Introduction: LED Frosties

Picture of LED Frosties

Light up your cooler with some waterproofed LED lights. They're simple to make and easy to reuse.

Step 1: Light It Up

Picture of Light It Up

All you need is a couple dozen 10mm diffused LEDs and some CR2032 batteries. Clip the leads a little and slide the battery up between them. If it didn't light up, flip it the other way.

Now tape it up and repeat until you have a small pile of glowing lights.

Step 2: Start the Wrap

Picture of Start the Wrap

Tear off a square of plastic wrap and push the LED light up into the middle of it.

Now pull the rest of the plastic wrap back so it looks like a plastic comet.

Step 3: Tie It Up

Picture of Tie It Up

Twist the tail a little tighter and knot it up. You can trim the excess off or leave it.

If you have some small Ziploc-style bags you can use one or two of those instead. You could also try doubling back the plastic wrap and make it more secure. I just had a bunch of LEDs, batteries, and drinks lying around so I put this together and it worked for the few hours I needed it.

Step 4: Toss Them Into the Ice and Stir

Picture of Toss Them Into the Ice and Stir

Spread the lights around the ice in the cooler and stir it up a bit so some of them get under the ice to create the glowing effect.

Step 5: Add Drinks and Enjoy

Picture of Add Drinks and Enjoy

Do you need a description here? Get some drinks and enjoy!

Break the plastic wrap when you're done to save the LEDs and batteries for later.

See also:
- LED Throwies
- The Ice Bulb
- LED Floaties 1
- LED Floaties 2


jnixon (author)2008-04-02

I love this idea! Where's a cheap place to get LEDs?

Bot1398 (author)jnixon2012-03-03


AngelInTheNight (author)jnixon2012-02-02

Christmas ornaments or halloween decorations when they go on sale. Most light up ones have LEDs in them.

doo da do (author)jnixon2008-04-02

some of the toys in many of the kids meals have toys with lights you could recycle those From Doo Da Do

Koil_1 (author)2008-12-30

Wow, add some small magnets and you got throwies!! ,

crak-a-bottle (author)Koil_12009-08-03

waterproof throwies =]

inventorjack (author)2008-12-31

Using this tonight for New Years party :)

Have fun with that!

nrlucre (author)2008-04-02


I bet you could do this via klee27x's "Pocket Full Of Anything""Pocket Full Of Anything" technique to make a tidier container for your LED.

sjrSpike (author)nrlucre2008-12-29

You know, if you put these in the heat-sealed plastic bags, but made the bags kind of sculpted so the narrow LEDs and wider battery couldn't change places, *and* left a little air in on purpose, would these float in water?

Depending on the amount of air, could you get these to float at different levels in the pool?

fungus amungus (author)nrlucre2008-04-04

That would be nicer. I've been meaning to try some soldering iron heat-sealing for a little while now.

imarzouka (author)2008-04-12

From where did you get your LEDs fungus amungus? I've been searching for diffused 10mm LEDs with internal resistance but I couldn't find them online.

Iyad Marzouka

fungus amungus (author)imarzouka2008-04-13

We got these from here. The batteries have the internal resistance, not the LEDS.

geeklord (author)fungus amungus2008-08-08

Yea, don't buy LED's from radio shack if possible, trust me their a lot more expensive than eBay's, and they SUCK!!!! >:(

The_Beast (author)geeklord2008-12-17

true that Radioshack blows when it comes to LED's, I bought (then returned) a 5 watt blue LED that I payed $4 for and it wasn't even that bright

godmode (author)imarzouka2008-06-29

Ebay is the best place. I got 50 leds + 50 batteries for about $30. Didnt have to pay customs since its marked as a "gift"

lukeair45 (author)imarzouka2008-06-19

you can find them at radio shack

fungus amungus (author)lukeair452008-06-21

I've found RS LEDs to be dimmer and more expensive and have a slim selection of colors. If you want to play with LEDs, you're much better off ordering them online.

stanstan009 (author)2008-09-06

wow! thats like really awesome! :D

pixelitis (author)2008-08-05

this right here - - is downright fackN awesome! - - it's a definite party.pleaser! tnx!

pestan (author)2008-08-05

I have a question. how long do they last?

fungus amungus (author)pestan2008-08-05

Several days. If you undo them at the end these can last for plenty of parties.

Derin (author)2008-06-22

they make self cycling rgb leds

schmidtty (author)2008-04-11

hey looks good, nice idea, sweet effect

Learndy (author)2008-04-10

Uh? LED directly connected to battery? No resistor to regulate current???

Yesterday I had a look at a datasheet of a super-bright in another context to find out that the current is kinda exponential in voltage. Maybe a resistor of 10 Ohms or so would also help the battery to stay alive and the ice to stay firm a little longer...

Airspace V - international hangar flying!

fungus amungus (author)Learndy2008-04-11

The same exact thing is found in LED keychain lights. Squeezing pushes the leads against the battery. The CR 2032 has an internal resistance.

Artificial Intelligence (author)2008-04-11

This is pretty cool. do you know if it's possible to put one of these down in some water and put in the freezer, so you can make a icecube with a LED inside it, or would that damage the battery?

The would be the ice bulb.

rickfmdj (author)2008-04-11

I have done this and works marvolusly with changing LEDS

CameronSS (author)2008-04-01

I wonder if it would diminish the effect to embed the LEDs in the side of the cooler (sealing with clear silicone), and have either a larger battery pack or external power. That would save on batteries, at least. This is pretty cool looking! I like the idea of the color-changing LEDs.

pbwingman11 (author)CameronSS2008-04-10

Now theres an idea! A cheap styro cooler, put them through the sides and secure/seal with silicone, wire'em all together, and run off a wall wort or old car battery! It would last for the life of the cooler!

Itsgoofytime (author)2008-04-02

Its not really original, although you do make great instructables.

robomaniac (author)Itsgoofytime2008-04-05

who care if he is not original. Do you think your tic tac toe joule thief light is better?

ps- Itsgoofytime, if you use a webcam to make your instructables, there is a ring on the edge of the lens to change the focus. If you use a camera, there is little flower and it is call macro.

I like this instructables, simple and cool!

Itsgoofytime (author)robomaniac2008-04-06

Wow im just saying a LED throwie in a bag is not that different.

And a throwie isn't that different from regular keychain LED lights which have been around for years before that.

robomaniac (author)Itsgoofytime2008-04-06

true! :P

SurferGeek (author)robomaniac2008-04-05

Zing... ;)

The lights are basic and have been done before, but I haven't seen them uesd as a decoration in ice before. Am I missing something?

Kiteman (author)fungus amungus2008-04-04

How about this 'ible?

fungus amungus (author)Kiteman2008-04-04

That is similar and I forgot about that one. This is a quicker method and gets a different effect. If I was to quibble I would say that my usage of "in ice" can mean different things :)

Kiteman (author)fungus amungus2008-04-04

I'm not knocking yours (very cool for barrels full of ice and drink-cans at a summer party) - that was just what came up when I searched for LED ice.

fungus amungus (author)Kiteman2008-04-04

I was using my own memory, not the search bar. And after seeing the ice bulb I still don't see what the "not original" stuff is about. Thanks for pointing to an example. It really keeps the conversation going.

msdrpepper (author)2008-04-10

I think these are gorgeous. Seeing as I took "Home ec" and not "shop", where does a lady get these LED things? is this something I can get from American Science & Surplus catalog for cheap? (I know they have cheap batteries!). Wonder how it would work to put them in those small jewelry size zippy loc type bags like I get at Hobby Lobby/Michaels/craft stores??? Of course, with the plastic wrap, if you had the blue plastic wrap and only yellow LED and you wanted a green LED, the blue plastic wrap in theory would mix it up with the yellow and you'd have "Green" LED... right? Hmmm I think this would be interesting in a bubble bath and lights dimmed... assuming I don't get shocked by some leaking bags and submerged batteries ? hmm

These are from here. Ignore the battery holder and the magnet, you just want the LEDs and CR2032 batteries.

Ward_Nox (author)msdrpepper2008-04-10

covered in this thread here

Jake Turner (author)2008-04-06

Very neat, I'll remember this one for the summer. Faved and 1upped.

proto (author)2008-04-03

Just thought I'd add a little battery info here: After doing some research, I've found that the best batteries to use in a cold environment (like your freezer) use the Lithium Iron-disulfide chemistry. The easiest ones to find are the Energizer e2 Lithium batteries, which have a temp range from -40°F to 140°F. The individual cells put out 1.5 V, so one would probably need multiple cells to light an LED. OR, you can built one of the 'Joule Thief' circuits that run off a single cell. The next neat thing to do would be to add a photo transistor to turn on the LED when you open the fridge door. :-)

comodore (author)2008-04-03


fungus amungus (author)comodore2008-04-03

What are you yelling about?

comodore (author)fungus amungus2008-04-03

Just want every one to hear me! :) JOCKING All in all a GREAT Instructable!!! Good work!!! Great idea for a party! The LED Throwies have really made a revolution! VIVA LA LED REVOLUTION!!! :)

About This Instructable




Bio: I like to make things for the internets. I also sell a pretty cool calendar at You'll like it.
More by fungus amungus:3D Printed US Population MapLight Painting With an IPhoneSuper Bright RGB LED Bike Wheels
Add instructable to: