Solar “Toys”: Night Light

By , March 21, 2018

I don’t know whether it’s the Vernal Equinox marking the switch to more daylight than darkness (locally on the 18th—see Silent Awakening, hemispherically on the 20th) or my recent re-appreciation of my trusty old solar watch (see Out of Time), but I’m particularly aware of solar power on the homestead lately. All of a sudden, I’m rediscovering solar powered devices that have languished in the dark half of the year. I’m trotting them out and putting them back to work. I’ve even acquired some new solar devices, which I’ll feature here in the future.

One I appreciate more for its aesthetics than its utility is a solar night light.

Solar light on the veranda

“A small, beautiful light shining in the wilderness after sunset” (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

The device itself is just a jar lid with a solar panel on the top and a light inside. I got this during a sale from the wonderful Lehman’s catalog (promoted here for your information, with no compensation from the Lehman’s organization). The idea is to turn any jar the lid fits into a solar light that powers itself during daylight hours, then turns on and off with the darkness.

I filled a clear jar with our collection of beach glass from Glass Beach at Mecherricher State Park in Fort Bragg, California. That small souvenir has become more precious since glass collecting on that beach is now prohibited (since 2015). When Michelle and I lived there, we could sift and collect to our heart’s content (with a grand take of a single handful of choice pieces—we are frugal people, I tell ya!). I’ve always kept them in a glass container filled with water, to catch sunlight. Now, the colored glass shines in the soft glow of the solar light. I might find something else to use later, but I like this.

Solar light jar with beach glass

It’s more a mood light than anything else (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

As I said, it’s not hugely practical. It’s not bright enough to read by, or to illuminate a bad place on a path, or anything like that. Right now, it sits on our picnic table on the veranda, a small, beautiful light shining in the wilderness after sunset. It brightens our life in that small way, and that’s enough for us.

Solar light jar

(Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

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