A Cute Little LED Jar (turn It on and Off by Turning It!) Named Draailampje




About: Founder maker space 'maakplek' Groningen, The Netherlands. Like to visit Maker Faires and travel.
Turn it upside down and it switches off. Turn it right side up again and it switches on. 

This is draailampje (Dutch, pronounce 'dry-lamp-yea', means something like turn-light), my 'invention' or better said, creation.

You can make one for yourself in 10-30minutes, depending on your soldering skills. 

  • soldering iron
  • soldering tin
  • wire cutters
  • small knife 
  • lighter (optional)
  • poster-stick-gum (optional)
Parts (available as kit):
  • mini jar
  • cr2032 holder
  • cr2032 battery
  • 10mm LED 
  • tilt / angle switch
  • dubble sided sticky tape / foam

Help is available, just comment on this instructable. Instructional video on youtube if you rather see me do it step by step. 

Kits, ready made and workshop kits available on my draailampje.nl website. 

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Step 1: Test LED and Battery, Fold LED Leads Into V Shape

  1. Test the LED and battery by connecting the two (long lead on LED is )
  2. Fold leads of LED into V shape
  3. Fold 5mm of the - lead of LED (the short one) back a little

Step 2: Prepare Battery Holder

  1. Cut lead on underside of battery holder off (the one in the square bit), you don't have to be exact
  2. Fold -lead on underside of battery holder horizontal with battery holder, to the outside 

Step 3: Prepare Angle/tilt Switch

Half of the protective plastic of the tilt/angle switch needs to be removed since it needs to be soldered on. It's the bottom part of the plastic that needs to go, top part stays to keep it together better. 
  1. Use a knife to cut the plastic (careful, light pressure is enough)
  2. Remove bottom half of plastic from switch (the side opposite of the leads sticking out)
  3. Optional; use a lighter to heat the plastic for easy removal (WARNING poisonous fumes from plastic burning is not healthy, don't breathe fumes in, ventilate well and such)  
  4. Clip of one of the leads from the switch and SAVE IT! (we need it later on), WARNING use protective eyewear when clipping 

Step 4: Solder Extra Lead on -lead

Let's make the -lead of the battery holder a little longer by soldering the extra clipped of lead onto it. 
  1. Optional; place battery holder and extra lead in the poster gum to hold them in place
  2. Solder the extra lead to the -lead
  3. Fold extended lead upwards to the battery side

Step 5: Solder Tilt Switch to Battery Holder

This is the hardest part. Soldering the tilt switch to the battery holder requires a bit more heat, patience and practice. The straighter up you can solder the tilt switch the better!
  1. Insert battery (probably better to do it after soldering, but I like to do it now since it helps stabilize)
  2. Solder the tilt switch on the leg of the battery holder, straight up
  3. Tip; remove soldering iron in a 45 degree upward motion, so the tin stays in the little nook 

WARNING; the tilt switch will get really, really warm

Step 6: Test Circuit

  1. Connect -lead from circuit to -LED and LED to the tilt switch
  2. Turn it upside down (otherwise it won't work, duh ;) )

Step 7: Solder LED to Circuit

Get the LED just ever so slightly above the tilt switch, this will make sure the LED get positioned in the jar perfectly. 
  1. Fold remaining lead of tilt switch downwards
  2. Solder LED to circuit in the way you just tested
  3. Remove access lead from LED (clip it off)

Step 8: Stick It in the Lid

  1. Put dual sided tape on bottom of circuit
  2. Tip; try to get the LED right in the middle of the lid, that will look the best
  3. Stick it into the middle of the lid

Step 9: Done!

Congrats! You just made a draailampje !

I hope you enjoyed making this small cute project. 

Help is available, just comment. Instructional video on youtube if you rather see me do it step by step. 

Kits, ready made and workshop kits available on my draailampje.nl website. 

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22 Discussions


Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

I had luck here!


David Bakkerdwhite0

Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

Hi Dan!

I bought it at a local electronics store here in The Netherlands, comparable to what RadioShack used to be (in the olden days that is). A tilt or angle switch search on eBay will probably give you plenty of options! (that is where I bought the first mass order)


5 years ago on Introduction

I cannot find a tilt switch like the one you used. Where did you find it?

Dan White

David Bakkerynze

Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

The pictures are stills from the video I took (play in VLC, shortcut to capture still) making the draailampjes. So much easier than making all the pictures separately :)


5 years ago

Very cute and nice idea!
Can make a variety of jars with different colored LEDs for efx on a table.

1 reply

5 years ago on Step 9

Cool! Why don't you solder a capacitor in parallel with the LED? It would look more natural fading in and out ;)

1 reply

5 years ago

Very nice. Adding a resistor in series to the led might reduce the heat in the tilt switch. Try this site: http://led.linear1.org/1led.wiz

1 reply