Dirt Cheap LEDs

In this video, I will show you how to extract LEDs out of toys from the dollar store. Some toys contain up to 5 LEDs. In this video, I show a light saber type of toy, but I once saw a mug which lit up the glass it sat on that had 6 blue LEDs in it. All of this for a dollar is worth it!

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Step 1: Find the Toy

First, you must find a toy from the dollar store that contains LEDs. Check every isle they are everywhere. If you want to get white, you can usually find them in the LED key chains by the electronics. The best thing about the key chains is that the LEDs usually still have their full leads attached.

Step 2: Open the Product

Open up the gadget and find the LEDs, there might also be some watch batteries or resistors.

Step 3: Desolder the LEDs

Now, simply heat up the solder connected to the LEDs, and pull gently. The LED should break free and you will be able to use them in other projects!

Step 4: The Final Product

When I was finished with this particular toy, I was left with 4 LEDs. I accidentally burn two of them, so I only have two to show but I had 2 reds, a green and a blue.

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    59 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    At taydaelectronics.com you can get 1 led for $0.02, but there is a minimum order price of $5. Still, that's 250 leds!


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    You were looking at he wrong section look at the 5mm section, second one down on the left side. $8.00 for 100 LEDs and the shipping is free.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction


    those are some REALLY great prices! i was psyched when i saw pretty good prices at dealextreme.com, but LED shoppe has insanely great deals! i accidently came here looking for dirtcheapleds which used to have similar deals on red LEDs only, but your link has all colors.

    it's amazing when many places, even online are selling LEDs at up to $1 or even more each that you can get more than 10x that amount.

    thanx a bunch for the heads up. i was looking for a place to get a bunch of LEDs for a bike stereo rig initially, but at these prices, i can buy a bunch in bulk & have plenty for my DJ speaker towers too. EXCELLENT LINK!!! you rock!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Although I agree rummaging around a dollar store is a great way to find cool junk, I can get LEDs for 2-3¢ each with cheap shipping. That's a lot cheaper if you want a lot.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    I do this all the time for really stupid little projects even though it might not be quite as cheap as buying bulk components.

    One benefit of buying cheap items like this is that you will get the LEDs, a case (if you can use it for a project), sometimes a simple controller circuit, and batteries/switches/etc.

    Esp. for small one-off projects, you get most of the junk you need, and everything is already wired up for you.

    Cheap, quick, easy.....


    8 years ago on Step 4

    Hey thanks for the video, do you think you could do a tutorial on how to make 3-D letters that light up using those cheap lights? It doesn't have to look great in light just in the dark when it lights up, thanks! :)

    Dr Qui

    8 years ago on Introduction

    I buy Hazard Zone Radion Rod Spray by Rose.

    Its one of those mega sour spray candies, comes with a red blue or green LED plus 3 batteries already with housing and crude push button switch.

    The spay bottle can also be reused once you have used all the candy spray up.

    All this for 80p


    9 years ago on Introduction

    i bought 2 led nightlights from the dollar tree today for a buck a piece. i did catch a little crap from the checkout guy for buying nightlights, but i went to high school with him so i let him live. each nightlight had 3 5mm bulbs, a blue, green, and red. i put the blue in a pc case for a power led. so i know it can take the 5v. i dont have a multimeter, so im a trial and error guy. ive been shopping at the dollar store for stuff for projects and mods for a while. audio jacks, lan/crossover cables, usb ports/jacks, and some tools are trustworthy even. so im happy. last time i switched a case led, i bought 1 blue led for $3.47! outrageous.

    They are great, and I have tried removing the LEDs, but they keyword there was *tried*. Most of the brands sold have non removable bulbs. Only in this past holiday season have I seen removable LED bulbs. In this case, it is a good idea to buy up the replacement packs, and you are all set. The key here is the removable bulb though... the other sets are moulded in, and it requires heat and too much effort for it to be worth it.

    Big Lots or other stores of their type sell Christmas lights cheap during the year and you can get hundreds of LEDs for $2.99. I have built a charlieplexed piece out of LEDs taken from the light strands. Also the plastic lenses that make the bulb for the LEDs might be usable in some other project that I have not thought of yet.

    aw I was going to buy up a lot after xmas is all over because i know they will be on sale for a little bit i figured you could get them cheaper that way but i didnt think about(or tried Iyet) moldings etc


    10 years ago on Introduction

    I was just thinking that getting 6 LEDs out of a mug at a dollar store is not very "dirt cheap" when you can buy 100 of 'em on eBay for less than $10 plus "free shipping" too. Just my 2 cents. :)


    11 years ago on Introduction

    digikey.com = dirt cheap electronics, can get leds for less than 25 cents a piece and even cheaper if you bulk order

    1 reply