Introduction: Sun Jar

Picture of Sun Jar

I saw the Sun Jar by Tobias Wong at Suck UK Design and thought it would be a perfect instructable project. Unfortunatly I'm no EE and need help with a wiring diagram and parts list. Hopefully we can come up with a design that is easily scalable so people can make different sized Sun Jars or vary it's brightness and battery life. So I guess this is a Instructable request stub hoping one of the gurus out there can fill in the details.


Doglover1010 (author)2017-04-04


MisterGuy (author)2006-12-15

Although I like the idea of making projects yourself, Tobias is an Artist and Product Designer whose work is how he makes a living. I don't want to harp on the whole 'intellectual property rights' thing, but I think it needs to be said.

paranhos (author)MisterGuy2006-12-15

Give me a break. The kind of person who would take the time to build something like this is not the same kind of person who would ever have bought the item already made. Tobias' kids aren't going hungry because I posted this here. Besides, the item is out of stock anyway at their store. I was nice enough to give Tobias full credit for the idea. That's more then can be said for a lot of projects on this site.

spylock (author)paranhos2012-07-18

Got any ideas on how to contact this Tobias feller so I can ask him if I can put an LED or two in a peanut butter jar?

MisterGuy (author)paranhos2006-12-15

Touché. I do applaud you for acklowledging the idea's source. I just think that there is a growing attitude of disrespect for those amongst us who come up with these great ideas. Some products take years to develop, then as soon as they're noticed by the mainstream, they're ripped off. I even heard of people showing product prototypes at tradeshows, and then having copies in production before the real thing. I know a few people building frosted jar lamps isn't going to hurt Tobias, but if this problem gets any worse, it's going to cause new product designers to reconsider putting so much effort into developing new stuff.

wutwutwut (author)MisterGuy2010-05-09

reply ing to an ancient comment, thread necromancy!

ideas are worth nothing in utero -- the only monetary reward you are guaranteed is that which you get from the market. this sounds cold, and it is, but there is no natural right to profit from ideas.
if you want to protect your idea, copyright it. copyright was a good idea, to give you a few years to make a profit from physical manufacture before other people would be allowed to compete with you in that arena. it's a limiting of the free market principle in return for a creative impetus which society as a whole is perceived to benefit from.
i doubt, however, that tobias' idea can be copyrighted. it is simply not that unique. and without the restriction of copyright we are free to be inspired and make our own, or make modifications thereof. it is not immoral for us to do so, nor do we have a moral obligation to purchase his version.

stengah (author)wutwutwut2010-05-17

@wutwutwu: One word: Word!!

Personally I believe copyright is becoming a relic of the past....just think the whole idea of owning ideas is, well... not well suited for a future where we need to exchange ideas in order to inspire global development and a brighter future.

I do understand the need to ensure the original developer gets recognized and is able to get a decent return of investment for his work. 

Greed and fighting to maintain "ownership" of ideas is simply not the way forward as I see it... instead we ought to compete about developing the best version of the idea and come up with brilliant variations...

Thanks for the instructable.

iApple guy (author)2011-01-14

great job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Thats rely

Dr.Bill (author)2010-11-18

Or, use a plastic peanut butter jar with the inside sanded with fine sand paper.
The light can then be mounted through the lid complete with plastic lenz the light comes with.

Dr.Bill (author)2010-11-18

A small piece of thin diffuser plastic cut to fit the inside of the jar can be found in craft stores for cheap.

eralon (author)2010-08-29

Regarding adding a frosted effect, I think people are getting a little over-complicated in their processes, and some of the tools required are not readily available to everyone. Any decent craft store will carry Armor Etch, a chemical paste or bath that "eats" glass. You can apply stickers or tape to the glass, cut out shapes, whatever, then apply the Armor Etch to frost the glass. Or, if you have a Dremel or other rotary tool, you can etch out designs, pictures or silhouette shadow-casters to the glass using a diamond bit. Easiest way to follow a stencil in this fashion is to print off/draw your picture on paper, tape the paper inside container and then "trace" it from the outside. Good luck and have fun :)

yhtak (author)2010-07-29

Can the led be "softened" by spraying frosting spray on it or will it ruin the light

Clayton H. (author)yhtak2010-08-09

all you have to do is evenly sand the outside surface of the led

skautistic (author)2006-09-23

We needed a "think-tank" to figure out how to frost a jar and hook up a solar panel/battery to LEDs?

Adzuom (author)skautistic2010-05-16

I'm struggling with the part where it charges automatically and turns on from a light detecting 'switch'.

The garden light option is alright but it would be cooler to do the whole thing from scratch.

Any advice would be appreciated.

musicalbee2003 (author)Adzuom2010-06-17

Pummer circuit, solar beacon, BEAM solutions abound.

nerd.500_2 (author)2010-05-16

 use an arduino

serramagk (author)2010-05-16

My daughter once made me a beautiful candle holder using a patterned tissue paper/glue.

The same principle would be applied here. Thin coat of Elmers glue, then simply take pieces of any plain or patterned tissue paper (that is used for gift wrapping not Kleenex) and a quick shot of an aerosol glaze over the top to seal it. 

You could use any color you wanted or even combine colors into a mosaic effect.  Cool instructable BTW!

joecoles (author)2008-12-10

anyone thought about spraying the OUTSIDE of the jar with glass frosting spray ? just wondering if that would work ???

codongolev (author)joecoles2009-07-17


golddigger1559 (author)2009-04-24

Oh yeah, the clowns. We fight them too. Entire armies spilling out of Volkswagens. We do our best to fight them off, but they keep sending them in.

javier7high (author)2008-10-18

use white glue inside the botte. find a way to spray it. or put a layer and sand it and put a layer again til u get the tone u want. just an idea

garrett10 (author)javier7high2009-01-03

buy a spray bottle and put mix paint thinner into the glue and spray away! :)

pinski1 (author)2006-09-21

I work at Homebase Ltd, UK, and we sell cans of Spray-on glass frosting stuff. Perhaps that'd be the easiest way? Oh and we sell plastic cups and solar lghts ... Actually I may just go do that....

jeff-o (author)pinski12008-05-11

I can confirm that the spray-on glass frosting spray works quite well, though you have to do a few layers for it to look right. It also takes forever to dry on its own (very little air movement inside a jar!), so I recommend drying it faster with a hair dryer.

brandon borick (author)2008-02-21

pinski1 your right they do and it works well I used it on a glass chest set

iman (author)2006-09-21

you can make frosted glass with fine steel wool or sand paper

fastback570 (author)iman2008-02-09

best bet for the frosted glass is to get ahold of a sandblaster. you can then tape/mask of designs and the sandblast will go where the glass isn't covered.

fastback570 (author)iman2008-02-09

i worked at an auto shop and we used steel wool to remove overspray and clean auto glass after painting. so what i'm saying is that steel wool is NOT going to give your desired "frosted" effect it'll only clean it.

ColossalRiptide (author)iman2007-12-13

I tried the steel wool and couldn't get it to do anything. I tried sandpaper to but it seemed to hard to get an even opaqueness and it was scratchy. Any tips?

try 220 grit or higher sandpaper

iman (author)ColossalRiptide2007-12-13

It took a long time for it to scratch but once it did it worked a lot better

Zengineer1618 (author)2008-02-05

I think that some type of emery cloth wold be the best type of sandpaper to use if you were going to frost glass by hand. I worked in a glass plant for a while and they used to sand blast the glass to frost it. Idea: make a slurry of clear polyurethane and sandbox sand and coat the inside or outside of the jar with it................?

nerfer192 (author)2007-11-23

and why would it be called Suck?

Kirtai (author)2007-07-28

A good start might be one of the BEAM robotics nocturnal solar engine circuits like the ones here

Rowen27 (author)2006-12-22

I have no knowledge of LED's, but I have read several projects on this site, and they have made me curious as to weather you could have a variation of this that looked like fireflies in a jar. Making several green LED's fade on and off randomly seems possible from the posts I've seen, but like I said I have no practical knowledge of this... does anyone have suggestions? Jen

JordanZed (author)2006-10-22

I've seen lights that charge during the day everywhere. But I like how this is in a jar (and the soft light is pretty) so it's like it stores the sun in the jar. lol I want one. I'll try this out and post an instructable when/if I do it.

FrenchCrawler (author)2006-10-04

Another way to make frosted/foggy glass is to make up a batch of Epsom Salt and water and spray/brush it on.... As soon as the stuff dries, the salt is left behind and causes the glass to look "foggy". The more salt you use, the better (or thicker) the fog effect.

th0th (author)2006-09-28

It's awesome to be condescending.

krusty (author)2006-09-23

This would look cool with one of those slow-change RGB leds :) I have the remains of an old garden light floating around my junk box, might make for a sunday-afternoon project !!

wdancer (author)2006-09-21

Here are some disassembled garden lights with red or amber lights.

radiorental (author)2006-09-21

would seem to me you might want to do the following to a stock LED solar garden light. 1) swap out the white led for amber/orange 2) disperse the light with some guaze 3) frost the inside of the jar - not sure how to do this, is there an artist's glass acid etch product available? 4) the inside of the lid would contain the electronics taken from the solar light (these cost about $35 for a set of four) Nice project, keep us posted

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