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
- Pickle Jar
- Solar Panel - I got mine from a broken camping lamp
- JST Connector
- 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
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
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
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
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
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!
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!