Introduction: Make a Lighted Button Out of an LED Puck Lamp
Found some LED puck lamps in the bargain bin at the hardware store. These are the lights that you stick on to something and push them to turn them on and off. I thought they'd make good lighted momentary switches.
Step 1: Take Apart the Light
There may be glue or screws holding the light together, but in my case it was just held together by friction.
The board with the LEDs, switch, and resistor is easy to pop off; just make sure it will be able to sit back in place.
You may need to break of some unnecessary corner of the board to allow space for the wire that you will be running from the bottom of the board.
Step 2: Mod the Switch
The switch is a push-on, push-off type, we want it to be momentarily on when pressed. So take apart the switch (you may have to de-solder it from the board) and remove the little metal pin that holds it down after it is pressed.
Reassemble the switch. Make sure the spring and the plunger go back in the proper places. Test that the switch is normally off (no conductivity) but on when pressed (conductivity). Also test that the light goes on when the batteries are in and the switch is pressed.
Step 3: Solder on the External Connector
Your switch will likely have three pins on each side, two of them will be normally off (what you want), two will be normally on. This will be mirrored on the other side, which is good because we want one side to control the LEDs, and the other half to be our external switch.
Figure out which side of the switch controls the light, and solder wires to the matching contact points on the other side of the switch. You can use wires from inside Cat5 (ethernet) cables, or any two (or more) conductor wire.
You can use short wires connected to a jack that you'll mount on the case, or longer wires to a plug (as show in the photo).
Drill a hole through the case for the wires (or the jack). Make sure there's enough room for everything to fit back together. Also make sure you pass the wires through the hole before both ends are soldered.
Step 4: Reassemble Everything
Test everything before you reassemble it, then put it all back together and show off your handiwork.
At work we use these for students with limited dexterity, they are connected to mice so the button becomes the left click.
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