Instructables
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LED floaties are the mellower version of throwies. Instead of flying through the air in an arched trajectory, they'd much rather loaf about on the ground until being kicked up by a playful child or fascinated dog.

On Thursday December 14, me and my partners from Uncoolkids inflated and released 200 floaties into Tompkins square park in Manhattan. The somewhat foggy windless night provided the perfect atmosphere for a couple hundred glowing balloons. All passerby really seemed to enjoy the effect the balloons had on the park, and the balloons create a perfect interactive environment.


Step 1: Parts

1. CR2032 3V Lithium Batteries (2 batteries per LED)
2. 10mm Non-diffused LEDs
3. Duct tape

Because the LEDs require 2 batteries each I recommend buying a throwie pack from HB Electronics, and then buying batteries for however many LEDs you buy at CheapBatteries.com.

The throwies cost about 75 cents each depending on how many you make.

Step 2: Steps

Stack two batteries on top of each other and sandwich them between the legs of the LEDs. Use a few inch long strip of duct tape to hold them on completely.

To get the lights in the balloons have one person reach inside the balloon with their fingers and hold the neck open while the other person drops in the light.

This whole process works best when set up in an assembly line with a few people making lights, a few stuffing balloons, and a few inflating the balloons.



Release the balloons.

Step 3: Cleanup

Cleanup is virtually nonexistent. The balloons eventually pop and the lights are picked up by curious strangers. The balloon latex is completely biodegradable so the scraps are safe to be left around.

Instead of cleanup this project just dissolves into the night.

Step 4: Update: Instructional Video

The folks over at howcast.com have created an instructional video based on this project.


 
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BuilderboY7 years ago
helium+floatie=flyie
Noff, but i think the battery would keep it from flying away.
In step 4 you have someone who made it with helium, those floaties floated to the roof, I think it will work
perhaps, the concept is cool though. It can probably be done by making the light as small as possible and perhaps using two or three balloons. It would be cool to set a bunch of those free. I bet if you put tags with a phone number or address on them you would get more responses then normal!
haha, indeed thats what would happem
Wow were did you learn that kind of math!!! lol Good idea.
nw6 years ago
I have done this for an art exhibition, on a smaller scale, with one... It was a special shaped balloon, that looked like a zeppelin. The piece was called L.E.D. Zeppelin!
yggdrazil nw5 years ago
LOL! funny! You could release it into the sky so it can take the "stairway to heaven"
Tommyhzy nw5 years ago
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA Seriously, good name. No sarcasm or pun intended.
ampeyro5 years ago
wow, i had the same idea, helium could be cool
Wesley6665 years ago
Cool ible.
Wesley6665 years ago
Use Hydrogen then you can light em' up when your done! (Bad idea seriously though)
nice
Stikk7 years ago
Why do these LEDs supposedly need two batteries? Are they not exactly the same LEDs as in the throwies? Do you just add the second battery to up the voltage and increase brightness? If so, you would be overpowering the LEDs (they only need 3-3.6v according to that website) and they'd burn out.. Sorry if this is a stupid question but im confused...
Tetranitrate (author)  Stikk7 years ago
You are correct, you are sacrificing the life of the LEDs to make them brighter. They need to be brighter then the throwies because they have a layer of latex to shine through.
um no. those batteries are 1.5 volts. 1.5 x 2 = 3. your still about 0.7v short of even making its life SLIGHTLY shorter.
I'm sorry, they are 3v. but is he wiring them in series or paralel? paralel jsut increases amps ,not volts, maknig them brighter withuot burning them out. series ups the voltage and does nothing to the amps.
overamping also kills leds
(removed by author or community request)
correct
lol
what color of balloons did you use? Would the regular one battery throwie set up work if you used clear balloons? I think this would be great for decorations for a school dance. But we are on a budget... They like it DARK in there, so I'm wondering if we can get by with just one battery... What do you think? AMAZING idea. I loved it! (o:
Derin6 years ago
fire at them with a bb gun then the fun begins bam bam bam then you make something where the balloons move around on a belt and if you shoot one you get to have the light
Techno23 Derin6 years ago
That would actually be quite cool *steals idea for airsoft tourneys*
Derin Techno236 years ago
no problem bro,u can take my idea
Wow. That was so nice it almost sounded like sarcasm...
i think it was
t'wasnt.
maybe then these could float using helium
What if you used the ballons in the project and insted of using the CR2032 batteries, use BR1216 batteries. they are smaler and lighter.
Macro Not Found:
http://parts.digikey.ca/1/1/11625-battery-lithium-coin-3v-12-5mm-br1216.html

lebowski5 years ago
We just did this at a birthday party. Here are a couple of tips. Make sure you buy Jewell Tone colors, like these:

http://www.balloons4u2.com/store/page18.html

The LED's will show through them much better. They are the same as in the video above.

It's really cool if you can get them to hover around, but it requires a bit of work. You can attach paperclips and some tape to help weigh them down a little.

Also, electrical tape works great for attaching the LED to the batteries, since it's really easy to take off the tape to re-use them.
wouldn't the balloons pop and the LEDs would fall?
abnor6 years ago
that would be great to put in a pool then have a pool party
what if you put some simple to make hydrogen in the balloons? would they fly then?
wrentchhead6 years ago
i think that this may be one of the best instructables i have seen,lol, im serious though...
nice instructable... make a video with ...real kids on it, imean smaller kids lol. it will make a great video!
These things are very cool. There is one thing I don't understand though: how do you drive a LED directly on 6Volts ?
you drive a led directly on 6v because they are only small button batteries and so cannot deliver the current because of their internal resistance
OK, but it's enough with just one of these batteries.
yes it should be indeed. using two will just make it beasty bright. you can buy cheapo "disposable" torches that have a single led and two li-ion button cells in series. costs me 2 bucks for one. its funny because the batteries are worth $5 ea and the led about the same :P
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