Introduction: Ice Cream Night Light

The Ice Cream Night Light is a portable light that lights up when you pick it up, solving the problem of fumbling to find the light switch or having to turn on your way too bright bedside table light. Once you pick up the ice cream cone out of it's stand, the light is triggered on and you can carry it along whatever journey you're going on. A trip to the kitchen for that late night snack, or maybe to the bathroom. The Ice Cream Light will guide you there. If you love the way the light looks in the stand and prefer that that be your table side light it can also function as a less bright, all night, night light.

Step 1: Gather All of Your Materials

Gather all of the materials that you'll need to build the circuit and lighting inside the cone as well as the materials you'll need to build the ice cream and the stand.


1 Reed Switch (or Magnetic Contact Switch)

1 Breadboard (preferably a small soldering one, depending on what size cone you want)

1 ProTrinket Board 5v/16 or any other small board

3+ electric wires to connect to the breadboard

Soldering Wire

Solder and any other soldering materials

1 or more LEDs (1 was use in this model)

1 Magnet

2 Resistors (220 ohm and 100 ohm were used in this model)

Ice Cream Shape:

Felt for the ice cream cone

3D printer/printing materials for the frame of the dodecahedron or you could make it out of acrylic, or any other materials (this model was made with a 3D printer)

White translucent styrene (for the pentagons that are connected to the dodecahedron frame)

Plastic glue or whatever other adhesive you choose to use



Scissors/Exacto Knife

Sewing machine (to sew the thread onto the felt to look like a cone)

Tan thread (or a similar color to your felt)

Wood for the stand

Wood cutting materials (bandsaw was used in this example and drill bits for the hole)

White paint (for the stand)

Wood glue

Step 2: Setup the Code and Circuit, Test Them

Write and test your code. In this example, the code and circuit setup was first tested on an Arduino board and a slightly larger breadboard.

The first code sample I tried was in the Arduino samples, just the AnalogInOutSerial. It’s a good place to start and test how the reed switch works and whether it’s working. Based on where you put your reed switch and LED you can adjust the the code.

It's important to note that you'll need a second resistor for the reed switch which is not shown in the sample. If you don't include the second resistor there will be a delay. Don't learn the hard way!

Step 3: Build the Ice Cream Cone and Stand


For building the scoop part of the cone, I chose to create a dodecahedron frame with a 3D printer. You could create this in other ways but remember that there will need to be angles in the pentagon shapes so that they can pivot out and connect to each other.

After the model was printed and the supports were taken off I then cut the styrene into 11 pentagons that were all 1.37" on each side. I made a pentagon template and then traced 11 ones onto the styrene, outlining them in pencil and then cut them out with a ruler and exacto knife.

Once you have all the styrene sides, glue them to the frame with the proper glue. For this I used an Elmer's hobby glue that worked on plastics.


Once you're ready for your cone cut a half circle out of felt and play around with the size that you want and wrap the cone until you feel like it's the right size you want. Once you're happy with the size, sew on the waffle lines with thread on the sewing machine.


After the cone's complete you'll want to build the stand. Test it on a piece of paper to see how wide the hole needs to be. This one had a 1.75" diameter.

Then, take three small pieces of wood for the stand and cut them to the size you want. The ones here are 3"x4" and were cut on a bandsaw, sanded and then painted white. The hole was made with a drill bit.

Then glue all of the pieces together with wood glue.

Step 4: Build the Smaller Circuit/Code

Cut the breadboard to a smaller size if you prefer. Then solder all of the wires, the LEDs, the reed switch, the resistors, the ProTrinket, and the batter pack to the board and test your code. Make sure it works and use the magnet to test the reed switch.

Step 5: Put It All Together

Once you're done with all your soldering and your code works, it's time to put it all together! First adhere the magnet to the stand somewhere close to the hole so that it can trigger the light off when the cone is put back in the stand.

Place the board and battery pack in the cone and either line the cone with plastic or cardboard to make it more firm, or simply stuff it with more felt or other material.

Then place the white dodecahedron on top (the scoop) and glue it to the felt.

There you have it! Turn on your switch and test it out!