Introduction: Light-Up Skis
So you have an old pair of skis that you want to make into your luminescent throne on the mountain? Great!
Or you want to give your current skis a new twist? Even better!
The Light-Up Skis are a great conversation piece, as well as a cool new way to shred the gnar. They will be about $50 to make if you already have skis, but you could find an old pair on Craig's List for about $15. All in all, this took about 3-4 hours to complete, but someone adept with a soldering iron could do it a lot faster.
Step 1: Step 1: Materials
These are the specific materials I used, but there is a lot of wiggle room for what could be used.
1. Skis. These can be old, new, really any kind of skis that can have are wide enough to hold a battery pack and a switch. $15 if you don't have any already.
2. Waterproof, adhesive 12V LED's. The set I got was 5 meters long, and that did not make it all the way around the ski. If that's what you're looking for, by 7-8 meter long strands. These MUST be waterproof, as they will short out if not. $16.
3. 2 large 12V LED's. These are entirely optional, but if you do buy these, make sure they are very low wattage. The ones I got were too high, and they had an extremely dull dim when turned on. You will probably have better luck with a couple small LED's soldered together. $10
4. 2 8 AA battery packs. They don't necessarily need to be this big, but better safe than sorry, right? $5.
5. 2 Electric Toggle Switches. Nothing really else to explain. $8.
6. Insulated wire. Make sure that it is absolutely insulated. $8.
7. 2 large balloons. These will be used to put the battery packs in to keep water out. You could get these for $2 at any party store.
Step 2: Preparing the LED's
1. Find the center of the LED strip. For me, it was at 2.5 meters, or almost 8 feet.
2. Cut in right in the middle, or separate them as instructed. Do not cut them if it does not say you can on the directions or packaging.
3. There was a connector already on the LED's for me, so I simply snipped it off. This should work if your LED's run off of 12 volts.
Step 3: Attaching the LED's
Now measure out each strip of LED's to find its center. This would be at about 1.25 meters for me. Stick the middle right on the end of the ski, and you may want to superglue it in place. Now wrap each end around the ip and down the edge of the ski. Again, superglue may prove useful. Continue sticking the LED's down the length of the ski until you reach the end. If done correctly, these should be in the same place on each side of the ski. Repeat for the other ski.
Step 4: Measuring and Cutting Wire
1. Use electrical tape or duct tape to temporarily tape each part to the ski: put the switch right under the front binding, the large LED under the back(if you chose to do so), and the battery pack on the back of the ski.
2. Measure the wire in between the different parts: from battery to switch, switch to LED strip, LED strip to large LED, then large LED back to batteries. Be sure to account for the fact that they will need to be able to move around, as they will eventually need to be tied down.
3. Repeat for the other ski. Remember to keep track of which wire goes to which connection, it can get kinda confusing.
Step 5: Soldering
1. Remove the tape holding the different parts in their places.
2. Solder IN THIS ORDER: Battery to switch, switch to LED strip, LED strip to large LED. BEFORE YOU FINISH SOLDERING: Now place the parts near where they will be attached, as, like with my skis, the wires didn't fit around the binding when they were all done. Once they are pretty much in place, finish soldering the LED bulb to the battery pack.
3. Once the solder has cooled, seal the connections with either electrical tape or waterproof connections.
Step 6: Gluing
1. Now, with all of the soldering finished, apply superglue to both the toggle switch and the large LED and place them under the front binding and below the rear binding, respectively.
2. You will want to tape these down temporarily, until the glue hardens enough that the parts will stay where they are without support.
3. Once these are done drying, make sure all of the connections are waterproof sealed with either more superglue or hot glue. YOU DO NOT WANT AN OPEN CONNECTION.
Step 7: Attaching the Battery Pack
1. Take each balloon and cut off the end, so that it looks like the picture. The battery pack should be able to fit in here.
2. Place double-sided sticky tape where you would like the pack to be, and, with the battery pack inside, press the balloon on top.
3. Now line the bottom of the balloon with superglue, as the tape is not strong enough itself to hold the pack.
4. (Not Shown) String a rubber band around the opening of the balloon to seal off any water that could enter the battery pack.
Step 8: Securing Wires
This is a circumstance-dictated step. The strategies I used were ski-specific. What I ended up doing was using zip-ties to fasten the wires to wherever I could. I put them right in front of the battery, under the boot, and under the rear binding. However, this may not be an option for you. Look for places to thread wires through, use zip ties, or, if worse comes to worse, just glue them on.
Step 9: Final Thoughts:
Thank you for your time! I always love constructive criticism, so if there is anything you would like to change about this Instructable, please comment your ideas. Also, if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask. I hope this makes you look better on the slopes, or just helps create an awesome edition to your home!