Instructables

Creative Valentines Gift

I wanted to give my girlfriend a unique gift for Valentines Day and the idea of putting something special inside a light bulb came to me after seeing an Instructable on how to make light bulb coat hangars. I was expecting it to be a lot more work than it was. I was actually able to complete the project in the span of just a few hours, and now you can too!

The second picture is the schematic (wiring diagram). I am aware that only using one resistor for all the LEDs is bad practice but I did not want to put resistors on the LEDs that are attached to the frames because it would have looked cluttered. Since the LEDs will not be on all the time I figured that only using one resistor is not a huge deal.

Also, no worries if you are not electrically inclined. If you do not want to add any LEDs or anything, just ignore all the steps dealing with them.

Just think of all the cheesy puns you can use when you give this to him/her! 
 
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Step 1: Parts List

For this project you may need to do a little shopping. Luckily, everything can be found around the house or bought on Ebay. The total cost for the project can easily be kept under $20.

Items I Used:
-   A light bulb: It does not have to be clear because the white powder on the inside of the glass can be rinsed out.
-   A few feet of 18 - 26 AWG solid wire.
-   Several feet of magnet wire, no smaller than 30 AWG.
-   Some LEDs, I used 11.
-   A 220 ohm resistor.
-   A 9-volt battery.
-   A 9-volt battery clip.
-   A small switch.
-   A picture of yourself and your significant other.

Feel free to add additional components to your design! There are a lot of different things you can do to add your own touch. For example: using a 555 timer chip to make the LEDs fade? If you're not really handy with electricity you can even just skip out on the electronics.

You may also want to buy more than one light bulb in case you accidently break the one you are working with.
zomfibame5 months ago

cool!

lmnopeas5 months ago

She's gonna love it! It's awesome!

pyrocop15 months ago

This might be a fun upgrade. Instead of an off and on switch, how about 2 copper contact plates. Have place her thumb on one of the contact plates you place the opposite thumb on the other contact plate. Now hold hands or kiss to complete the circuit.

LaserDave1 year ago
This is such a cute and imaginative project!  I bet your girlfriend was thrilled to get it.

If I may make a suggestion to yourself or anyone who chooses to replicate it, you would be far better off in terms of battery lifetime if you used multiple strings of 3 LEDs to use up the power that the resistor is wasting as heat.

Since the newer Red LEDs require around 2.4 volts, three of them would need approximately 7.2v and then need to eat up the remaining 1.8v by using a resistor of 90 Ohms (or a more common value of 100 Ohms) to keep the current down to 20mA. This scheme will let you light three LEDs for the price of one, as seen by the battery.

Some of the older Red LEDs ran from a voltage of only 1.9v, allowing strings of four to be used, along with a small resistor of 68-Ohms. (70-Ohms technically)

Other LED colours vary in terms of the voltage they want, with the white, blue, purple and some greens at the 3.4v level. Those colours will only work in strings of two since they need a combined voltage of 6.8v per pair. You would need to drop the remaining 2.2v so you might use a 110-Ohm resistor, or the 100-Ohm since it's close.

Assuming you use three strings of three LEDs, the battery sees a load of 60mA instead of 220mA (almost a quarter Amp) from running eleven LEDs at 20mA.  Driving the LEDs in strings uses almost one quarter of the current than driving them individually.

Incidentally, your schematic shows that you are running all eleven LEDs in parallel through a single series resistor of 220-Ohm, but such an arrangement would run possibly two LEDs (but no more) at a very low brightness. So I am assuming you used one resistor for each LED.

In any case, any way you get the LEDs to work, this is a very cool project that deserves lots of exposure - and lots of warm hearts of those who receive them as gifts.

Peace!
Sabsta1 year ago
This is so cute~!! Good job :D
Chip Fixes (author)  Sabsta1 year ago
Thank you! :)