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
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
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
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
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
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.