The key to this design is a high power LED. I'm not talking about those little through-hole guys that you can use for underlighting your car... I'm talking about the 3 Watt LED's that they put in high powered flashlights! So this Halloween, I chose to put one of these buggers to good use. This project requires that you know how to solder.
Here's what you'll need:
- 1 3W LED - $4 at Digikey (Anything with the same voltage rating will work)
- 1 stick or piece of doweling cut 10 to 14 inches long
- 1 Energizer Lithium Photo 123 Battery (3 volts, available at most drug stores)
- 1 small switch
- 2 yards of thin, insulated wire (I used thin speaker wire for this tutorial, but unobtrusive two-stranded wire works great too.)
- Soldering iron and solder
Step 1: Cut and wrap the stick
Trim any extra twigs off the branch and cut the business end (the end which will have the light) perfectly flat. This will be the spot where the LED will go, so you want it to sit well.
Once the stick is prepared, wrap two wires around its entire length. (In one version, I cross-hatched them. Using an amber colored wire, they added a nice pattern to the overall product.) Once you have the wires in place, strip them to expose the conductor.
Idea: For a really authentic look without visible wires, you can split your wand down its length, cut out a channel on each side, run the wire inside and glue the pieces back together. You could even steam and bend the wood when you're done to get that knobbly look.
You should now have two wires ending with an inch or so of slack at each end of the wand.