If you have ever been camping or had a power outage for an extended period of time you know how important being able to get around in the dark can be. While regular battery operated flashlights are fine, they tend to not work when you need them the most and with repeated use the amount of batteries you use can get expensive. With this easy do it yourself project however, you will have an inexpensive and Eco-friendly way to provide reliable light in any situation.
Materials for this project
*Plastic or glass jar
*Solar LED lights
*Rope or string
Constructing your lantern housing
When constructing your lantern housing you will want to first decide how and when your lantern is most likely to be used. This will help to decide not only the material you make the lantern out of, but just how big it needs to be. In most cases you will want your lantern to be made out of plastic because it is more durable and less likely to break from being dropped. The downside to using plastic over glass however, is the fact that plastic does not allow as much light to be emitted as glass does, but the difference is hardly noticeable. Once you have decided which material to use begin by drilling a small hole in the lid of the jar you will be using. The hole needs to be big enough for your role or string to fit through and the string or rope being used needs to be thick and strong enough to be the holding point of the lantern. After the hole is drilled in the jar feed enough of the rope through that it can be tied in a small not that is twice the size of the hole just created. This will act as your holding point and allow you to carry the jar by the rope. Make a loop on the other end of the rope that is large enough for you to carefully carry the lantern by hand.
Installing the lighting
To install the lighting into the jar start by piecing each part of your solar LED lights together side by side with the help of rubber silicone. Be sure to measure the circumference of the jar so as to know just how wide the circle of lights can be to fit inside the jar. Continue piecing them together until you have made a circle and place them inside the jar. Be sure that when placing the lights in the jar that you place the solar panels of the LED’s toward the sunlight and on the outside walls of the jar. This will allow them to get the proper amount of sunlight in order to recharge and will also reduce the risk of damage from the elements. For added protection from the elements you can place rubber silicone just above each one of the solar lights to act as a protective barrier, doing the same to the bottom. Finish the project by screwing the lid back onto the jar and tightening the not. If the lid feels loose or comes loose during regular use you can use the rubber silicone to seal it onto the jar. To open the jar again after sealing, simply run a knife along the edges to break the seal.