Thin Can Lights

Metal, primarily tinplate and aluminum, is used primarily for beverage and food cans and for screw-top jar lids. Most of the tinplate produced in Germany is used to make packaging. The most important facts in brief:

  • Under the influence of acid or salt, metal components and coatings are soluble and can pass into food.
  • Food in cans has the longest shelf life of all packaged foods.

Off Aluminum is used not only as cans, but also in the form of foils, tubes, menu or grill trays. However, under the influence of acid or salt, aluminum components can pass into the food. Therefore, packaging such as beverage cans, yogurt cup lids, as well as aluminum tanks for fruit juices are coated on the inside.


The metals are characterized by good barrier properties against gases, light, foreign bodies, moisture and odors, as well as high strength. Food in cans has the longest shelf life of all packaged foods. The contents can be heat pasteurized or even sterilized after the can is sealed. In addition, metal packaging has the highest recycling rate of all packaging. The material can be recycled up to 100 percent without losing its original qualities.


When food is stored for many years, cans must be protected from corrosion corrosion. This is to prevent metals from dissolving and transferring to the contents. Discoloration and impairment of taste would be the result. Corrosion can also lead to leakage and even bombardment. This means that contents can leak out or the sheet metal can bend. For this reason, the inner surface of the can is nowadays completely or partially sealed with a thin film of epoxy plastic. However, this usually contains Bisphenol-A (BPA)which can migrate into the food, especially during the sterilization process. Temperature fluctuations, heating for preservation purposes and a high fat or acid content in the food often intensify the transfer of substances (migration) even further. With EU Regulation 2018/213, a migration limit of 0.05 milligrams of BPA per kg of food applies to food contact paints and coatings. If the mass transfer (migration value) is higher, the material is not suitable as food packaging. In science, possible harmful effects of BPA on the hormone system and reproductive ability are being discussed. In this regard, the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment writes: “The use of bisphenol A for the production of polycarbonate infant bottles was already banned throughout the EU in 2011. In 2018, the ban was generally extended to drinking vessels and bottles made of polycarbonate for infants and young children. A limit value for the transfer of bisphenol A into food is set for all other food contact materials made of plastic. Paints and coatings applied to materials and articles that may come into contact with food (for example, interior coatings of food cans) are not covered by the Plastics Regulation. For them, Regulation (EU) 2018/213 sets an SML of 50 µg per kg of food. A corresponding transfer of bisphenol A to the following foods is not permitted:

  • Infant formula,
  • Follow-on foods,
  • processed cereal-based foods,
  • other complementary foods,
  • foods for special medical purposes designed to meet the nutritional requirements of infants and young children, and
  • Milk-based drinks and similar products intended for infants.

Currently, however, there is a lack of practical alternatives of BPA-free coating systems. Existing solutions are associated with disadvantages, such as shortened storage periods and lower corrosion resistance. In some cases, health assessments are still pending. Cult for some, frowned upon by others: beverage cans. For a time, they almost completely disappeared from German supermarket shelves. For a few years now, however, the brightly colored thirst quenchers have been enjoying renewed popularity. Because the aluminum cans, which are as light as they are robust, are simply practical when you’re on the move – and they look stylish, too. This begs the question of what you can actually do with the cans once you’ve drunk them dry. Ingenious lights, lamps and a stove, for example! Important note beforehand: cans are very sharp when you cut them open. Please pay close attention so you don’t get a cut. The end products have no place in children’s hands (especially not if fire is involved). 1. “Mini Torches in the Storm”. Want to really impress the guests at your garden party? Then have torch candles light up the garden path on the left and right edges in the evening. The open flickering of the mini torches unfolds a quite extraordinary atmosphere. For this you need:

  • Beverage can
  • corrugated cardboard
  • old candle stubs
  • Cutter knife

Cut the beverage can with the cutter knife to a height of about 6 cm. To get a clean edge, you can also put the blade of the cutter knife on a base and hold it; now turn the can along the blade in a circle – after a few turns you can remove the can half by applying light pressure below the cut edge. Now roll up a 6 cm wide strip of the corrugated cardboard so that it fits exactly into the can half. Finally, drizzle the wax from the candle stubs over the cardboard (either light it on the wick or use a hand burner). Done! Here you can see the instructions in the video (in English). The can torch withstands gusts of wind and does not drip. If you are also looking for an atmospheric table decoration, you can easily make the following from empty beverage cans: 2. mirror lantern This can light is made quite quickly and still achieves a terrific effect. All you need is:

  • Beverage can
  • Cutter knife
  • Tealight

Make a longitudinal cut in the can wall with the cutter knife. Now place your cutter at the end of the longitudinal cut and cut about 4 cm on the left and right. Now you can open the can like a three-part bathroom mirror. Place the tea light in the box, light it and enjoy. Thanks to the shiny inside, wonderful light reflections are created. pint1 Variation for special occasions: With a pin, you can also poke patterns into the back of the box. In this way, you can customize your lantern. 3. penny stove If you like it rustic when camping – or simply don’t have a gas stove, you can conjure up an ingenious mini stove out of beverage cans. It’s also known as the “Penny Can Stove”. You’ll see why in a moment. You’ll need:

  • 2 beverage cans
  • pure alcohol (methylated spirits or isopropanol)
  • absorbent cotton, if available
  • pin board needle
  • Coin

Cut both cans about 5 cm above the bottom. Now turn can half #1 upside down so that you can poke a hole in the center of the bottom with the pinboard needle. Now poke more holes around the bottom (where the can is beveled) at even intervals. Now take can half no. 2, fill it with absorbent cotton and carefully press the edge inwards along the cut edge so that both can halves can be pushed into each other. If both halves are tightly and firmly on top of each other, fill them with the alcohol through the center hole of can half No. 1. The curvature of the bottom acts like a funnel and the absorbent cotton prevents the alcohol from spilling over too easily. If you don’t have any absorbent cotton handy at the moment, you can leave it out. Last but not least, there’s the coin trick: place the coin on the center filler hole – this way, when you light it, you’ll get a nice wreath of flame that heats your camping pot evenly. pint1 4. aladdin’s tin lamp Whether in the Orient or ancient Rome, oil lamps have always been popular for their ease of use. Here’s a modern version. Required are:

  • 2 beverage cans
  • Lamp oil
  • wick or cloth strip
  • Cutter knife

As with the penny stove, use a cutter knife to cut the cans about 5 cm above the bottom and place them on top of each other. But instead of poking holes all around, now “drill” a slightly larger hole in the top with the tip of the knife – just big enough for your wick (or fabric strip) to fit in without slipping. Pour the lamp oil over the hole, then thread in the wick. In order for your wick to burn well, you first need to let it soak in lamp oil for a while. Now you’re ready to go – and with a little rubbing, you might even see a canned genie appear. Who knows? pint1 5. ray candle In the cold season, it gets dark early outside. Tealight holders bring the necessary coziness into the apartment. The following example will attract everyone’s attention. You only need three things for it:

  • Beverage can
  • Tealight
  • Cutter knife

With this light, you have to make sure that when you cut it, you leave a margin of about 1.5 cm at the top and bottom. If you like, you can mark the area with a tape. Using the cutter knife, cut out the inside edge of the lid to create a round opening at the top. Now cut even, slightly diagonal strips into the can. It is better to start carefully and to trace several times, then you do not slip. Then press the top and bottom of the can together so that the strips curve outwards. You can help by pressing against it from the inside with your fingers. The tea light fits through the top opening and as soon as it burns, your walls will be bathed in an enchanting sea of light. pint1 You may have noticed that cans are much lighter these days. The can wall is just as thin as a hair. This is more environmentally friendly, but most importantly, it makes crafting easier. So, get cracking on those cans! And share this post with all your creative friends who crave some light and warmth in the fall. Thin Can Lights.

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