My wife and I have to warm up a bottle in the middle of the night for my 9 month old son every night. The issue is that our bedroom is far away from the kitchen and waking up our four year old daughter, the dogs, the cats, and anything else is something we're trying to avoid. As a solution, we keep a pre made bottle in a small cooler with ice packs along side of a thermos of very hot water to warm the bottle with. Our issue is having to turn on the lights at 3 am to perform this task. So my four year old daughter and I set out to create a solution for my wife in our first instructable - an illuminated cooler that would give off enough light to work by and avoid waking anybody else up with.
Step 1: The Light
I apologize for not having a photo of the battery connections, but four year olds don't have much patience to wait for photos once the project starts. We took a battery, wired it to a switch that I took off of a broken light, and used it to turn on and off a small section of LED tape light that can be cut every few inches. Using an old mint tin, we cut a hole in the one end of the tin for the switch to fit in, one on the side (facing the cooler) for the LED wire to come out of, and then closed up the end. We put the switch in the end that didn't open so that we could use the door on the tin to access the battery when it needed changing. I simply connected the switch leads in line on the batteries positive wire and on to the positive feed of the LED strip, then tied together the negative from both the battery and the LED strip. I am using a 9v battery, but by leaving the tins door accessible, any battery configuration that will both run the 3 small LED's and fit in the tin can be used in the future.
Step 2: The Inside
My wife told us one thing - "don't wreck the cooler, I need that tonight". So instead of any drilling or cutting we simply fed the wires in at the hinge which allows the lid to still form a tight seal. Then, using butyl, we attached the mint tin containing the battery and switch onto the back of the cooler (placing it low enough to allow the lid to fully open), and the small led strip to the inside wall of the little cooler. We used butyl because, again, we couldn't wreck the cooler and because I had it.
Step 3: That's It!
Now in the middle of the night one of us won't be subjected to the harsh light in the bathroom while preparing my son's bottle.
This is the first instructable my daughter and I have put together. I asked her to think of a project we could do to help us around the house, and this is what she came up with. I look forward to more instructables with my kids as they grow, learn, and get turned on to this awesome community. This little instructable will seem elementary to most, but it sparked my daughters creativity and solved a basic problem for mom and dad - win win.