LED Floaties





Introduction: LED Floaties

About: Working wireless-ly.


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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    cool, BUT BUY YOUR LEDS ON LINE!!!! (i went to radio shack and they charged me 5$ for 1 blue 5mm led!!!!) Riiip off!

    2 replies

    I got 500 LED's on Amazon for $15. $2500 (not including tax!) is way too much!

    yeah rip off indeed. radioshack (notice the lower case R) is lame and greedy.

    use clear ballons and you dont need to up voltage.

    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...

    6 replies

    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.

    CR2032s are 3v. and 2 for $1 at dollar tree .

    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

    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:

    dollar tree sells sunbeam CR2032s, 2 to a pack for $1.

    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.


    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!

    1 reply

    LOL! funny! You could release it into the sky so it can take the "stairway to heaven"