Do-it-Yourself RGB Sun Jar

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In a rather ludicrous display of maker forgetfulness, I didn’t take enough pictures for this project. I’m pretty sure there’s a more involved step by step process somewhere on the internet. After all, there are plenty of ways to make these jars.

For what it’s worth, I used:

  • Krylon™ Frosted Glass Finish paint link
  • 38oz Hermes Jar by Ashland™ from Michael’s link
  • Two (2) solar powered garden lights. I got it from Home Depot on sale for about $3 each. They looked like this
  • One (1) tube of Epoxy link
  • 2xAA Battery Holder, got it from now extinct RadioShack.
  • Spare wood. I machined it using an XCarve to serve as the lid. Here is the link for the design
  • Hot glue, soldering iron, files, sand paper, extra wires, etc.

Note

If you want to skip gutting the garden lights and all that is involved with it, Michael’s sells pre-made solar lids for mason jars. 

Mason Jar LED Light Lid by Ashland®

Steps

This is a rather simple process:

  1. Cover the inside of the jar using the frosted glass Krylon paint. Three light coats should be enough.
  2. Take apart the garden light and adhere the components inside as illustrated. I attempted to extend the light’s duration and enhance its brightness by doubling up on the batteries and solar panels. The brightness improved significantly, but it’s uncertain if the light lasts longer—likely not.

    • Color select switch (White/RGB/Static Color)

    • Main power switch (turns the sun-jar off)

    • Garden light circuit. (Optional: I brought the LEDs closer to the board as well; their leads were too long)


  3. Glue the solar panels in the top of the lid using the epoxy/hot glue, like so:
  4. Using an XCarve, I machined a piece of wood to cover the lid (to hide the cables and such) and to make it resemble cork, just like a wine bottle. Again, here is the link for that

Enjoy

The sun jar will remain off as long as there is enough light to charge it. When it gets dark enough, it will light up on its own to fill your place with captured sunlight! 


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