Glowing LED Heart Light




Make a cool glowing heart-shaped light, for that special someone!

Step 1: The Master Plan

Ok, so I wanted to make my wife a little something special for Valentine's Day. Something to say, "You light my fire" or "You make my heart glow" or "Remember that part in Indiana Jones & the Temple of Doom?"

With the 'Share the love' contest going on, the plan came easily... put a burly throwie in a heart-shaped box.

As this is my first Instructable, I would welcome any comments, suggestions, and constructive criticism.

Step 2: Gather Your Materials

Ok. So the very basic materials needed for the project will be:

- Any kind of plastic container with room enough for the battery and led.
- Electrical or Duct tape
- Proper resistor (if you're upping the voltage)*
- An LED (mine's a burly 10mm superbright red LED)
- Battery(s)

  • with LED's, you can pretty much hook them straight up to 3 volts just fine, but if you're going to beef up the power supply, be sure and calculate what kind of resistor you'll need. Here's a fantastic LED resistor calculator:

Step 3: Make Your Battery Light

So, first-things-first, we need to get our LED hooked up to the battery. The resistor calculator told me I needed a 330-Ohm resistor to run my LED off 9 volts, so I just twisted one end of my resistor to the anode (+) on the LED (this is almost always the longer lead from the LED).

Once that's taped up, you can test your light by touching the other resistor lead to the positive battery terminal, and the cathode (-) to the negative terminal.

Now that you know it's working, secure the leads to the terminals using your electrical tape, and get your LED adjusted to the best position.

Step 4: Put Your Junk in That Box!

Ok, so we've got our LED/battery combo ready, now to secure it in the box. I just used a couple pieces of electrical tape looped to secure it to the bottom of the box. A more permanant method can be used if you foresee the desire to throw/shake/juggle it.

Step 5: Relish Your Handiwork and Let Cupid Bask in Your Glory!

That's it! Close up that box, and go score some brownie points!

Some alternate features/methods could include:

- Multiple LED's in series
- Diffused LED to cut down on the 'bright spot in center'
- Wire in an on/off switch to make it last even longer
- Write a secret message backwards in white out on the inside of the box that will show up when illuminated!
- Make a frosted plexi sub-floor over the LED and make it into a tiny gift box (hmmm... wonder what you could put in it?)

Thanks for checking this out... enjoy!

Step 6: Update!!!

I've just finished upgrading the heart light, and figured I'd post it as another step! So going with the excellent suggestions from comments, I added a blinking LED in addition to the initial LED, along with an SPDT slide switch so I can switch between the two. The steps for the upgrade are as follows:

- Gather materials. I got the switch and additional LED from Radio Shack. I changed to a 3v coin cell power source, so I got a holder for it on Ebay. The only other materials I used were a Dremel tool with multi bit, soldering equipment, wire, and hot glue.

- Rout out a hole in the heart just big enough for the switch to fit through. I used hot glue to secure the switch in the heart.

- The switch is an SPDT, so it has three positions, two ons (outsides) and one off (center). I wired the cathode (-) from each LED to the negative lead on the battery holder. I then soldered a small bit of wire to run from the positive lead on the battery holder to the middle lead on the switch.

- After securing the battery/holder/LED apparatus into the heart with hot glue, the anodes (+) can be soldered into their respective sides on the switch.

- Upon securing everything, test to make sure it works, and aim the LEDs towards the center of the heart's top when closed.

- Go show off your new handywork!



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    16 Discussions

    Great idea! But I thought a 10mm needed the same amount of power has a 5mm ultra bright and I usually use a 220 ohm resistor. I may be wrong because I've personally used a 10mm.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Heh, yeah. This is the easy part, I'm afraid... Thanks for the comment, and best of luck wowing that special someone!


    nice simple design, its already been said, but a switch is useful Also, pink LEDs would work well also, (or whatever the favorite color of the person it's for is even) good job +1 rating

    1 reply