Outdoor Lighting: Mason Jars and Solar Power

Lead Image
What You'll Need
Solar lights/solar calls
Mason jars
Frost spray paint
Epoxy glue

Don’t dig trenches or bury wire to get outdoor lighting that brightens up pathways. With mason jars and solar power, it’s easy to create DIY portable lights that look great and require very little maintenance. They’re so simple to use, they actually light themselves up when it gets dark outside.

DIY mason jar lights are compact and portable. You can place them anywhere they’ll get sun. Because they use solar power, the lights are also totally green-friendly. Best of all, they won’t add a penny of cost to your utility bill.

Step 1 - Prep the Cells and Lights

Buy a small solar panel and light, and a standard rechargeable battery. You can find these things from light manufacturing sites, though they may also be available at some home improvement and gardening stores.

DIY Tip: Instead of putting the pieces together yourself, buy some small solar garden lights and remove them from the housing. Mount the “guts” of the light to the lid.

Step 2 - Prep the Mason Jars

A mason jar of just about any size can be used to create an outdoor light. Just make sure the lid is wider around than the solar light. Clean and dry a mason jar. When it's dry, use the glass frosting spray to frost the jar in a complete, even coat. Spray the outside of the jar, not the inside, to get better coverage. Leave some of the neck of the jar unfrosted so it doesn't interfere with the lid screwing on

DIY Tip: Use colored frosting spray paint to create colored lights.

Step 3 - Create the Lids

You don't need the removable center disk of the lid. You're going to attach the solar cell and light to the underside of the threaded ring. Draw a circle of glue on the inside of the lid with epoxy glue, something that can be used with metal or glass. Small, even beads should be enough to create a strong seal. Place the solar panel, light and battery onto the ring of glue. Press firmly to get a secure bond, and wait for the glue to dry before flipping the lid rightside-down.

Screw the lid back onto the jar.

Step 4 - Set Out the Lights

Put your lights outside where they'll get plenty of direct sunlight. After the sun sets the mason jar lights will give off a warm glow thanks to the frosted coating.

Use DIY solar mason jar lights to brighten up path ways, the driveway and all your outdoor areas. They’re affordable to make, easy to place and free to run.

Photo by Mrs. Gemstone