I'm looking for how to make a basic LED light with a on off switch for a jewellery box. Ideas?

Well i'm making so jewellery boxes...

I want to be able to make an LED light that can be switched in using a small physical switch, which i'll then attach to the underside of a piece of wood in the jewellery box. (There'll be a little removable box hiding that and a clock movement)

Any ideas on the simpliest and cheapest way to achieve this?


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kelseymh7 years ago
LED and button battery (like a throwie), wired through a subminiature NC momentary contact switch.  I leave it as an exercise for the reader to draw the schematic :-/

When you close the box, the lid presses down on the switch, opening it up (turning off the LED).  When the box is opened, the switch returns to it's normally-closed position. 

Total cost, maybe three bucks (with the battery being the most expensive!).
Mavican (author)  kelseymh7 years ago
While i'm am warming up to the idea of a setting things up so it automatically turns on and off i know practically nothing about electronics

Could you possibly direct me to a 'How to' guide (ironic that were on instructables, yes) that dumbs down the technically knowledge, of perhaps goes through everything in small baby need to know steps.

Oh and did i mention i'd prefer to not have to solder anything or use a circuit board?

You certainly shouldn't need to use a circuit board!  You've got just three components to hook together:

  • An LED with two metal leads (the pointy bits sticking out :-);
  • a button battery (like you put into your watch or, ahem, hearing aid;
  • a little button with a couple of terminal connections (the pointy bits sticking out :-). 

You'll need to use two short bits of wire to connect from one LED lead to the switch, and from the switch to the battery.

As for soldering, you don't have to solder, but it's much more reliable. It gives you good metal-to-metal contact for all of the connections.

Mavican (author)  kelseymh7 years ago
Thanks i'm getting this abit more....

When when i'm looking online or at a store (all the way here in Australia)...what would i ask for?

Is there any specifics on the types of wiring i should use, or any safety precautions?

Also....I'd prefer not to have everything just stuck together...I'd want to use something that i would place the 'button battery' into...then connect that to the wiring....through to the switch...then through to the LED.
"normally closed" or "NC" subminiature push-button switch.

Button battery holder (and you'll want to look at which battery it's sized for, to get the right voltage).

There are really no "safety" issues here, except for the obvious -- don't grab the tip of the soldering iron ;-)  A button cell puts out maybe 1.5V or so, which can't do anyone any damage -- even if they swallow the battery.  You can use 28 or 30 gauge wire (the really thin stuff) if you want; there's no current to speak of.  You could probably put your eye out if you jammed the LED leads into it, but again, that's a bit, er, obvious :-)  Connect the LED leads with the right polarity, of course, or it won't work.

Your last paragraph is exactly right.  If you want to be able to easily replace the battery, you want a little holder or clip for it, and run the wires and LED lead through that.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I'd suggest a reed switch over a pushbutton. That way the whole assembly could be totally hidden (except the LED, obviously), and the process of making the box lid activate the switch would be a little less fiddly.
Valid point; reed switch would be both more elegant and less sensitive to exact configuration of the box/lid.

Any store that sells electronic parts should have reed switches. Stores that barely sell parts may only have them as window alarm switches; those would be bulky but would also work.

If you've ever hooked up a battery, a light bulb, and a switch, you should have no trouble with this. LEDs are essentially fancy light bulbs. The worst thing that's likely to happen is that you short the wires (which will probably just kill your battery, but might produce some heat -- that's how a bulb works, after all) or you overvoltage the LED and kill it.

"No smoking. You _or_ the circuit."
Automatic on and off: Normally closed switch. Lid, when closed, pushes on switch, opening circuit. Lid, when lifted, no longer pushes on switch, closing circuit and turning on light.

No "electronics" needed (well, outside of the LED and maybe a current limiting resistor), just simple electricity.
jeff-o7 years ago
I'd definitely recommend a small "normally open" magnetic reed switch and a magnet.  Both could be hidden in the box so that there are no components visible at all.

These ones, for example, are 19x3mm and only $2 each.

These ones are even smaller, just 12x3mm, for $4 each.

You will have to solder these to the LED.  What better time to learn?  No need for a circuit board though, just a few bits of wire.  At these power levels, you can use almost any wire you can get, though thinner is better so that it's easy to hide.


JohnJY7 years ago
I will draw a picture for you.  
*Solder a +6V battery to one prong on a DTDP Switch($2.00), and the other to a 470 resistor(Color band:Yellow-Violet-Brown), solder a LED to the resistor, Make Sure that the positive side of the LED is going to the correct side.
*Lastly, Solder the LED to the negative side of the battery. 

You could also use a +9V, and a 1K resistor(Color band: Brown-Black-Red) 

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