Instructables
Picture of The Juicy Lemon Light Pod
SketchUp The Juicy Lemon Light Pod.png
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Wiring Diagram.jpg
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This Instructable will show you how to make your own Juicy Lemon Light Pod!
It is based upon the idea of the classic 'Lemon Battery', only this one's just a bit more special!

The main features include:
> 3x Refillable Juice containers
> Use of the Joule Thief Circuit
> LED Extension / Flexible arm
> Recycled Aluminium Cans

/// Add some juice to each container and let there be light! ///

How does it work?
When two different metals come into contact with citric acid, an electrochemical reaction occurs. This reaction generates a small potential difference or voltage. In this project, the copper coin is acting as the positive electrode and the aluminium can becomes the electron-producing negative electrode or anode. When constructing a traditional lemon battery, you can connect multiple lemons or cells in series for more energy. The one problem I've seen with directly wiring electrodes into a lemon is that after a while the lemon dries up and becomes discoloured. This inspired me to design an object with 'pods' made from aluminium cans which you could use, empty and refill.

What is this 'Joule Thief'?
For those who haven't heard of this before, the Joule Thief is a self-oscillating voltage booster circuit. The circuit is actually quite simple to make, the few components are affordable and readily available. Basically, this little circuit is going boost the energy obtained from the reaction of citric acid with the different metals into something useful to power for example a light emitting diode.
 
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Tron man1 year ago
Is the Joule Thief necessary to the whole project?
Alexdlp (author)  Tron man1 year ago
The Joule Thief circuit is used to provide enough voltage for the LED. You may find that your LED doesn't work properly without it.
Tron man1 year ago
Can you do the project without the plastic tubes?
Alexdlp (author)  Tron man1 year ago
Yes, they are only used to add support and protect the thin wires.
P0rt4L TOO2 years ago
But the real question is, Are the lemons combustable?
tech4583 years ago
this is epic
jexter3 years ago
Nice fun project, and well written and illustrated! My only constructive criticism, and it's a minor point considering how clear your written instructions are, is that you could put more notes on the images to identify what the image is meant to show. (This would be even more helpful for your very cool wireless bike computer instructable!)

Nice job!
Have you tried using coke? Softdrinks are pretty acidic too.
jdougherty23 years ago
I'm curious if you can use lemon juice purchased from the store instead of fresh lemons. Is it just the citric acid in the juice that makes this work, or is there something in the rind that helps, too?
Alexdlp (author)  jdougherty23 years ago
As far as i'm aware, it's just the citric acid reacting with the different metals.. I actually tried lemon juice from the store before to see how it compared to fresh lemons. To be honest there wasn't much of a noticeable difference in light intensity or anything though (:
that first image is very cool!!! it kinda looks like the flux capasitor (BttF) LOL!!!
Alexdlp (author) 3 years ago
Update 19th April:
>> It's been about 3 days now since I last added any lemon juice to the "flux capacitor" lol... but hey, the LED is still going strong!! :D Admittedly some of the lemon has started to evaporate but I kept some fresh juice (3/4 of original lemon) in a jar in the fridge so that I can top it up later :)
icsnerdics3 years ago
awesome!
that's the flux capacitor of back to the future! :D
Alexdlp (author)  icsnerdics3 years ago
How is it possible that hadn't yet crossed my mind?? Haha :)
If you're looking for a ready made joule thief, look for emergency phone chargers like I used in my thermoelectric generator.
XOIIO3 years ago
So it's basically 4 "baghdad batteries" wired together.
Biggsy3 years ago
I think this will be a GREAT experiment for my Scouts on science night :D thanks :)
terlitz3 years ago
Good instructable :D. Could you tell me what program is shown in the first picture of step 7 ?
Alexdlp (author)  terlitz3 years ago
Thanks, the software is actually Microsoft Word (2008 for Mac) and it's the interactive notebook template. It's got a feature to annotate, write on notes type of thing.. :)
sageserver3 years ago
Nice, but will an air tight lid prolong battery life by not letting the lemon juice evaporate?