Introduction: LED Wine Charms

Light up your holiday parties with these festive LED wine charms!

Step 1: Materials

The LEDs were from an assortment I bought from American Science & Surplus - your basic 1.7V to 3V red, orange, green, white/clear LED.

The 100 & 200 ohm resistors were from Radio Shack.

The 25mm Beading Hoops were from a local bead store and cost $4 for 10.

The only critical component are the batteries, which need to have leads pre-soldered to them at the factory.  The 3V lithium-ion batteries were from Mouser (Mouser part #658- BR2032-1GU,mfr part #BR2032-1GU @ $2.32 ea).

Step 2: Wrap the LED Leads Around the Beading Hoop

We'll start with the simplest case, a LED that doesn't need a resistor.

Use some needle nose pliers to hold the led & hoop in place while you wrap the leads. It'll be less strain on the LED.

Step 3: Solder and Cut Away Excess Leads

Careful you don't melt the LED. You could attach an alligator clip to each lead as you solder it to act as a heat sink. I learned this after melting a few LEDs.

Step 4: Prepare the Battery

The critical part is that positive and negative leads are welded to the battery at the factory. Don't try to solder directly on a lithium-ion battery yourself, it might blow up in your face. 

Follow along in the photos...

1. Unmodified batteries.

2. Bend one lead over.

3. Flatten the other lead.

4. Bend one of the skinny leads down.

5. After bending one of the skinny leads.

6. Cut off the excess.

7. Bend the lead back up.

8. Ready for use.



Step 5: Solder the Hoop to the Battery

Figure out the which way lights up the led and bend a hook in the end you want to solder to the battery.

Solder it, trying not to heat up the battery.

Step 6: Make a Latch/switch and You're Done!

Bend another hook on the other arm of the hoop. Hook it in the bent lead of the battery to close the circuit and light up the led.

Step 7: Add a Resistor for Yellow and Red LEDs

Red & yellow LEDs draw too much power from a 3V battery and reduce battery life. 

I used some 100 & 200 ohm resistors I had handy.

Wrap the resistor around one lead of the led, solder it, and snip off the excess.

I put the resistor on the lead that would later be soldered to the battery, thinking that would put less strain on it.

Step 8: Wrap the LED & Resistor Around the Hoop, Solder, and Snip Away Excess

Solder to the hoop just like with the LED without a resistor.

Then attach to the battery in the same way as before.

Step 9: Finishing Touches

The charms were plenty cute, but I then wrapped the battery of each charm in a matching color of electrical tape (again from Radio Shack) to keep them from shorting out during storage.  Festive, no?

Comments

author
AngryRedhead (author)2009-12-19
This is perfect especially when, theoretically, you've hit that point in the night where things start to go a bit hazy and you, theoretically, start misplacing your glass...

Great idea!
 
author
billr (author)AngryRedhead2009-12-27

I've handed these out at two parties now and they seem to be a hit!

They should be very handy at New Year's parties.

Now if I could only figure out how to make them blink...

- Bill

author
beverageexpert (author)billr2011-03-25

to make them blink with your circuit you just buy the leds that already blink or change color etc. I have fast flash rainbow and slow flash rainbow that would be cool to try. I take my blinky leds with me to parties all the time. people seem to like blinky

author
nimitz (author)2009-12-28

This is very cool and I have a LOT of LEDs lying around. :-)

I did come up with a thought though - couldn't your use the smaller 3v (1cm) coin batteries and a surface mount LED and tape them to the underside of the base?  That would put them shining directly up the center of the glass.

author
dani19cz (author)nimitz2010-09-07

I agree. It would be like using the LED throwies but including them in this project. And with the wire u can simply use the invisible electric tape to make sure it doesnt fall off.

author
billr (author)nimitz2009-12-30

What a cool idea!  I don't know anything about surface mount leds, though. 

- Billr

author
nimitz (author)billr2009-12-30

They're a little tricky to work with initially but there's a good kit that teaches SMT soldering and is pretty cheap:

http://www.ramseyelectronics.com/cgi-bin/commerce.exe?preadd=action&key=BL2

The nice thing is that they're small AND bright for the most part. :-)

author
godofal (author)nimitz2009-12-31

using SMD components without a circuit bord (dead bug style) is pretty easy, just use some small needle-nosed pliers, tin the ends, and solder it to whatever u want :D

u should, however order 2 or 3 leds/resistors if ur making 1 (dont count up like that, if ur making 10, order 15) since ul lose them very quick, even with a clean floor/workingspace...

and btw, leds always need resistors, even the green ones! u just need to calculate the right resistor, some only need 50ohm, while others can go to 300ohm
just google it, there are plenty of online calculators to use, instead of manually doing it urself ;)

and maybe add a tactile switch faced down, so the led will light up when the wine glass stands on the table, and goes off the second u pick it up :)

il try to make one of these when i get the chance, make some pictures and upload them

nice idea, nice projec!

author
jenjenbug (author)2009-12-18

These are AWESOME!  And it appears that anyone can make them.  Great ible and idea!

author
billr (author)jenjenbug2009-12-28

Thanks, jenjenbug!
- Billr

author
hot-fresh-rider (author)2009-12-28

I like your attention to detail + rated ! 4 !

author
billr (author)hot-fresh-rider2009-12-28

Thanks!
- Billr

author
sffitzge (author)2009-12-27

i realize the ease at which those batteries with the pre-soldered ends give this project

but i was wondering if you had tried it without the pre-soldered leads and if u had if a 1.5V button cell battery will light up the LEDs well enough or if you have to go with a 3V battery

author
billr (author)sffitzge2009-12-27

I didn't think a 1.5v battery would put out enough power.  I was going by the info provided by:
http://www.evilmadscientist.com/article.php/throw
, which says red & yellow leds require 1.7v and green & white leds require 3.5v.

I didn't try the 1.5v batteries, though.  I'm sure that 1.5v batteries are available with pre-soldered leads. 

Another option would be to use a battery holder and solder to that.  I would appreciate a link to where I could purchase battery holders for a CR2032 3V lithium coin cell battery.

- Bill

author
agbert (author)2009-12-27

Could you also use heat shrink? Like these guys have? http://www.heatshrinktubingdirect.com/

Andrew...

author
billr (author)agbert2009-12-27

Andrew,

Heat shrink was the first thing I tried but I didn't like the way it looked.

- Bill

ShrinkWrapGroup.jpg

About This Instructable

22,575views

52favorites

More by billr:LED Wine CharmsMake a Laptop Stand from Cardboard - The Quick and Easy WayHow to build a "Flexi-Perch" Squirrel-proof birdfeeder for $10 or less
Add instructable to: