Sun Jar lights up with a solar glow

Get the illumination of lightning bugs in a mason jar, without harming any insects in the process.

Candace Lombardi
In a software-driven world, it's easy to forget about the nuts and bolts. Whether it's cars, robots, personal gadgetry or industrial machines, Candace Lombardi examines the moving parts that keep our world rotating. A journalist who divides her time between the United States and the United Kingdom, Lombardi has written about technology for the sites of The New York Times, CNET, USA Today, MSN, ZDNet, Silicon.com, and GameSpot. She is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not a current employee of CNET.
Candace Lombardi
Sun Jar from Tobias Wong
Sun Jar from Tobias Wong SuckUK

Tobias Wong was probably the kid who kept lightning bugs in a jar for far too long.

He's designed a nifty gadget for summer that doesn't require electricity, candles or the imprisonment of bugs.

It's the Sun Jar from SuckUK for $40.

Leave the mason jar in the sun and a solar cell inside the jar absorbs the solar light and charges its companion battery. You then have 5 hours of lovely glowing illumination that evening. A light sensor turns the LED lamp on when it gets dark and, if need be, off when the sun comes out. You can also switch the sun jar completely off to save power.

Since mason jars have a watertight seal, the Sun Jar is also waterproof, as Popgadget points out, so you can leave it on your roof, fire escape or picnic table all summer long and not think about it.