Introduction: 5 Min/$1 LED Reading Light

Picture of 5 Min/$1 LED Reading Light

My four year old daughter and I were thinking of how we could invent a light that would improve our story time at night. A quick trip to the dollar store yielded exactly what we were after. 5 minutes, $1, and a few items from the junk drawer, we now have our automatic illuminated bedtime reading light.

Step 1: The Parts

Picture of The Parts

My daughter and I picked up some of the $1/ 90 decibel battery operated alarms from the dollar store. I quickly opened it up, cut out the leads to the speaker, and poked them out of the back of the unit. Next we gathered some items from the kitchen - a chip bag clip, an unused handle from a window that we found in the junk drawer, a small segment of led tape ($5 off eBay for a 15ft roll, always keep one on hand for times like these!), some tape, and we're set.

Step 2: Connect the LED

Picture of Connect the LED

Simply connect the leads from the dollar store alarm to the LED strip. I cleaned up the wire and cut back the jacket to get a good connection, then used the electrical tape to secure the connections

Step 3: Test the Switch

Picture of Test the Switch

These are simple magnetic reed switches. Magnets attached - circuit is open, magnet is removed - circuit closes and lights come on. I thought of using these for a bookmark / reading light because the book is closed - the light is off, open it up, and you got light. The chip clip mimics the action of the book, so it seemed like a good fit.

Step 4: Assemble the Reading Light

Picture of Assemble the Reading Light

The alarm unit comes with self adhesive on the pieces as does the led strip, so putting it all together couldn't have been easier. I used a bit of butyl to attach the window handle where the led strip went on to mate it with the chip clip

Step 5: Place in Book

Picture of Place in Book

Because the units pieces extend over the chip clip perfectly to rest on top of the books pages, it simply stays in place by gravity. Though a more permanent mounting option will be put into place for ease of moving book to book, my four year old and I were looking to make a fast simple solution to reading bedtime stories with our homemade solution.


DIY Hacks and How Tos (author)2015-11-15

Awesome book light.


Kaibeh (author)2016-01-04

i am 10 yers old i love night lights

iaikman (author)2015-12-16

Thank you for the nice comments. I love this site and making these simple little projects!

Thejesterqueen (author)2015-12-16

Nice, and I think I have everything needed. Now it's just a matter of finding all the pieces. lol. Thank you and your daughter.

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