SONNENGLAS

Solar-Powered LED Light

Sustainable Glow

Founder Harald Schultz earned the nickname “Mr. Sunshine” for two very good reasons.

First is his SONNENGLAS® Solar Jar, a 100% recyclable mason jar that uses the power of the sun to charge its solar cells. Just a few hours in direct sunlight and the four LEDs are ready to shine. The light is bright enough to read by, yet soft
enough to add charm to gardens and patios. Add decorative pebbles, flowers, bulbs, or anything else to give the jars a personal touch.

The other reason for Mr. Sunshine’s moniker is the light he brings to the lives of South African workers. Formerly unemployed and undereducated, the men and women who make the SONNENGLAS® Solar Jar now have living wage jobs, skills, and Mr. Sunshine’s love of sustainable solar technology.

Created as a safe, sustainable alternative to the kerosene lamps used in the developing world, this mason jar solar light is for every corner of the globe where protecting the environment is a priority.
Read More Read Less
Consol Solar Jar - Solar Powered LED Light

Shop SONNENGLAS Products

Grommet Launch Conversation

  • Harald
    Harald

    Hello everyone! I'm proud to introduce the Solar Jar to The Grommet. I'd be happy to answer any questions you have!

  • Deborah L.
    Deborah L.
    7/17/2015 12:20 PM

    This product is listed as "waterproof". Does that mean it can be left out in the rain and not be harmed? Is it affected by extreme temperatures?

  • Harald
    Harald – Special Guest
    7/17/2015 12:29 PM

    @Deborah L. Hi Deborah. Yes, you can leave it out in the rain. It has got a stainless steel ring and a rubber ring which makes it absolutely watertight. We tested this ourselves and took the Solar Jar for a dive in the Indian Ocean. We took it down 20m and no water came in.

    I would however advise that you take it inside the house when the temperatures are freezing. Otherwise it could affect battery life. Extreme heat / sun is no problem at all.

  • Kent
    Kent
    7/17/2015 12:21 PM

    What is the expected useful life of the light? How long will the solar panels last?

  • Harald
    Harald – Special Guest
    7/17/2015 12:34 PM

    @Kent the solar panels should last for at least 8 years. The batteries are rated to still have 80 % of their original capacity after 1000 full charging cycles. We do have a battery replacement program in place. So should your battery die after for example 5 years you can send in your solar module and will receive a new one for a reduced fee. We will refurbish your old one and give it away for free to a township in South Africa.

  • Alicia
    Alicia
    7/17/2015 12:27 PM

    Wondering if these will fit on regular mouth ball jars. I think they'd be pretty with colored jars.

  • Harald
    Harald – Special Guest
    7/17/2015 12:30 PM

    @Alicia It's a standard 86mm mouth.

  • Elizabeth
    Elizabeth
    7/17/2015 12:27 PM

    If you say that 1 hr charging gives 1 hr of light, what is the practical limit?

  • Harald
    Harald – Special Guest
    7/17/2015 12:30 PM

    @Elizabeth Fully charged it will give light for around 12 hours.

  • Danny
    Danny
    7/17/2015 12:29 PM

    So 8-10 hours outside in the sun and the jar should stay on for most of the night?

  • Harald
    Harald – Special Guest
    7/17/2015 12:32 PM

    @Danny Correct. Fully charged it will give light for around 12 hours. My personal highscore is 14 hours after a full charge. Charging efficiency varies between season and sun intensity.

  • berta
    berta
    7/17/2015 12:35 PM

    Hello, is this for 1 jar?

  • Harald
    Harald – Special Guest
    7/17/2015 12:41 PM

    @berta Yes, it's $34.95 for one or $59.9 for a set of 2.

  • Kimberly
    Kimberly
    7/17/2015 12:38 PM

    I do not see a facebook link to share this page with my fb friends.

  • Harald
    Harald – Special Guest
    7/17/2015 12:39 PM

    @Kimberly You can find us on Facebook by searching Solar Jar or you can like the page underneath the video to spread the word!

  • P
    P
    7/17/2015 3:59 PM

    @Harald I'd like to make a pitch to our board to sell these responsible items for fundraising for our school arts programs. Is there a better price for large lot purchases?

  • Mike
    Mike – Grommet Team
    7/17/2015 5:10 PM

    Hi P, you can connect with our Consumer Experience team here to inquire about bulk orders.

  • George
    George
    7/17/2015 12:39 PM

    Hi Herald I just bought six of your jars and hope they are every bit as good as advertise. How much of the proceed/jar goes to the fund? It was the deciding factor in my order. I think what you have done is great.

  • Harald
    Harald – Special Guest
    7/17/2015 1:41 PM

    @George Hi George! Thanks for your support. I'm sorry if it is unclear in the video but it's very important to us that we are not perceived as charity. We strive to build the best and most beautiful solar lantern in the world and act according to Social Business Principles. I therefore can't give you an exact number of how much goes into our fund per sale. That's not how it is setup. With your purchase you invest in the most sustainable development: Creating jobs with fair wages. We believe in "Trade, not aid".

    Our employees all receive wages above minimum wage, receive insurance and pension and our fund finances school classes for employees during working time, preparing them to get a high school diploma. Also just a few days ago, together with our glass manufacturer, we donated 5000 Solar Jars to light up homes in poverty stricken areas. I hope I could clarify this for you!

  • Susan
    Susan
    7/17/2015 12:42 PM

    It is so awesome that you are working with artisans in South Africa. I was curious if your product is Fair Trade certified or if you were planning to go that route. I could see that this product would be popular Fair Traders who are looking for electronics that are made responsibly and eithically.

  • Harald
    Harald – Special Guest
    7/17/2015 12:46 PM

    @Susan Thank you! You're absolutely right. There is unfortunately no official "Fair Trade" certification for electronics. However we work very closely with the Fair Trade organisation in Europe and they audit our factory.

  • Susan
    Susan
    7/17/2015 1:02 PM

    @Harald

    Would happen to know which one? the anacronym is fine, I am familiar with so many! It maybe enough of an association so that my organization would be ok with either using the lamps as fixtures within the shops or perhaps be interested working with Grommet to sell them too.

  • Harald
    Harald – Special Guest
    7/17/2015 3:05 PM

    @Susan Hi Susan, it is the "WeltLaden Dachverband". The Consol Solar Jar is present in all of their retail outlets in Europe and they only sell "Fair Trade" products.

  • Paula
    Paula
    7/17/2015 12:43 PM

    Cool lights! Do you have any plans to make them out of anything less breakable?

  • Harald
    Harald – Special Guest
    7/17/2015 12:48 PM

    @Paula We think that glass is a wonderful material. It has so many advantages: It's ecological, it's durable, watertight, lasts basically forever. The only downside is that it can break. However our glass is very thick and survived many accidental drops. At the moment we don't see any other material that would work better for our purpose.

  • George
    George
    7/17/2015 12:52 PM

    @Paula

    I think a replaceable mason jar is pretty hardy, you could put the top on anything else of the same size, but the mason jar is charming

  • James
    James
    7/17/2015 12:53 PM

    Harald, I applaud your work in Africa, however your product is not a good value for the money. Look up "Luci", a lighter weight, collapsible solar light that retails for $14.99.

  • Harald
    Harald – Special Guest
    7/17/2015 1:05 PM

    @James Thank you, James. I never tested the Luci light myself and it looks like a great light as well. The difference is that the Luci seems to be manufactured from China.

  • Adam
    Adam
    7/17/2015 12:59 PM

    What is the maximum amount of time the light can shine after being charged?

  • Adam
    Adam
    7/17/2015 1:01 PM

    @Adam Sorry... I didn't see the other comments before I sent this one in. You can disregard :-)

  • Harald
    Harald – Special Guest
    7/17/2015 1:44 PM

    @Adam Hi Adam! Don't worry. On a full charge it gives around 12 hours. Charging time depends on the season and sun intensity.

  • Mandy
    Mandy
    7/17/2015 1:04 PM

    Hi I am interested in this product mainly due to the cause behind it however I have been waiting to see your reply to the comment by George, I unlike him will wait for the information before placing my very large order...

    (GEORGE

    7/17/2015 12:39pm Hi Herald I just bought six of your jars and hope they are every bit as good as advertise. How much of the proceed/jar goes to the fund? It was the deciding factor in my order. I think what you have done is great.

    I would like to know since this product is being advertised as a charitable fund what percentage goes back to the crafters and what percentage goes to you.

  • Steve
    Steve
    7/17/2015 1:23 PM

    @Mandy I agree and this seems to be a question that does not want to be answered. And as for his explanation that comparable lights cost half the price because they are made in China, I'm sure the South Africans are not making twenty dollars an hour. This items profits are huge and the solar panels are made in China.

  • Mike
    Mike – Grommet Team
    7/17/2015 1:49 PM

    Steve, Mandy, and George, I'll let Harald go into further detail, but just to be clear we are not advertising this as a charitable fund. The Consol Solar Jars are creating jobs and providing living wages and skillsets to men and women in South Africa who otherwise wouldn't have them. They are employees actually assembling the product.

    Consol works with local organizations who come into the factory twice per week and offer classes for the employees so that they might work to earn a high school degree.

  • Harald
    Harald – Special Guest
    7/17/2015 1:51 PM

    @Steve Hi Mandy & Steve. Please refresh the page and see my answer to George. My opinion is biased but I've never come across a truly comparable lantern for half the price. Our Solar Jar is made to last for many years. Also I think that the Grommet forgot to mention that it comes with 2 years of warranty.

  • Jeannie
    Jeannie
    7/17/2015 2:02 PM

    @Steve

  • Jeannie
    Jeannie
    7/17/2015 2:06 PM

    @Jeannie Back to the lids---- I am a huge recycler and would love to use your lids on jars already in use. I would also appreciate less of a carbon footprint from packing and shipping the bulky glass jars around the world. Any chance you would consider selling the lids only? THANKS for considering, Jeannie

  • Harald
    Harald – Special Guest
    7/17/2015 3:08 PM

    @Jeannie Unfortunately it wouldn't work with the lid alone as you would need the wiring around the jar as well.

  • Wendie
    Wendie
    7/17/2015 1:21 PM

    I like the idea, but I already have a lot of jars. How about you just sell me the lids for them at a more reasonable price, and I don't have to say, "Oh heck, I got my Lucis for less than half that and they're nonbreakable?"

  • J
    J
    7/17/2015 1:46 PM

    @Wendie

    I, too, would like to buy JUST the lids - I can food so have many jars.

    Harald, is this a possibility in the future?

  • Harald
    Harald – Special Guest
    7/17/2015 3:09 PM

    @J Our most unique and beautiful feature is the wired magnetic switch. This switch is build around the glass jar. So unfortunately it doesn't work to sell the lid alone.

  • Steve
    Steve
    7/17/2015 1:26 PM

    I presume there is a specified lumen rating for the lamps. Do you publish that, or compare it to ready available options? Love the look and the message, and realize one is buying more than just a solar lantern. I'm just curious about lumens because that separates the form from the function.

  • Harald
    Harald – Special Guest
    7/17/2015 1:53 PM

    @Steve Hi Steve. Our goal was that it is so bright that it can light up one sheet of paper so that school children in townships can do their schoolwork. The output is around 15 Lumen. Most of our customers are very surprised by the brightness!

  • frances
    frances
    7/17/2015 1:27 PM

    You say light enough to read by. Can you give the light measure in lumens or equivalent wattage?

  • Harald
    Harald – Special Guest
    7/17/2015 1:54 PM

    @frances Hi Frances! The output is around 15 lumens. It's a indirect light as the LEDs are placed inside the lid and and give a nice glow. The video gives a good impression about the brightness.

  • Michael
    Michael
    7/17/2015 1:32 PM

    How many lumens does this put out?

  • Harald
    Harald – Special Guest
    7/17/2015 2:00 PM

    @Michael Hi Michael. See my answer to Frances. It's around 15 lumens. Sunny regards, Harald!

  • Robert
    Robert
    7/17/2015 2:04 PM

    Hey Harald - Looks great, but I have a Luci and even though the light was beautifu

    l on purchase at full charge, I have yet to achieve a charge that lasts for more than an hour since. This light sounds better but what is your return policy if it just won't charge adequately where I am? Given that "Charging efficiency varies between season and sun intensity", where will it and will it not work? $35 is a bit high to risk to chance. . . .

  • Harald
    Harald – Special Guest
    7/17/2015 2:10 PM

    @Robert Hi Robert, I can offer you that you can test it and we will take it back free of charge within 30 days in case you don't like it. It would be interesting to know where you live.

  • Mark
    Mark
    7/17/2015 2:28 PM

    OK, I am going to have to be the big bubble burster here. First...Seriously? This is not 'new', they sell these everywhere, in fact I see them at gas stations now for $14.99.

    You can buy a beautiful mason jar lid with the solar and light all ready to go for $10 on amazon, and buy any mason jar for a buck fifty. Dont believe me, do a search for "mason jar lids solar"

    We have these all over our back yard and it is beautiful, but not $35 beautiful. And the lids you get are waterproof, ours have been in the rain many days and are working without issue.

    I am sorry Grommet, I buy stuff all the time from you guys and am a super loyal customer, but this product is not only insulting to Grommet customers, but it is a total rip off.

  • Harald
    Harald – Special Guest
    7/17/2015 2:55 PM

    @Mark Thanks for your criticism, Mark. However I believe your feedback is a little bit unjust. The Consol Solar Jar is incomparable to the mason jar lids you mentioned in terms of light output and overall product quality. I know that it can be misleading but just because something looks similar doesn't mean it is similar. I can only encourage you to get one yourself and you'll see the difference immediately. There is a reason why we have to sell ours at $35. Part of it is because we don't mass-produce in China but mostly it is because we build a high-quality product.

  • Mike
    Mike – Grommet Team
    7/17/2015 2:57 PM

    Hi Mark, we understand this may be out of the budget for some and I have no doubt that you can get something like this for cheaper elsewhere. That is the nature of the business world. But I find it difficult to define a company creating jobs and providing fair wages, practical skillsets, and an education to men and women in South Africa who might not otherwise have access to any of them, as "insulting." As a super loyal customer you should know that we're not trying to rip you off. We're bringing you quality products with meaning behind them. Consol Solar Jars are no exception.

  • Stephanie
    Stephanie
    7/17/2015 11:05 PM

    Thanks for sending me to Amazon. I looked at the various solar lamps and lids. I also discovered that the Consol Solar Jar is on Amazon as well! After seeing the different lamps, looking at quality and going through reviews, I am completely sold on buying the Consol, so thanks. And oh, just as an analogy, there are many handbags out there. But I would not jump on the businesses of Coach, Kate Spade or Michael Kors for not selling their merchandise at the same price as Nine West or Kenneth Cole. Just because they're all handbags doesn’t mean they’re on the same scale. That’s why we have choice. The average consumer understands that. But then people never strike out against big corporations the way they do at small businesses, who they expect to do everything for nothing. I honestly don’t mean that as an insult, but for some reason, many consumers think that way. Buy what’s right for your own personal budget and quality threshold. And how can a business that is supplying jobs and education for the purpose of self-sufficiency be insulting?

  • Gary
    Gary
    7/17/2015 2:48 PM

    Overall this sounds like a neat idea but the feature/price ratio might need to be increased a little.

    One suggestion would be to add a light intensity adjustment, companies like microchip have very cheap microcontrollers that could be used to implement this, if your design does not already use a microcontroller and you could use the pre-existing magnetic switch to also select and program the light level.

    Also, for those wanting a more diffuse light, using a colloid in solution could help radiate the light a little better.

  • Harald
    Harald – Special Guest
    7/17/2015 3:02 PM

    @Gary Hi Gary, thanks for your suggestion. We already use a microcontroller and even do Maximum power point tracking to increase efficiency. However we believe the beauty of the Solar jar lies in its simplicity. With every feature we add we also add complexity.

  • Michael
    Michael
    7/17/2015 3:13 PM

    What is the average color temperature of the light from the product?

  • Harald
    Harald – Special Guest
    7/17/2015 3:15 PM

    @Michael Hi Michael. The color temperature is 4300 Kelvin. That's much warmer than the cold color you might know from other LEDs. It also isn't as orange as candle light would be. It's right in the middle and we call it "glass white" as it has a beautiful brillancy to it which fits perfect to the glass jar.

  • Susan
    Susan
    7/17/2015 3:24 PM

    Hi Harold! What is the maximum time the solar jar can illuminate? Thank you! Susan

  • Mike
    Mike – Grommet Team
    7/17/2015 3:45 PM

    Hi Susan, Harald's record is 14 hours, but 12 hours seems to be the likely maximum!

  • Harald
    Harald – Special Guest
    7/17/2015 3:46 PM

    @Susan Hi Susan! After a full charge the solar jar lights up for up to 12 hours. On a sunny summer day the charging takes around 12 hours. In winter time of course longer. It depends on the sun's intensity. Sunny regards, Harald

  • SONIA
    SONIA
    7/17/2015 3:43 PM

    What is the correlated color temperature of the LEDs that you are using?

    What is the lumen output?

    Whose LEDs are you sourcing?

  • SONIA
    SONIA
    7/17/2015 3:46 PM

    @SONIA oops - sorry - just saw that you put the CCT in a response above. That is actually quite a cool color temperature. I am surprised that you called it "much warmer" in your text above. If you ever change to using 3000K or warmer, I might be interested. They are really quite pretty.

  • Harald
    Harald – Special Guest
    7/17/2015 3:47 PM

    @SONIA Hi Sonia. The color temperature is 4300 Kelvin. That's much warmer than the cold color you might know from other LEDs. It also isn't as orange as candle light would be. It's right in the middle and we call it "glass white" as it has a beautiful brillancy to it which fits perfect to the glass jar.

    The output is around 15 lumens. Our LEDs are from the UK (Plessey)

  • Harald
    Harald – Special Guest
    7/17/2015 3:53 PM

    Hi Sonia. I also have to say that the color temperature is highly influenced by the surface the jar is standing on and also by what you put inside. We've experimented a lot and decided that 4300 K is the best. I'm sorry that we don't have plans to make it warmer. You could put some coloured transparent material on the LEDs however…

  • Angela
    Angela
    7/17/2015 3:53 PM

    Is there a way to buy just the lid? I have plenty of jars, but would be very interested in purchasing the lid.

  • Mike
    Mike – Grommet Team
    7/17/2015 3:55 PM

    Hi Angela, one of the great features of Solar Jar is the wired magnetic switch. This switch is build around the glass jar. So unfortunately it doesn't work to sell the lid alone.

  • Chris
    Chris
    7/17/2015 4:59 PM

    Any plans to offer an option where it will come on automatically at sunset, and off at sunrise? I'm sure I could just leave current unit on at all times, but that would mean the LED's would be lit as it charged in the daylight, shortening light time available after dark, and probably not great for the batteries either. I would like to be able to place a few in my garden to have their decorative light, but don't want to have to switch them on and off every evening and morning....

  • Mike
    Mike – Grommet Team
    7/17/2015 5:23 PM

    I'll let Harald correct me if I'm wrong, Chris, but as he said above the beauty they see in the product is in the simplicity of it. The more features it adds the more complex it becomes. But that isn't to say it won't happen!

  • Harald
    Harald – Special Guest
    7/17/2015 6:02 PM

    @Mike Hi Chris. Mark is right. The Consol Solar Jar doesn't have a day/night sensor. We wanted to do it once but many customers liked it so much that they can decide when the light should be on. It might happen in the future but we haven't found a nice solution yet.

  • Tracy
    Tracy
    7/17/2015 5:13 PM

    I like the magnetic switch, but is the light always on with the switch in the "on" position, or is there a light sensor as well?

  • Mike
    Mike – Grommet Team
    7/17/2015 5:22 PM

    Hi Tracy, the light is always on with the switch in the "on" position unless the battery needs to be recharged.

  • Harald
    Harald – Special Guest
    7/17/2015 6:03 PM

    @Mike Hi Tracy, yes it acts as typical on/off switch. There is no automatic sensor.

  • Candis
    Candis
    7/17/2015 5:31 PM

    What is the max hours of light that you can get when fully charged?

  • Harald
    Harald – Special Guest
    7/17/2015 6:02 PM

    @Candis Hi Candis, fully charged it will give light for around 12 hours.

  • Greta
    Greta
    7/17/2015 6:03 PM

    Beautiful product, however, I can't help but comment on yet another set of jobs being outsourced to other countries. I prefer to buy from local, or at least American sources. At that price we could be paying living wage to our own "neighbors" in need

  • Harald
    Harald – Special Guest
    7/17/2015 6:16 PM

    @Greta Hi Greta. I absolutely agree with you. However in our case nothing is outsourced at all as we're a truly South African business by nature. We didn't outsource a single American job. To the contrary: We have now a team in the US and already created 3 jobs here. Sunny regards, Harald

  • Jamie
    Jamie
    7/17/2015 6:28 PM

    Hi there! Great idea; curious, is there a way to do this with non-breakable or plastic jars?

  • Harald
    Harald – Special Guest
    7/17/2015 6:48 PM

    @Jamie Hi Jamie, we think glass is not only a beautiful and durable material but also a very ecological one. Our jar is made out of 100 % recycled glass. We don't think we could make a equally great product using plastic material. Should your glass break one day you can get replacement from us.

  • Jack
    Jack
    7/17/2015 8:57 PM

    ok Harald, if you can not answer the question, can you at least tell me how much from each jar makes it's way to the workers that make the jar?

  • Jack
    Jack
    7/17/2015 9:29 PM

    I'd like to know why you are taking down my posts asking how much $$ is going to the workers in Africa from each sale?

  • Mike
    Mike – Grommet Team
    7/19/2015 4:10 PM

    Hi Jack, your comments were taken down because this was already a topic that was discussed numerous times throughout the thread. Unfortunately, we nor Consol Solar Jar is at liberty to discuss the payment breakdown. We can assure you that South African men and women are earning living wages, gaining valuable job skillsets, and even taking classes toward a high school diploma as part of their job handcrafting these jars. Consol Solar Jar is not a charity, but it is opening up opportunities for these individuals to better their lives. That's what drew us to them in the first place and why we brought them to The Grommet community.

  • Maria
    Maria
    7/17/2015 10:07 PM

    Love it!! can wait to order some lights! what a great idea!. Congratulations and the best for you!!

  • Mike
    Mike – Grommet Team
    7/19/2015 4:11 PM

    Thanks for the kind words, Maria!

The launch day conversation has ended. Please direct further questions about this Grommet to our Community Experience Team.