Sun Jar Review

9 August 2012

We went camping a few weeks ago, and one of the things we took with us was a Sun Jar, a jar that 'captures' sunlight and glows in the dark.

Inside the lid of the jar is a solar panel which, when exposed to direct sunlight charges the rechargeable AA battery.  If there isn't any sunlight, you can charge the battery in a 'normal' battery charger for the same effect. There are two settings - auto and charge - with 'charge' essentially being 'off', in other words, it wont glow unless you set it to auto. Should you leave it on auto it will glow when the light is low enough and charge when it is bright enough.

The jar is basically a mason jar with frosted glass, and a waterproof seal. This is particularly useful if you put it out on a sunny morning, and by afternoon it's tipping down - your electronics will stay dry and hopefully you'll have caught enough sun to light up your evening.

The glow from the light is similar to that of a torch. It casts a soft hue around it and someone said it looks like a fairy in a bottle - it really does give that magical feel. It's lovely.

The charging is sometimes hit and miss though, and after the first time I took the battery out to charge it manually, I think the wiring went a bit funny because it switches on and off randomly when you touch or apply any pressure to the bottle at all, which is weird. It still works though.

It would make a lovely night light in a child's room, or a lamp to keep the hall dimly light at night.  It was also nice to have in the tent so we could get ourselves to bed easily enough. It doesn't last all night though, so you may wake up in the dark.

Something else that's quite cool about the sun jar is that it is light sensitive and will only glow in relation to the light around it. If you're in a dark space - say a play tent - and you walk into a lighter space - like the living room - with it, the light adjusts and goes dimmer. If you're in full light, it doesn't glow at all.

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