Kids Night Light




Introduction: Kids Night Light

About: I love making stuff, I love Instructables, I love tools, I love machines, and I love materials. But most of all I love Arnie.
Easy make, kid friendly night light, this gives the kiddies independence of turning the light on or off on their own and has a fun appearance. The best bit of the design is the lack of a traditional on/off switch as it is operated by a magnetic reed switch, see the video below.

Magnet = £2.50 each set (I used alarm contacts)
Duck = £1.25 each (ebay)
LED's = 4p each (ebay)
Base = free (ofcuts and treasure found in garage)

Step 1: Magnet in Duck

  • Drill a hole the same diameter as the magnetic contact mine required Ø15mm. Place it in the middle of the bottom of the duck. I used a hole saw in a cordless drill.
  • You must ensure you use the contact without the wires on.
  • The magnet is held in by friction, however if you want a more permanent fixing use hot glue

Step 2: Base - Cutting the Squares

  • Cut MDF into 120 x 120mm squares
  • The number of squares depends on the thickness of mdf used and how high you want the pillars
  • I used 22mm thick MDF is it means less cutting and glueing of layers

Step 3: Base - Marking Out

  • On three squares use a ruler to cross the corners to find the centre
  • Use a compass to create a Ø120mm circle on the three squares
  • Put these three squares to one side as they will become the top of the pillars later on.

Step 4: Base - Cutting the Holes

  • Cross the corners to find the centre.
  • Using an adjustable hole saw / Fly cutter create a Ø100mm hole in all the layers of MDF
  • I used a hand drill, however i would recommend using a pillar drill set to a slow speed as its a bit safer.
  • If you do not have the above tools you could use a coping saw or electric jigsaw to create the holes

Step 5: Base - Glue

  • Using PVA wood glue stic the layers together until you reach the desired height
  • You must ensure that the holes are aligned and not the outside edges
  • Stick the top layer on that you marked out earlier

Step 6: Base - Bottom Plate

  • Cut three pieces of 4mm MDF to 120 x 120mm
  • Cross the corners to find the centre
  • Using a compass create two circles at Ø100mm and Ø120mm
  • Mark three positions of the screws in the layout shown in the photo, the hole positions are a-symmetrical so the bottom plate is easy to re-align when removed
  • Drill and countersink the holes to take a standard CSK wood screw (approx 4x20mm)

Step 7: Base - Attaching the Bottom Plate

  • Align the bottom plate onto the stack and drill the pilot holes for the screws
  • Screw on the plate

Step 8: Base - Making It Round

  • Use a band saw to cut as much material away as possible
  • If you do not have access to a band saw you could use a hand saw

Step 9: Base - Making It Round

  • Use a disk or belt sander to sand the MDF to the circle you drew earlier
  • This could be done by hand with abrasive paper but it will take a very long time

Step 10: Base - Making It Round

  • Use a table router to either add a chamfer or radius to the top edge
  • If you do not have this equipment use abrasive paper to round off the edge

Step 11: Base - Marking LED Holes

  • Use the base of the duck to set the diameter of the compass
  • Use the centre you marked out earlier and draw a circle
  • Where the circle intersects the four lines, it creates the drill position for the LED holes

Step 12: Base - Drilling the Holes

  • Use a Ø15mm drill bit or a hole saw to create the hole in the middle
  • Use a Ø6mm drill to create the LED holes

Step 13: Circuit - Soldering

  • See the circuit diagram for component & wiring positions
  • Solder all the wires onto the components and test with a battery and the other half of the magnetic switch
  • I used
    • white super bright LEDs 5mm
    • Magnetic alarm contact
    • 9v battery clip
    • 9v PP3 battery
    • 360Ω resistor

Step 14: Circuit - Insulating

  • Remove the circuit and cover all exposed metal with insulation tape, retest the circuit to ensure it still works
  • Reinsert the circuit and glue gun the back of the LED's
  • Screw the bottom on

Step 15: Base - Finishing

  • You can colour the pillars in any way you like, some suggestions are
    • Paper mache
    • Glitter
    • Paint
    • Cut out strips of comics
    • Cotton wool
    • sand + PVA then paint
    • Fymo characters
  • I used rolled paper to mask the LED's
  • I used flock spray paint
  • I spray varnished the paintwork to add protection.
  • Remember to turn upside down and spray the aerosol cans to clear the nossels

Step 16: Enjoy

  • Make as many pillars as you would like and........ enjoy :)
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    And how many innocent ducks were harmed simply for you pleasure - how would you like a 20mm hole saw in your...??? (don't answer that one).
    .... Excellent job jonny!


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    no innocent ducks were hurt, however, three guilty ducks were tortured.....their crime........annoying sqeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek. the judge felt an asbo was not strong enough punishment so they were sentenced to the full 20mm!


    9 years ago on Step 16

    As Usual Sir, you hit a home run with this project. :)

    This is awesome!! I'll have to make a set of these for my grand babies!! TY again for sharing.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Hi, thanks for the comment, if you do make them send me a picture :) jonny


    9 years ago on Introduction

    They look awesome, great for the kids!


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Wow. That is so cute!!! - The yellow one looks the best as its the most bright, but maybe the little ones can work from a yellow to a less bright one as they grow up.

    Great job!