Introduction: TeaLED: Led, Switch, Box and Batteries (not Glue Nor Solder)

Picture of TeaLED: Led, Switch, Box and Batteries (not Glue Nor Solder)

A Tiny Led lamp to use wherever you like, don't need electronics knowledge to make it, just cut an acetate sheet with the template included here... add 2 CR2032 batteries and 1 Led (white, flashing red, ultraviolet, RGB slow or fast, 10mm or 5mm).

I have always liked LED's and since their existance, I have been using them in a lot of projects, looking for a small box where to put it, using cheap materials to create a nice looking finished project. After a lot of designs with trial and error, now I designed a template to cut a PVC sheet (acetate/mylar) and made a box for the batteries, the switch and the led, without even using glue or solder.

So here is my first Instructable to teach you how to do it, and use it in a lot of ideas (I will give you some of them). I know that it looks like a kind of led throwie but it isn't (we don't have to throw things, it's better to recycle them), because its designed to put it in an exact place to illuminate whatever you want. You can change the batteries and either add to the base a piece of magnet or some velcro or double side tape, so that you can put the box on any place. The box also has a switch tab so that you can turn it on/off, Hope you like my project.

Step 1: Tools and Materials

Picture of Tools and Materials

Steel Ruler, Cutting Mat, Sharp Cutter, Unsharpped Cutter, Scotch Tape,Template,
Scissors, Nose Pliers

Led (5mm or 10mm), 2 Coin Batteries (CR2032), Acetate sheet (Mylar or PVC), Velcro,
Magnet Sheet, Double Side Tape.

You can use white LEDs, RGB slow or fast LEDs, Flashing LEDs, etc.

Here is a tip, if you need a diffused LED: Melt the wax of a candle and dip the led
in the melted wax 2 or 3 times, if you need to make it clear again just apply some heat to the led
and wipe the wax with a towel paper.

Don't use a resistor because for me the brighter the led the better it looks. Due to the
internal resistance of the batteries, the LED will not burn., You need to use 2 batteries to have 6 volts for the White and the RGB LEDs and also to have the LED on for a longer period of time. If you prefer to use one battery, just change the dimensions of the template.

Step 2: Cut and Fold

Picture of Cut and Fold

Cut the template paper and tape it to the cutting mat on the opposite corners, then cut a piece of the Acetate sheet and attached with tape on the other opposite corners.

- Mark the folding lines with the unsharpened knife and the ruler.
- Mark the 2 holes for the led's legs. and cut the line for the switch.
- Cut the template with the sharped knife and the ruler.
- Don't forget to cut the piece of plastic for the tab switch.

Start folding the template, but don't fold it completly, because we need to insert the led, the 2 batteries and the plastic tab that functions like the switch.

Step 3: Insert Led and Switch Tab

Picture of Insert Led and Switch Tab

- Insert the tab Switch in the cut, in the middle of the box, then start to insert the Led.

- First put the short leg in the middle hole and bend the long leg and insert it in the flap hole.

- Then use the nose plier to bend the short leg in a circular shape as in the picture.

- After that, bend the long leg of the led as you bend the flap of the box.

Step 4: Insert the Coin Batteries and Close the Box

Picture of Insert the Coin Batteries and Close the Box

Now you are ready to fold the box and insert the batteries.

Be sure that the flaps are between the led's leg and the upper part of the box, and the plastic (that acts like a switch) is between the leg and the batteries.

Close the box, and check if something's wrong, compare your box with the images.

Be sure that the batteries are at the same position as the photo (+-)(+-).

Step 5: Turn It on and Off

Picture of Turn It on and Off

Now pull the flap switch, and be sure the led is on.

To turn it off, push again the flap switch inside the box.

In case the led doesn't illuminate, check if your folds are correct, also that the position of the batteries are as the images below. Be sure the led's legs make contact with the batteries, check if the legs are correctly folded and in the right place.

Step 6: Add Velcro, Magnet or Double Side Tape

Picture of Add Velcro, Magnet or Double Side Tape

Now is ready to use, you can add to the bottom of the box some velcro, to attach it to a drawer, or inside your car. Also you can add a magnet to use it in your refrigerator, or add double side tape to stick it to a flower base or inside a candle.

Step 7: Photos for Some Uses of the TeaLed

Picture of Photos for Some Uses of the TeaLed

Here are some ideas for the many different uses of my TeaLed Box:

a) A 10mm white led, with velcro at the bottom, attached to a drawer of the kitchen,

b) A 5mm blinking red led, with magnet at the bottom, holding a note in the fridge.

c) A 10mm white led, make a hole at the bottom of the candle, insert the Tealed.

Use your imagination, you can use the Tealed in many projects:
You can put it in paper bags, in wine cups, in flower vases, in Ice sculptures, etc.
Some ideas are already posted here in "instructables" look for them.

I hope you like my project, please add some comments and rate it, thanks for reading.


holymoses (author)2015-07-19

Nice solution especially concerning the trigger!


scannon6 (author)2014-01-27

Simple, and awesome! Was so fun to make and it worked the first time! I didn't have any Acetate so I just used card stock, probably won't stand up as well, but I'm happy with it!

dred2 (author)2013-08-20

This is excellent - just what I need for a craft project I'm working on. I'm trying to keep my budget low and this does the job. :)

vertigoxcured (author)2012-08-15

every year for halloween i decorate every window in my house with black silhouettes. last year i found my stash of led's that i bought one year and never got a chance to use. i decided to tape them to a coin battery and then just tape it to the window behind the eyes of some of the silhouettes.!/photo.php?fbid=10150415159966522&set=a.10150361961136522.401006.505031521&type=3&theater

it was a pain in the butt because they are paper and having to retape them every day got really annoying. this is PERFECT for what i want to do...but my question is...will this still work if i reposition the led to the thin side of the box? so that i can tape the box flat to the window?

xman2 (author)2012-03-29

thank you

nhora martinez (author)2011-10-11

tu invento es super, te felicito

fastfilmsinc (author)2010-05-26

how lond would this last?

becava (author)fastfilmsinc2010-11-06

That depend of the type of led you use.... if the Led are white, blue, red, 3mm, 5mm, 10mm, Multicolor, Flashing..... But I can tell you that at least the led will light 5 hours and more.... I use them (and sell them) in all kind of Parties, insed candles and other stuff..... and they light all the night :)

long oops

miphz (author)2010-07-19

nice led, very instructable and inspirational ... cool stuff buddy ... one thing you should to know is: your post is the #1 reaseon for me to join ... again, thanks becava ... nice to know you :)

becava (author)miphz2010-11-06

I love you comment miphz..... I hope INSTRUCTABLES team read this one, so they know my instructable make more poeple to join their page ;)

miphz (author)2010-08-03

hmm ... very simple ...

becava (author)miphz2010-11-06

Thanks again miphz :)

miphz (author)2010-08-03

very ... original idea ...

becava (author)miphz2010-11-06

Thanks miphz :)

missgroves (author)2010-10-12

i'll probably use this to make a battery box with a switch at some point. it is simple as most brilliant ideas are.
When i can't get acetate to play with i laminate an a4 laminating pouch and it is about the right thickness and flexibility.

becava (author)missgroves2010-11-06

Thanks missgroves :)

Ben The Builder (author)2010-11-06

CR2032 Button cells are 3V no? I've never seen an LED that runs straight off 6 Volts

becava (author)Ben The Builder2010-11-06

I already explain this to someone else here..... yes, coin baterries are 3V.... Leds need 4.5V so you can light at 100% a led with just 1 coin cell..... so you can use 2 batteries (1.5 volt) and use a resistor to light a led...... well, here is why I use 2 coin cells: Coin Cells Baterries have a lot of resistance, so you can use 6V without danger..... try it, you will see.... the led will not burn, and will light at 100% and also it will light a longer time than just 1 battery.... hope is clear now ;)

ericscrum (author)2010-04-19

 Clever, I could rig my camping tent with these and light it up at night. Thanks for the instructable!

becava (author)ericscrum2010-04-23

Add velcro squares to the base of the TeaLed  ;)

scratchr (author)2010-03-28


becava (author)scratchr2010-03-29

Thnaks for your WOW :)

Fireslash892 (author)2009-11-28

how exactly do we open the pdf? i think u use a software from adobe that  hav to pay for
can u just post an image of the template on google or sumthing....
also where did u get the plastic?>

becava (author)Fireslash8922009-11-29

You can download the PDF reader from adobe homepage, is free......

Where to get the plastic? read the other comments here, I'm already answer that question....

And thanks for the message  =>  "anyways ur a genius...."

phillipjmerrill (author)2009-09-17

Where do you buy sheets of acetate?

becava (author)phillipjmerrill2009-11-17

I'm from Mexico, and I buy it in stores that sell sheets of differtent kind of plastics, you can also try in craft stores.

SwitchGirl (author)2009-11-11

Love this... can't wait to share it!

becava (author)SwitchGirl2009-11-17

Great, please tell me when you share it in your web :)

Esque (author)2009-04-30

Absolutely genius idea!!!! Any idea what sort of average battery life you get with this??

becava (author)Esque2009-04-30

That's depend the type of the Led: a blinking red 3 to 4 weeks, white or blue or RGB led 6 to 8 hours , red or yellow or green 10 to 14 hours. All Leds consume different current (mA) each other, the brighter it is the less battery life you get.

Tommyhzy (author)becava2009-06-20

Ummm... I think you are very knowledgeable about this subject so... I currently have an advanced "TeaLED" system, it runs on 2 Maxell AA batteries, in series, and that is connected to 4 RGB LEDs in parallel. I think that means that 3V will be given to each LED, but the batteries' power will be split. So how much time do you think it has? (By the way, it's enclosed in my acrylic iPod dock which i fully made myself)

becava (author)Tommyhzy2009-06-20

For AA batteries I will use a resistor for each Led so you can have more time for the batteries, and the only way to know the time is to buy new batteries, turn it on, start a timer and keep looking until the led don't bright, stop the timer :) Thats because all diferent brands of batteries have a different quality and mA capacity (same voltage, but diferent current).....However I think they can last a week using a resitor with the leds

Tommyhzy (author)becava2009-06-20

Oh, my LEDs have their built-in resistors, because they are RGB LEDs. Anyways, thanks for the advice, although I won't want to set up a several-week timer anytime soon! :D (And i turn them off when I'm not using them...)

BraisedDuck (author)2009-06-04

Is it okay if i use 1 battery?

becava (author)BraisedDuck2009-06-05

You can use 1 battery, but have to change the dimensions of the template, and don't forget that the led will have less time and brightness.

Tommyhzy (author)becava2009-06-20

You don't really have to change the template too much, a Canadian Nickel is almost the EXACT same size as a CR2032 battery! :)

becava (author)Tommyhzy2009-06-20

Well, I'm from Mexico, I only know Batteries from Mexico, USA, Taiwan and China :) Don't know the size of Canadian Nickel, but for the TeaLed Box to work need to have the exact dimensions, even 1 or 2 milimeters error will make the switch to fail

Tommyhzy (author)Tommyhzy2009-06-20

I said that so you could use that as a conductive filler... :D

grimrp3r (author)2009-06-04

great! 5 stars

becava (author)grimrp3r2009-06-04


BraisedDuck (author)2009-05-24

Ummm.... I'm a bit confused, in what way does the switch makes the led light up? I don't really get it.Pls Reply me

becava (author)BraisedDuck2009-05-24

The switch is the piece of plastic you pull or push, is between the batteries and the leg led, when you pull out of the box the the led made contact with the batteries, when you push inside the box again, the plastic slice in between the led and batteries blocking the contact, please check photos and instructions on Step 3 and Step 5 ........ (Maybe I need to make a video to show it better)

BraisedDuck (author)becava2009-05-25

Thank you so much.

maurice1993 (author)2009-05-16

great job! I'll try to make one!(plastic from pet bottles could be used?)

becava (author)maurice19932009-05-16

Pet bottles plastic is more thick than acetate, so it will be more difficult to cut and fold, but you can try. Please comment here how it's work and post some photos.

greensteam (author)2009-04-21

Many thanks. That is really clear now.

mman1506 (author)greensteam2009-04-28

what did she say it was removed

becava (author)mman15062009-04-28

I only delete the comment, the pdf template is on Step 1. (and I'm not she, I'm he...... "becava" is only my nickname :)

brizzx32 (author)becava2009-04-30

Hey Becava got a suggestion. This would be a good Idea. To make a version of this to try to fit one of these on a light bulb socket and maybe step it down to make a miniature Light bulb that is hard wired that you can just screw on and would be able to turn on with the light switch instead. Just a thought

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