Solar Powered Mason Jar Lantern for Under Five Bucks
This is a very easy and inexpensive project. You can find solar powered lights for your yard at about any hardware store, as well as Walmart in the gardening center.
The ones made of plastic instead of metal are going to be anywhere from $4 to $7 dollars a piece. If you pay anymore than that, you are at the wrong store!
The basic function of a solar-cell powered light is to transfer energy from the sun into a small battery which is capable of powering a very bright, but very energy efficient bulb throughout the night.
So, that being said, you'll buy a yard light, remove the top/cap from the device. It contains the cell (on top), small battery, and bulb.
Place the cell on top of your jar, or at the bottom of the jar (not as efficient for capturing solar energy if the jar is frosted) and make sure you keep the jar angled toward the sun where the cell can charge up the battery. If you place the cell on the lid and let the light and battery fall into the jar, you won't have to re-position your new lantern to ensure power/charging.
These devices operate a couple of different ways. They either operate on a built-in timer where they assume darkness, or they get activated when they know they've been delivering a charge to the battery, but suddenly that power intake is decreasing (it believes the sun is going down).
After building yours, send us photos via the upload form (coming soon), or to email@example.com.