the Wires

Picture of Make a Hole for the Wires

Make a hole on the lid of the pickle jar to let the wires through.

Using a knife, point it straight down on the centre of the lid and hammer it with a heavy object. Make a + slot hole with the knife. Drive a pointy skewer through the + slot. to make it into a circular hole.

Step 5: Connect the LED to a Capacitor

Picture of Connect the LED to a Capacitor

Twist the wires of the LED and capacitor together. Connect the positive pin of the LED to the positive lead of the capacitor, and do the same for the negative-to-negative pins.

Connect the remaining ends of the leads to the JST header pins.

Step 6: Connect the Solar Panel

Picture of Connect the Solar Panel

Push the wires through the lid holes and measure the length of wire needed to centre the LED. Cut the excess wire.

Twist the positive JST wire corresponding to the positive LED/Capacitor lead to the positive wire of the solar panel. Do the same for the negative-to-negative connection.

Test it out to see if the LED lights up before we glue it permanently.

Step 7: Glue Solar Panel

Picture of Glue Solar Panel

Glue the solar panel to the top lid with hot glue.

Secure the solar panel wires onto the lid by adding hot glue to the wires and lid to glue it together. Do the same for the JST headers so the LEDs don't fall off.

Step 8: Screw the Lid - Done!

Picture of Screw the Lid - Done!

Screw the lid on, and you're done. Place it by some plants or by your bedside window!

If you want to get fancy, add some water to the bottom to see a nice reflection of the LED!

Comments

VinitV (author)2017-09-17

How long led will be on in night? Do we need and battery with it?

Omnivent (author)2017-08-25

Hi,

What's the point of the capacitor?

You didn't specify its value, but it is way too small to have any effect - and it would need a diode between the solar panel and the cap to keep the latter from discharging through the former, when the voltage produced by the panel is lower, had the cap been large enough to matter. As is, save the cap for something else.

Regards

AlexZhang (author)2017-08-20

Water will cause the led leads to get corroded really fast due to electrolysis and generally isn't a good idea. Try using mineral oil instead

About This Instructable

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Bio: Aerospace Engineer working in Software Development with a passion for Hardware.
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