Introduction: My LED Throwies

Picture of My LED Throwies

This is my version of the LED Throwies project. I'll be using different LEDs and magnets. I just thought it would be nice to post it so everyone could see how it differs from the real, original Throwies. All credit, etc. goes to Graffiti Research Lab, a division of the Eyebeam R&D; OpenLab.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

Here is what I ordered for my first Throwie set:

100 CR2032 3V Lithium Batteries
100 "Super-Brite" LEDs (50 Red, 50 Yellow)
50 Magnets (1/2" Dia x 1/8" Thick NdFeB Disc Magnet)
Packing tape Roll

Here is what I have concluded about my first set of ten throwies:

-The magnets seem to loose a little of their strength when they are attached to the battery.
-The "Super-Brite" LEDs ARE way bright but,
-My LEDs were not diffused, so they don't "glow", they just "point-shine".
-Packing tape is hard to strip down into battery-width strips.

Step 2: Complete Throwies

Picture of Complete Throwies

You can see how my LEDs look rather large compared to others. I ordered "Super-Brite" to see how they differed. They are a lot brighter (probalby reduces glow time) but they are not diffused! Big mistake. Now all of the light is projected just through the front of the LED, while I want it to come out of all of the plastic around the LED.

Since I only ordered 50 Magnets (the most expensive part) I decided to figure out another way to get these to stick/stay up somewhere. On my college campus, we have TONS of big willow-like trees that have no leaves right now. I decided if i out some kind of loop on a Throwie that it might catch on part of a branch or something. Below you can see I just wrapped some 550 military cord around the LED. I could never get it to catch anything. I will try fishing line this week and see if it is any better.

Here is what I learned over all from my first Throwing:

-Check a building first to make sure it's not a Engineering test lab inside. :|
-Our campus street lamps are non-magnetic.
-More people than you think noticed the Throwies on the stop light pole.
-Obviously a production line is easier. One person tape, one put LED on battery, then a magnet taper.
-Blinking LEDs will be WAY more noticable and could cause some real stress if Thrown in the right place.
-Only some lights from a auditorium stage are magnetic.
-A stratigicly placed red LED looks like a "hidden" camera.
-Red is cooler than Yellow in every aspect.
-My LED Throwies happen to be very durable. (miss-threw probably 15 times on the streetlight straight up and didn't always catch it. It fell on the asphault. The LED wires may bend, but with a good taper, it will generally stay complete through a lot of abuse.
-Stanbys want to throw them. :)


Neodym (author)2014-05-15

You nan buy cheap magnets at in Europe

reboticon (author)2006-09-29

Does anyone know where I can get cheap led lights?

I found a website but am not sure how trust worthy the site is to purchase from ( Radioshack has some, but they are more expensive.

I'm looking to design a costume with a bunch of these led lights in it so I need to figure out how to affix the lights to clothing. But the first step is finding these lights cheaply!

Any leads/help/suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

thepelton (author)reboticon2009-02-13

American Science and Surplus.

thepelton (author)thepelton2009-05-20

wadadli (author)thepelton2009-06-29

That site is great. Thanks for the tip

omgflyingbanana (author)wadadli2012-05-21

aperture science laboratories.

no_light (author)reboticon2012-04-23

china, i got 100+ for like 45yuan which is7 dollars

Linkster999 (author)reboticon2011-11-10

ebay bro get 100 for 8.00

sjs229 (author)reboticon2009-02-24

you can get them for a ruppee in india

anonomas29 (author)reboticon2008-09-28

try this link

tubbychick3n (author)reboticon2008-09-06

around chirstmas time, try this out.

Jeebiss (author)reboticon2008-09-05

To get them cheap, buy them in bulk. Ebay is great for cheap, bulk LEDs from china.

Nicrostar (author)reboticon2008-08-27

This reply is almost 2 years after your comment, if your still interested try, 1k red or yellow 3mm or 5mm Leds for 26.99

MrMacman2u (author)reboticon2008-05-02

I've purchased from AND another place called they both have great deals on "cheap" LED's of all colors. The only thing to keep in mind is these are "low quality" LED's that have poor color consistency... meaning you wouldn't want to use them in a 5 million dollar display because it'd look "patchy". As for throwies, they work PERFECTLY and the price is low! Hope this helped!

spider36439 (author)reboticon2008-02-08 less than 4 cents each 99 dollar min order

montiet (author)reboticon2006-11-15

check out ebay, I got 50 for 4 bucks. just type in "(size) (color) LEDs", you can do the same for batteries, just gotta find some that aren't from china otherwise ur gunna pay a boatload on shipping.

ugs (author)2009-08-22

We did this same type idea with IR Diodes. We built tiny throw away circuits out of a IR LED, 3 vdc Lithium battery and photocell. We emplaced them in the daylight at areas we needed marked as perimeter or boundries of types. Then at night we would veiw the area using night vision to gain the exact area marked with the LED. They sell 9 volt White light and IR Light Beacons that plug directly onto a 9 volt battery. They have been around since the Vietnam War and work just like your little contraption does. Good Idea!

ugs (author)2009-08-22

How long do they stay lit when using a ultra brite LED / 3 vdc Lithium battery?

jaredc (author)2009-08-13

Can you list your per item costs?

palencia (author)2009-08-08

hey anyone know where I can get a pack of LEDs in scarborough? get back at me please!!!! : )

Zem (author)2009-07-11

What's the shoestring for? A throwing device?

Redgerr (author)Zem2009-07-21

to be able to like hang on trees and such

Zem (author)Redgerr2009-07-21

Ooooh. Cool.

Zem (author)2009-07-11

I found that the dollar store down the street sells the coin batteries in 5 packs =D Throwies here I come.

ampeyro (author)2009-05-18

if magnets are expensive, try with a soft glue or playdough, or something sticky

thepelton (author)ampeyro2009-06-30

Why not use a velcro hook strip?

chosenangelx (author)ampeyro2009-06-08

try stringing on 10 or 15 on 1 magnet ( if strong enough)

Johnny2x4 (author)2009-03-22

what happens if a building is an engineering test lab???

Johnny2x4 (author)Johnny2x42009-06-20

haha cool. I dont know why I asked that question.

fordman15243 (author)Johnny2x42009-06-19

It explodes.

genius245 (author)2009-05-24

You can get magnets really cheap at DealExtreme. Shipping is free, too.

MrMacman2u (author)2009-03-14

What is WRONG with you people? I'm confused as to what you are yakking about. Lithium coin cell batteries are much MUUUUUCH safer for the environment than a lead acid, or Nickle Metal Hydride or a Nickle Cadmium. The reality of it is that 'coin' cell lithium batteries are more or less SAFE for the environment... especially when compared to burning trash, tossing out NiCad and NiMh's, driving that Hummer or pouring paint thinner down the gutter. You know, the stuff that normal people do every single day! A tiny amount of salt water is more than enough to neutralize the amounts of electrolytes present in a coin cell lithium battery. As of the other 'ingredients' of the coin cell, they are borderline totally harmless in the quantities present. You trash the environment more by throwing out a single computer than every throwie ever made. Besides, It's not like we're building these throwies out of nicad rechargeable and them dumping them in a lake. I'm as pro environment as the next foaming at the mouth 'paufrederic', but the reality of it is, compared to your daily commute to work every day for a year, 5000 throwies with leaky batteries is a drop in the bucket. Your weekly household trash is more "hurtful" to the environment than a few hundred throwies. Yes, recycling them is a good thing, but it's not the end of the world if they AREN'T recycled. I'd be more concerned about the guy dumping used motor oil down the drain next door then harassing a few kids actually having some safe and non-destructive fun. Be green when where and in all ways you can, but make sure you have the facts!

TheBestJohn (author)2007-11-06

It's not for no good reason... I don't think you're grasping the the idea of the throwie... it's street art. I guess all that poisonous oil paint Da Vinci threw all over those wonderful canvas' was a real "Jackass" thing to do as well.

thepelton (author)TheBestJohn2009-02-13

White paint was originally made by soaking lead in Vinegar, then mixing the resulting white powder with oil. Blue and Green paint sometimes use a variety of Cyanide. Red, orange and yellow paint can contain Cadmium.

paulfrederic (author)TheBestJohn2007-11-08

Yeeea..... Comparing LED throwies to Da Vinci doesn't really seem reasonable to me, but you are entitled to your opinion.

Besides "grasping the idea of the throwie".... damn dude, what are you? some sort of throwie fundamentalist?, hhahahahaaa

nanor11395 (author)paulfrederic2007-12-18

Ok the point of a throwie is to express your self if you don't want to make it then don't but some people want to get their message out in a way that they want and this instructable was made to show his version of the led throwie and a couple batteries in a town isn't gonna kill anyone i mean yeah its bad if like you throw like 500000 in a lake but no ones gonna do that

lasoaaro (author)2009-01-16

I'm surprised no one's mentioned this (at least i don't think they did... read all the comments..) You could try using Hot Glue to attach the magnets to the battery, and you could hot glue the top lead for the LED as well... just a thought...

paulezra (author)2009-01-15

i see lots of comments about the battery polluting.. don't you guys try to get your throwies back after use to save on costs? pull them apart put a new battery in, throw the old ones away at some kinda battery recycling place. rather than paying for all the parts your only paying for the battery again.

paulezra (author)2009-01-15

try using a nail file to file down the top of the LED's, this seems to diffuse them a bit.

codongolev (author)2008-12-01

my brother wants to make a throwie to shoot out of our potato cannon at night. OMG IDEA!!! use trigonometry to determine an actual estimate of the height of the throwie!

GreenDay (author)2008-02-10

Greenpeace is a lesser source than wikipedia.

peanutthegreat (author)GreenDay2008-11-26

Wikipedia's awesome

peanutthegreat (author)2008-11-26

a single battery+16000 l. of water=polution??? whatever this guys smoking i want 20 of them

slowsam (author)2008-11-22

isn't a nother name for a "throwie" is a dot-it checker light???

Big Bwana (author)2007-12-28

Carbon Zinc batteries are "not to bad" for the enviroment ?? When you crack open a CR2016 litium cell you have some simple components you start with a metallic lithium anode and then there is a seperator which is some porous material usally containing lithum salts and there is a manganese dioxide cathode. ((( Oh this is also in the "not too bad" carbon zinc cells only they contain alot more of it so it must be good ))) None of which are really harmful once they are broken down in nature. infact I'm sure lithum breaks down into lithium hydroxide which counter acts the effects of acid rain, and makes people feel better... (( it is after all only the 33 most abundant element on the planet )) And as for only 10% of the throwies getting picked up, lets stop and think about it, Lithium can be used to reduce pseudoephedrine and ephedrine to methamphetamine in the Birch reduction method, so you can bet more then 10% gets picked up there. Not to mention by people like me who pick up there own throwies, and others (( Thank you, and you can feel free to throw more my way. )) and reuse the parts.... And I have yet to see a throwie using a Mercury cell, and I don't think it's to do with being enviromentally friendly, it's surely a cost issue and battery capacitiy issue. As for the magnets on the throwies what a great Idea plus I've found afterwards the ones which didn't get stuck to a wall or other metal things where easy to pick up using a nail sweeper they just fly towards it ........ Thanx for the ideas

assasin090 (author)Big Bwana2008-05-26

wats a throwie?? am i missing some giant craze?

Epeoples (author)assasin0902008-11-16


(i can't make a good arrow)

Epeoples (author)Epeoples2008-11-16

to answer your other question, yes

Big Bwana (author)assasin0902008-05-28

It's a L.E.D. with a small set of lithium batteries and a magnet they are common at parties, raves, clubs, dances and people toss them and you have small multi colored mood lights stuck on walls the floor ceilings... And if you enter a ible into the Let it Glow Contest you might win some ...

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