I had wanted to make these mason lamps with glass jam jars for a long time. One, two, … a hundred of them to decorate the garden on summer nights (<- Video on YouTube). Although I don’t think it’s a good idea to leave them outside all night, especially here in Galicia, whether it’s summer or not, in the mornings we almost always find that there was dew at night. It will be a matter of putting them away, or if we forget them outside and find them wet, we will take the precaution of unplugging the plug inside the house before we take care of them. And then to dry the lamp holders with the hair dryer. Anyway, let’s first see how to make a lamp with a glass jar and then I’ll worry about whether I dare to take them out into the garden or not.
Making a lamp out of a glass jar was easier to make than I thought it would be, as the veneer on the glass jar lids is easily cut with the scroll saw.
To make these lamps with glass jars, the most difficult thing was to find a narrow lamp holder with a ring or nut to hold a lamp plate. If you look at the photo of the lampholder, you will surely notice the type of lampholder I am talking about. After visiting a few hardware stores, I realized that a lamp store would probably have them. And if they had. You may be thinking of using a normal lamp holder, but this one gives me more security as there is less chance of any wire coming into contact with the lid plate of the canister.
The large lamp holder has inside one of those pieces that protects the cable from being pulled, something similar to what plugs have to protect them from those of us who have the bad habit of pulling the cable instead of holding the plug to unplug it. The small one does not have one and although it will not take many pulls we will see that the cable jacket is going up little by little and the two wires that go inside will be visible. Better if with some insulating tape of the color of the cable we cover the area where the cable enters the lampholder, leaving it a little more beautiful and more protected.
When choosing a bulb for our lamps made from glass jars, you may have also noticed that the bulbs give different colored light.
Energy-saving bulbs have a label that tells us the wattage they consume, the lumens (luminous flux) and the color temperature in degrees Kelvin. If we want the bulbs we buy to give the same light (the same luminous flux) we will look for the same lumens and if we want the light to be of the same color we will look for the same color temperature. In this case one gives a whiter light (6400K) and the other a more yellow light (2700K).
One of the problems with making a lamp out of a glass jar is that the bulb can get too hot, so I left the bulbs on for a while to see if they would get hotter than the energy efficient bulbs I have in the uncovered garage light fixtures. And I think they do get a little warmer.
I don’t think making a lamp out of a glass jar is good for the life of the bulb, so better to put the lowest wattage ones we can find without worrying about them being low lumens, after all they are just for creating a little ambiance. As soon as I can, I will put some LED bulbs in them, which I am sure will heat up much less than these. In the meantime, I might make some holes in the lids of the jars to see if it helps to ventilate them a bit. I don’t know, I’m sure that will only get my jars full of flies and mosquitoes.