loading
Picture of DIY  Jack-o-lantern light

A few years ago one of our neighbors had a few jack-o’-lanterns in spirit of halloween. Like everyone he used candles to light them up and give them that original halloween glow! One pumpkin actually caused a few dry leaves to catch fire. Thankfully it wasn't anything major and no one was hurt and because of that it led me to go searching in some alternative methods. I found an easy way to give jack-o’-lanterns a great glow without the risk of a fire. Now it is rare that one will cause a fire but it does run a small risk. Also using this small and easy method you can keep your pumpkin lit up all night and never have to worry! Peace of mind is always a good thing :). If you want to learn how to make your jack-o’-lanterns glow with original halloween fear and ease and peace of mind then let me borrow a few minutes of your time and show you how simple it is :)

 

Okay lets get started!

 

View the last step for a video!

 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Things needed

Picture of Things needed

Now this small build will require some soldering. But nothing to complex. so it should'nt be too hard.

You will need;

 1-glass jar

1- spdt switch (optional if you only use one power source)

1- 9volt battery clip and battery (allows you to power your pumkin away from an outlet)

1- ac-dc 12 volt power supply (optional)

1- set of led strips. Color is up to you :) one small strip had four sets of 3 leds.

 

you will also need some good wire clippers, soldering iron, solder, Hot glue, wire strippers and some wire. 

Step 2: Preparing the leds

Picture of preparing the leds
DSCN0857.JPG
DSCN0858.JPG
DSCN0859.JPG

I chose to cut the leds where indicated and extend them using wire. This way I can mount a few around the jar to get the light shine in other areas. Cut the leds where inidicated (four copper dots and a dotted line indicate where its okay to cut), strip the water proof clear rubber to expose the copper joints. After the copper is exposed you can apply some solder to the copper. (tin). After tinning the leds you can solder some wire (length up to you) to connect one single strip of 3 to another. This allows you to later position them anyway you want :). When soldering wires to the leds keep track of the polarity! Solder the positive connection of one strip to the positive connection of another strip and so on.

Step 3: Adding the switch and power source

Picture of adding the switch and power source
DSCN0865.JPG
DSCN0866.JPG

If you use one power source then you  dont need a spdt switch. But if you decide you want to to use a battery and wall power for both portable use and at home use (close to an outlet) then you will need to follow this simple set up. It may be a bit confusing to some but overall easy.

 

The switch will have three legs. Solder the leds positive wire to the middle leg then solder the 9volt battery snaps positive wire to an outside leg (doesnt matter wich) then solder the ac dc adapters positive wire to the other outside leg. this Allows you to select either the 9volt to power your leds or the 12 volt power supply to power the leds. Now the 9volts will be a little dimmer than the 12 volts but it still is bright and obvious :)

Step 4: The negative connections

Picture of The negative connections

step 4 negatives

After adding the switch and power sources you will be left over with 3 negative wires. One from the leds, one from the 9volt battery connection and the other from the 12 volt connection. Simply solder them all together and insulate with electrical tape

step 5 the jar

The jar is a great way to mount the leds.  After halloween you can add it on a shelf as a nice night light.

Most of the led strips have an adhesive backing to them which makes mounting them a lot easier. I mounted one on the bottom of the jar and the rest around the jar. You can mount however you'd like! :) If your strips don't have an adhesive backing you can use hot glue or super glue. I used hot glue for a bit of added strength. After the leds are in place you can hot glue the switch near the mouth of the jar. along with the 9volt battery snap.  Mounting the leds in the jar can be hard so don't be upset if you can't get them all straight and perfect

Step 5: To the jar

Picture of to the jar
DSCN0869.JPG
DSCN0870.JPG
DSCN0871.JPG

The jar is a great way to mount the leds.  After halloween you can add it on a shelf as a nice night light.

Most of the led strips have an adhesive backing to them which makes mounting them a lot easier. I mounted one on the bottom of the jar and the rest around the jar. You can mount however you'd like! :) If your strips don't have an adhesive backing you can use hot glue or super glue. I used hot glue for a bit of added strength. After the leds are in place you can hot glue the switch near the mouth of the jar. along with the 9volt battery snap.  Mounting the leds in the jar can be hard so don't be upset if you can't get them all straight and perfect

Step 6: Test the jar

Picture of test the jar
DSCN0876.JPG
DSCN0877.JPG

plug in a 9 volt and test it out! Also if you're using the ac dc adapter go ahead and plug it in aswell and observe the difference in brightness when you switch between the two.

 

What if you want the brightness of 12 volts while maintaining the portability? Simply run two 9 volt batteries in series into a 12 volt regulator. 

Step 7: To the pumpkin!

Picture of To the pumpkin!
DSCN0899.JPG

Now slip it into your jack-o’-lantern and enjoy! After halloween is over you can use this as a night light or a great outdoor light. Or even a mood light!  Thanks for your time :) hope you enjoyed my efforts in fighting fire with leds! let me know how yours turns out!

Step 8: Video