Introduction: LED Fan/Party Light

Picture of LED Fan/Party Light
Are you bored with dinner parties? Are you looking for a simple way to make your next get together a little snazzier?  Then this simple circuit is the project for you.
This instructable will teach you to create a mercury switch that will morph your ceiling fan from a dull wind machine into an LED light show. The basics are simple; turn your fan on and the lights will shine--pointed towards the ceiling or to the floor. Turn the fan off, and it's a subtle sign to your guests that they have eaten all of your food and drank all your boos, and it's time for them to head home.

There are a few different ways to achieve the party experience, depending on your intended level of awesomeness:




Three circuits on the fan


Just one circuit on the fan



 Three circuits on the fan
 

Step 1: Parts Needed

Picture of Parts Needed

This is a very simple project, so there are not many parts needed.

Parts:

4"x3"  Project Board (or smaller, I actually cut mine into three parts about to 1" x 3")

3 volt Button Cell Battery

Button Cell Battery Holder

Mercury Switch (tilt switch)

5mm LEDs (I used Blue, White, RGB, Blue Flashing)

Sticky Tack (blue gummy sticky stuff)

Tools:

Wire Cutters

Soldering Iron

Solder

Hack Saw (for cutting Project board)

Step 2: Putting Together the Circuit

Picture of Putting Together the Circuit
Step 1)
Get the Project board to the right size, I cut my 4"x3" board into three pieces, which brought the size of each one closer to 3"x1".  Just make sure you take your time while cutting so the copper solder points on the back do not flake off.

Step 2)
Test your circuit. This is very important to do while trying something new.  You wouldn't want to solder everything together and find out that it doesn't work, or one of the components were bad.  There is a diagram below of the circuit, along with pictures of how I soldered it onto the projeect board.

NOTE:
In this case I did not use any resistors because the LED's that I am using need 3.3 volts, and the power source is 3 volts.  Since they are being under powered already, I skipped the resistor. If you add a resistor to these you are going to be under powering them even more. However, some people say that LED's ALWAYS need resistors (which is a good thing to stick by).  Your call on this one, party animal.



Step 3: Final Touches

Picture of Final Touches
Step 3)
Now that you have the circuit all set up, you are ready to attach them to the fan.  I used "Sticky Tack", which a blue sticky clay that allows you to easily attach and easily remove items without leaving any perminant marks. You can attach them however you want, just make sure that you have the mercury switch pointing to the center of the fan so when it turns on the mercury will turn on the lights!

NOTE:
I have tried attaching them to the top of the fan aiming them at the ceiling, and to the bottom aiming them down onto the floor.  It really just depends on the mood you want to create.

WARNING:  MAKE SURE THE LIGHTS ARE SECURE BEFORE TURNING ON THE FAN.  IF THEY ARE NOT, THEY CAN FLY OFF AND CAUSE DAMAGE.  I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY DAMAGES CAUSED BY THIS PROJECT. ALSO BE AWARE THAT MERCURY IS POISINOUS-- BE AWARE OF THIS WHEN USING AROUND CHILDREN OR ANIMALS.
BE SAFE AND HAVE FUN!

Comments

EET1982 (author)2012-08-06

I'll be making these soon. Found tilt switches for a buck a piece so I ordered 15 of them lol. Thanks for a cool instructable :).

Munchys (author)2010-10-29

Tilt switch made without mercury https://www.instructables.com/id/Tilt-Sensor-cheap-easy-nontoxic/

Wesley666 (author)2010-10-09

Good idea, bad tilt switch. You can get tilt switches that use a steel ball bearing instead of mercury, much safer.

HarveyH44 (author)Wesley6662010-10-10

Yeah, was surprised to see that mercury switch, don't see them much anymore. For something like this, kind of risky. If the board flies off, and slung up against a wall or something, tiny pieces of glass is hard enough, but the mercury is even worse. Really bad for pets and small kids crawling around. The tiny amount wouldn't do much to an adult.

Wesley666 (author)HarveyH442010-10-10

Ya, I wonder where he got it from? I have to admit its cool looking though, I have a bottle of Mercury, about half a liter I have collected (Safely) from things over the years from anything that had Mercury in it. Its fun to look at but that's about all. Very heavy.

Adam Manick (author)Wesley6662010-10-11

You can get them easily in old and thermostats

Wesley666 (author)Adam Manick2010-10-11

I know that, where do you think I got half a liter of Mercury? (Thermostats and other places) What I meant is that Mercury isn't used in Thermostats anymore, old ones are somewhat hard to come by, and that they usually don't have the long leads like the ones in this Instructable, the ones the author uses look brand new.

dark sponge (author)2010-10-09

Clever, I like them!

dark sponge (author)dark sponge2010-10-09

Also, you might want to balance it out by putting a counterweight on the opposite blade that the light is on. If the fan spins fast enough while out of balance it could shake unstablely and maybe do some damage.

Wesley666 (author)dark sponge2010-10-09

I find these ceiling fans usually shake anyhow, at least mine does, so you could probably balance it using this.

AngryRedhead (author)Wesley6662010-10-09

My ceiling fans don't shake, but we used small weights to correct any wobbles that were there. You can buy the weights in the lighting department at big box DIY stores.

Wesley666 (author)AngryRedhead2010-10-09

Ahh, ya, they are made to pivot and ours shakes a bit, you can see it, but this would balance it out, and would look cool too.

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