Canned Sun – Sun Jar Product Review

So, what is a Sun Jar? Well, in a Jam Jars you can jam and in a Sun Jar, obviously, you can what else but sun. Canned sun for use at night. Like the rays of the sun that warm the earth and then, when the air cools down at night the earth slowly releases this heat stored. That is what, principally, the sun jar does with sun light. This could be one way of explaining it while trying to make people become even more curious.

Basically, the Sun Jar is a light that turns on when it gets dark. While this sounds simple enough is goes a lot further. The secret is that one, it is powered by solar energy stored in a rechargeable battery and because it has a light sensor built in it does not come on until it gets dark.

The idea is that the jar stores up sunshine in the form of solar photovoltaic energy and gives it you back in the evening. There’s a switch inside the lid which you press when you first open the jar and then it starts storing energy through the solar panel in the lid. As the sun sets it then emits a warm glow throughout the night. Well, for up to five hours on a full charge anyway. It’s a nice idea which works well. The orange light is very nice and soothing.

The Sun jar will turn off automatically if you turn on another light on and it is also waterproof so it could also be used in the garden, especially on summer evenings for a sit around the table outside, and such like.
While its various parts can indeed be recycled and it does not use mains electricity or drain lots of batteries, its environmental credentials, I still think, could be regarded as a little shaky. The unit came packaged in plastic and polystyrene as well.

Having mentioned above about the green credentials, we must also understand, I think, that it was never, actually, designed as, what could be called, a “green” gadget but was just a design concept to be something on the “funky” side, and, maybe the idea was to have it plonked on the windowsill for it to be a conversation piece.

However, it would not take much to improve its “green cred” by simply packaging it in (1) a plastic sleeve that is not actually made from oil (there are other options) and (2) by packaging it within the cardboard box cushioned in shredded newspaper (or even rice straw) or in the “egg carton” kind of packaging which can be composted, rather than having a Styrofoam bottom and hat. Maybe this could be considered and done.

I must say that I was very pleasantly surprised when the Sun Jar arrived to actually find that it is a REAL jar and not some sort of heavier gauge plastic/polycarbon that I had expected. It is a “copy” of a real canning jar as Mom would have used to can vegetables and whatever else in in days gone by. Those days are, more or less, gone by in this country, e.g. the UK, while in places such as the USA canning, in glass jar and tin can, is still very much practices, definitely outside the cities and bigger towns, but I digressed.

The Sun Jar is designed by Tobias Wong, and available from Suck UK.

Reviewed by Michael Smith (Veshengro) © April 2008