Picture of How to make a LED desk drawer Light!
In this instructable I am going to show you how to create and LED desk drawer light that turns on once you open the drawer and turns back off once you close it. It is very simple, cheap and easy to make and is a great light for digging through your drawers with. You can even adapt it to be used for your glove box in your car or any number of things.

Step 1: Materials and Tools

LED- I used a 10mm diffused white LED. 15-50 Cents. You can take an LED pretty much any old electronic device or buy them online. Radio shack sells them for an arm and a leg.
Coin Cell Battery- I used the CR2032. Very Common. You can get them at radio shack or online. Even Big Grocery Stores have them. They cost any where from 20 cents a piece online to close to $5 dollars at radioshack.
Magnetic Switch- I used one that I took off of an old sliding door. It was used for a security system. You can use either a switch that is always on except for in the presence of a magnetic field or one that is always off except for in the presence of a magnetic field. I used one that was always off. You can buy these online, at radioshack or at your local hardware store. ( Please Shop local, no big box stores. Big Box stores are evil!!!) They cost about $3.
Electrical tape- About 20cm. You could even use duct tape.
Wire- ~15 CM of wire. Any will do. Take it out of an old car.
A desk drawer, glove box etc.
Magnet- I would recommend a rare earth magnet. They are really strong, and pretty cheap. You can get them online or cannibalize them out of old toys, hard drive or any number of electronics. They only cost pennies for small ones. There are some really big ones that cost a lot though. ($100s of dollars!!)
Wire Cutters- I used my MAKE: Warranty Voider - Leatherman "Squirt" E4 (electronics version) Pocket multitool. (BTW this is the best Mulitool I have ever owned!!!)
Screw Driver- For wrapping wire around the terminal screws.
J@50n5 years ago
 May i ask how you got your cover picture like a movie? this probably seems like a dumb question but i have asked various others and no one will answer me. please help!
joejoerowley (author)  J@50n5 years ago
 Sure, no problem, and not a dumb question in the slightest. This probably the most commonly asked question I get for this instructable haha.

Here is a link for how to do it-

It is a little outdated but hopefully it will help you. Now you can export animated gifs with quicktime pro I think and with adobe macromedia flash. 

uzziah06 years ago
I would think if you soldered the wires it would prevent any sort of disconnections from opening and closing the drawer. Cool idea. Thanks for sharing. I have several LEDs and rechargable AAs I'm trying to figure out what to do with. I need to be able to remove the AAs to put them in the recharger. I'm leaning toward a night light for my first piece.
my local radioshack doesnot keep magnetic reed switches in stock. how could i make on myself?
you can buy this finished product, factory-made, at most dollar store for 1$/2!
Well you could have them order you one or I could explain you how to make one but i need to do an English paper right now so this week end maybe I can help you. k
Notbob7 years ago
Interesting, but i've alread seen a comercialy avaliable product like this called a quick brite. other then that cool.
joejoerowley (author)  Notbob7 years ago
Thanks. If I end up coming to Canada to stalk you I will bring you one :)
thanks, there damn expensive exerywhere else
joejoerowley (author)  Notbob7 years ago
Cool. Just a gift for your sacrifice. :)
LinuxH4x0r7 years ago
Nice! simple, but useful.
Exactly what I was going to say, until I read the comments. Great minds think alike. Oh yeah, nice job joejoe, it seems like you really want to win something in this LED contest!
joejoerowley (author)  Brennn107 years ago
Yeah. I already started my third. I guess I would be considered a technosexual. I heart LEDs.
Technosexual ="A person, male or female, who is so deeply enthralled with technology they discuss it with a level of passion that most people reserve for sex. Not always a geek or a nerd, but generally someone who has the latest and greatest everything."- from the urban dictionary.
Somehow I can't think about sex and electronics at the same time. *shudders*
joejoerowley (author)  LinuxH4x0r7 years ago
Thank you! :) Just out of curiosity what Distro do you have? I have Gusty Gibbons (7.10) Ubuntu. I have done DSL (Damn small linux), coollinux, puppy linux, and a lot others .I think that Ubuntu is my favorite by far except for when I want to sniff networks. then I use Knoppixs std.
Fedora core 5 and fedora 8 dual booted. I might try ubuntu some time soon.
Lftndbt7 years ago
Nice job, very stealth.. ;) You have prompted me, to add some mood LeD lighting to my workspace... Thanks..
joejoerowley (author)  Lftndbt7 years ago
Sure. Thanks for the comments.
Cool job joejoejoeboeeggsrowley, I like it, this is a great idea. Nice job!
joejoerowley (author)  GorillazMiko7 years ago
Thanks GorillazGorillazGorillazboeeggsMiko. Out of curiosity, what is the boes eggs rowley for? Just to rime?
You're wrong joejoegofjnewjv7nfkwoicjsjwinstructablesjgieuwnrowley, I was just bored.
joejoerowley (author)  GorillazMiko7 years ago
who isn't oʞıɯzɐ11ıɹob :)