Modifying LED puck lights

I apologize in advance for the complicated question, but here we go.

I have wireless puck lights that work off either pushing the top to click on, or a wireless switch. The switch only controls on and off, no color control or brightness.

The lights run off 3 AAA batteries per puck. My problem (which seems to be the most common problem with these puck lights) is that they drain the batteries even when off. I have a feeling the drain is due to the wireless antenna staying open to receive the signal from the switch.

I found using a 5V USB plug powers them fine, but I don't want any draw to occur when the lights are off. So my 2 questions are...
1. Has anyone encountered a device like this and found a way to disable or even remove the wireless antenna only allowing the LEDs to work off the internal switch?
2. Does anyone know a way to bypass the switch so the lights are powered when power is present?

My goal is to have the lights run off the 5V adapter with an inline switch to control the line up. vs. clicking each light on one at a time.

I have attached images of the board top and bottom, also the lights are "Lightmates LED Wireless Puck Lights" notorious for eating batteries.

Picture of Modifying LED puck lights
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Jack A Lopez4 months ago

Wow! These are very clear pictures, especially when viewed at full res.

I mean, I can actually see which wire goes where.

If I follow what you are saying, the only functionality you want from this thing is to turn on the LEDs, and you don't want the radio-controlled on/off, or the push button, or the batteries, or the CIA-NSA listening device. Like, you want all that stuff turned off. Right?

Looking at the back of the board, it kind of looks like the current for all the LEDs goes through one transistor, that one named "V2", which kind of looks like it is sitting on the high side of the supply.

I should probably draw a picture of the way I am imagining it, and I can do that upon request if that would make what I am saying more clear.

Anyway, I think if you just cut the wire, trace, from that transistor. Then move the positive side of the supply to the top of that array of LEDs. The bottom of that array of LEDs is already connected to the negative side of the supply. I think.

Obviously we should confirm these suspicions, about which wire goes where, using a voltmeter. I would do this, if I actually had the thing in my hands.

Final step is to wire a switch, like a SPST slide switch or rocker switch, in series with the supply so you can turn it on and off using that switch.

By the way, I kind of have to agree with DU35m, that this is neutering this thing in a big way. It feels wasteful.

I mean, were these things unusually cheap? It just seems like it would be less wasteful to buy the cheaper, not radio controlled, version of this thing... provided that cheaper, no-radio, version exists.

You know, in terms of parts, the low part count, cheap version of this would be just: {5 LEDs, 5 resistors, and 1 switch}.

Actually cutting that one trace might be unnecessary. This might be as easy as just moving that one wire.

NathanA52 (author)  Jack A Lopez4 months ago

Thanks for the details, I will give your suggestion a try (checking with a volt meter for sure to be safe). To be honest I didn't know if it would be a lot of work or not. The lights were free (8 of them) but they retail for $20. I have all the materials needed to convert them from battery to plug so there is no cost on my part. If I cannot get this to work I am just going to trash them and I felt like that would have been a waste. The only thing making these pucks useless in my opinion is the drain from the antenna (if my theory is correct). If not for that, they would be great little lights and I wold not tamper with them.

iceng NathanA524 months ago

There was a company called Kodak

That gave away box cameras as a pitch.

So people would buy film in a sack

To make pictures and film makers rich.

Pucks are the box to make battery makers itch.

iceng4 months ago

How do you use these lights ?

Primary night walk safety ??

Secondary illumination ??

Decoration ??

Counter spot light ??

Bathroom, Kitchen, Prayer spot, Hot tub, UFO landing zone ???

Downunder35m4 months ago

I can get a pack of three puk lights for under 10 bucks at the local hardware store.
Screw on, glue on, stick on, different sizes and colors....
And they go on when you push on them.
Sorry but for that price I fail to understand why you want to ruin your lights ;)

NathanA52 (author)  Downunder35m4 months ago

Fortunately all 8 lights I have were free. I have all the materials needed to get them going. My goal is to convert them from batteries to a plug, this is actually more of a personal project to figure out how they run by taking them apart vs. saving money. They eat so many batteries that they are basically ruined "as is". Also as you mentioned above "And they go on when you push on them". That's one of the features I am trying to disable as I want to run a single inline switch and not turn each light on and off one at a time. :)