Introduction: Cool LED Night Light

Picture of Cool LED Night Light

This is a simple yet effective little night-light is loosely based on the Solar LED Light Jar.

It took me about an hour to make and works great when dark. I apologize about the photos if they are not the greatest, my camera and I are not getting along.

Caution: This instructable involves broken glass, please be careful, I am not responsible for any injuries. If you are a "young one" please ask an adult for help.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

You will not need much to complete this project. I got the LED from a lighter (neat) but you could use any one from a key light, toy, etc. The important thing is that it has a attached power source. You will also need the following;

Glass Jar (what ever size you wish- smaller the better)
Rocker Switch
Broken Glass
Utility Knife
Soldering Iron

Step 2: Whatch You Fingers

Picture of Whatch You Fingers

First, cut a hole in the top off the lid the same size as the rocker switch. It was thin enough for me to use a knife, but you may need to use a Dremel. Next insert switch.

Step 3: Put It All Together

Picture of Put It All Together

Next, solder two leads from the LED light to the swith. No need to worry about polarity.

Step 4: Break Some Glass

Picture of Break Some Glass

Next, you will need to break some glass. I used an old ketchup bottle. This can be messy, so rap the bottle in a towel and hit with a hammer several times. This will minimize the mess and is really fun.

Step 5: Put It All Together

Picture of Put It All Together

Next, fill the jar with the broken glass and screw on the lid. This may be tricky, but I found if you shake the jar and glass while putting on the lid, you will be able to surround the LED equally.

Step 6: Enjoy

Picture of Enjoy

Finally, find a nice place to put your little light. I have mine on my night table since it's not bright enough to wake up my wife, but enough to help navigate in the night. It looks small put is surprisingly effective. The best part is there are no wires and it is very portable. Enjoy.


banks412 (author)2012-01-18

Where do you guys purchase your LED's from? I've bought 'diffused' LED's from Fry's and they weren't very bright (yes I know a diffused lens is probably the cause here. I went and bought a couple of clear lens LED's from Radio Shack and connected them to a 9V battery with a 1/4W resistor, and they just don't seem very bright. Everyone's pictures of LED projects seem VERY bright, and I'm wondering if I'm just purchasing bad quality lights or maybe people are having the same experiences and the pictures just look really nice...

deliria (author)2007-07-24

i am afraid of broken glass :( how about using those glass crystals they sell in home decoration stores? they're cheap, and they come in lots of colors...makes for some interesting combinations:)

scooter76 (author)deliria2007-07-25

I am going to try coloured glass next time, but you have to be careful, I tried using a green jar for my first attempt, and no light was getting through. Might have to be clear glass and coloured LEDs. Let me know how it turns out. :)

supplyguy70 (author)scooter762011-02-20

I tried brown, (beer bottle) ultra bright green LED x2 on 9v power supply i had laying around didnt cut through the brown. :-(

commando1225 (author)2009-12-21

this is the first instructable i ever tried to make and it was certaintly a good choice! i had to improvise for my power source. if ur having trouble run down to radio shack. you can pick up the rocker switch their. they also have battery holders. i used one for 2 AAA batteries and mine works great. you can even pick up new LEDs at the shack. i hope ive answered some questions by  now ;P

ROOKIE49 (author)2009-12-21


and-reas (author)2009-10-31

Great idea, if there's a busstop which glass is broken, I'm gonna take some with me for this lamp.

crono6894 (author)2009-10-21

seems to be a simple 9v or 12v switch that turns on off, you can find them at hardware stores

acid4life (author)2009-09-24

Really nice, im gonna try this one

albylovesscience (author)2009-08-15

or buy a baby diaper rip it open pour water in the jar wait a day or to till it jelly's and make a water proof led apparatus to pu in there

aplauche (author)2009-04-05

a jar full of marbles works great too

iceclipper (author)2009-02-15

Consider broken windshield glass from a car. You can find it on the side of the road or in junk yards. Its much safer. Great instructable!

Batryn (author)2008-12-23

You can use one of the jam jar things for the bottle. You can also use this by making a led throwie, putting it in a water proof jar with glass, tie it to something that floats and have a underwater one.

talzer (author)2008-12-19

roughly how many or how strong the LED required to light this thing up?

camperken (author)2008-12-07

I'm gona do this and try with some different colored gas, bits of mirrors and see what happens. maybe some simple circuit to cycle through some different LEDs or combinations

scooter76 (author)camperken2008-12-09

sweet, post some pics when you are done...

thedarkportrait (author)2008-11-10

great tutorial i had the same lighter at home and did it

Derin (author)2008-10-17

i have one of those lighters...

BradCush (author)2008-10-08

this is probably stupid to ask but does the rocker switch have batterys in it?

Derin (author)BradCush2008-10-17

no it does not

Yerboogieman (author)2008-08-21

i bought a bunch for like $1.50 recently online, just took 18 days to get em, free shipping.

Rye2121 (author)Yerboogieman2008-09-14

wat website was that, and does it ship to the US?

n8man (author)2008-07-19

You might want to add a disclaimer because you are breaking glass.

scooter76 (author)n8man2008-07-20

Done, Cheers

n8man (author)scooter762008-07-20

Cheers. Whoops, I broke my glass on the computer screen.

JuCo (author)2008-07-04

great instructable... this one's the first project i took up. mostly because i happened to have most of the parts needed and, like gall, i thought it'd be a nice gift for my girlfriend. i ended up using these plastic pieces that look like chunks of glass, though... makes for a safer project. :P

scooter76 (author)JuCo2008-07-04

Cheers for the comments. I like the jar you used, looks good. The plastic pieces seem to work great. I hope your girlfriend liked it. :)

gall (author)2008-04-16

I built one myself for my girlfriend as a Valentine's day gift. Basically the same design but I got freaky and put 2x red, 2x blue leds controlled by an ATTiny13 to give some sort of a "wandering" light impression and flickering (I guess I could do that with some electronics but I'm more a programmer :) ). Unfortunately I don't have any photos since it was put together in a rush. Anyways - thanks for the inspiration - she liked it very much :)

Shockwave_the_superhero (author)2008-04-14

I tried this as my first LED project. I used the glass pebbles from a craft store, two coin cell batteries and two green LEDs. My light isn't bright enough for my camera to get a picture of it in the dark. But, basically it looks like a jar of fireflies. Here's a picture of it with the lights on:

Ah ha! I adjusted my settings and got a pic of it lit up. Here we go:

Pretty sweet. If you could get it to flicker, it would really look like fireflies. I like the green, I think I'll have to do my next one with that color, just looks so cool. Thanks for posting the pics. Cheers.

Thanks. Not too bad for my first try, and not having a soldering iron either. (Everything’s held together with duct tape.) The glass pebbles I used aren’t translucent. Some of them have an etched texture to them. I think If I had used only the pebbles you could see through, the light might be a bit brighter. I might try re-building this light. If I do, I’m thinking of adding one strobe LED to it. If I do re-build, I’ll also change out the pebbles, and try my hand at soldering too.

straydoggio (author)2008-02-16

It looks so attractive. I'm going to set about making this - but couldn't understand much doing my physics lessons long ago. (Grade E GCSE) How long would you expect that little battery you've used to last as a power source? Also what was in the jar originally... I like that size/shape. Thx.

scooter76 (author)straydoggio2008-02-18

Thanks for the comment. I am still on the original batteries (3 little cell bats) but I dont use it every night, and when I do, its only for a couple minutes to help find my glasses and such. The jar was an old olive jar I had saved. If you do build one, please post some pics. Cheers

segull20 (author)2008-02-10

In Australia i can buy them for 10c each or 100 for $3.00

sdtacoma (author)2007-12-02

Nice instructable and very easy to do. I didn't have a switch handy so I just clipped the wires to the battery. I will add a switch later.

Cat on my Lap (author)2007-11-22

I'm just putting this out there...most of the time polarity DOES matter when installing LEDs. Usually the longer lead designates one pole: sign: + − terminal: anode (A) cathode (K) leads: long short exterior: round flat (courtesy of Wikipedia)

Yerboogieman (author)2007-11-03

i have a chain switch (pull chain light on thing) that'd be kool if this had like a metal wire stand and put the chain switch under it...

scooter76 (author)Yerboogieman2007-11-03

that would be tight, try it and post some pics.

Yerboogieman (author)scooter762007-11-12

LED's are expensive where i live, every once in a while i'll buy some but those assorted packs dont specify the current or voltage

incorrigible packrat (author)2007-11-06

Far Out, Man!!! I gotta make me one o' them. Here's my ideas: Tempered glass from commercial windows or car accident scenes breaks into hundreds of little cubes. Should make a pleasing effect. Some newer scanners use a 3 colour led module attached to an acrylic rod, instead of a cold cathode fluoro, as a light source. Could mount the whole rod in a long bottle, and fill with glass cubes. Hell, why not just attach the glass directly to the led assembly with epoxy and make freaky glowing sculptures?

That would be tight, making one with a colour shifting LED, Would look cool. The size of the glass does effect the overal result, lots of small pieces kinda dulls the effect, so you need to have a nice balance. Post some pics when you make yours, the more variations the better. Thanks for the comment

Method (author)2007-11-03

Heres my go... I decided my daughters night light was far too bright and decided to make a new one shed be happy to switch to. My modifications is a DC power supply, which was supposed to be 12v, turned out to be 17v, so with a small 220 resistor + 3 LEDs (2x blue, 1x white), it glows very nicely. low power consumption, and its very easy to modify to fit a battery pack to allow portability (can we say uber cool hanging lantern for tramping?) The hardest part was placing it in the glass, shaking did the trick, however i still rigged up a small stick to help direct the leds more down the center. The balance of what glass you use is important, small bits diffuse the light more, but dampens the brightness in larger amounts, where as the big pieces don't diffuse the the light as much, but allows more brightness. My result is after 4 attempts of both, this was what i considered the nice middle ground i was looking for. My "aim" was glowing ice, and I think it works nicely. Props for the Instructable P.S. for those looking for specifics to buy, I used: 1x used spaghetti sauce jar 6x used glass coke bottles (+hammer & bag for fun) 1x dpdt rocker switch (blue for matching colour-ness) 3x 3.5v 5mm LEDs (2x blue - 1x white) 1x resistor (my case required a 220ohm resistor, calc yours based on power supply & # of leds) 1x shoddy DC power supply (mine rated in @ 17.4vdc)

scooter76 (author)Method2007-11-03

Looks good, gonna make a bigger one as well, not sure what colors to use, I realy like the blue, might do a soft green, but again, looks great

daftpunkelectroma (author)2007-10-24

could u put up more pics??

deleted all the pics, but will be making a bigger one soon, and will post them then. I you finished one? put up some pics if you have, like to see all the variations

not sure of the gauge of wire, looks like 8. basically, for the amount of power that is being used, any standard wire will work

what kind of wire??

daftpunkelectroma (author)2007-10-21

were did u get the switch from??

I got it from, but if you are from North America (as I am, but living in the UK) Radio Shack or the Source will have them for about $1-2. I get most of my switches from stuff I have taken apart, cheaper that way. It you make one ( the instructable) post some pics

About This Instructable




Bio: Jack of all trades, master of none. Father, husband, creator.
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