Intro: LED Flower Light
My daughter loves flowers and is fascinated by lights, so I threw this together for her. There is all sorts of room for customization.
An Artificial Flower (bought at a thrift store for 20 cents)
Flowed Tape (green tape for artificial flower displays. I was going to use some green fabric I had until I found the tape cheap at a dollar store)
Utility Wire (I used a bit of coat hanger)
3 volt batteries (I used 2032s)
Piece of Green Fabric (This is for the base. If you do not have any, or something you could cut up, buy a "fat quarter", which can be found in the quilting section of a fabric store. A very small pot would also be a fun way to make a base.)
For the Switch:
Piece of Thin Plastic (I used the packaging from my multimeter)
The switch is definitely the weak point of the current design. If you have a switch (or could pull one of a dead something) you might just wire that in
Helping Hands (helpful, but not necessary)
Step 1: Wiring the Lights
Here is one of the many opportunities to customize your flower light. I will explain what I did, and then you can adjust number, color and size of lights as well as what batteries to use. Make it your own; have fun with it and other stock phrases. If you have not done any wiring or work with LEDs before: you can do it. Start simple, and expand.
I used two 5mm LED, because that fit the flowers I found. I put them in sequence and used two 3 volt calculator batteries to power them.
Solder the two lights together. To put them in sequence solder the negative (the short) lead to the Positive (long) lead of the other. Then solder a wire to the other positive and other negative lead. You will want to trim the leads. Use a marker to note which one is which, so you can tell them apart after they are cut. I put a dot on the negative side.
By putting them in sequence you are adding up the voltages. Two 3 volt LEDs in sequence draw 6 volts, and then the two 3 volt batteries in sequence put out 3 volts.
Different LEDs take different voltages, sometimes by color, so check out what you are using and adjust as necessary
Want something simpler? Just use one to start; solder a wire to each lead of one light, and then you only need one 3v battery.
Keep the battery on hand and test your lights form time to time. The electricity will only run one way through your LEDs, and you would not want to finish everything else only to realize you soldered an LED backwards
I put a dab of hot glue on the lights to help keep them together.
Step 2: Light Your Flower
Take a look at your flower. How are you going to stick the wires through, and mount the lights. No, really; you have to figure that out.
The hole in the back of mine was too small for the electrical wire, so I used an awl to punch two holes, one for each wire.
I slipped each wire through as I pulled out the awl, so the petals couldn't shift and hide the hole.
The hole for the stem was then left for the coat hanger I used to make the flower pose-able.
Step 3: Metal Stuff
Next prepare your stem. Any wire you can bend, that will hold its shape will work. If you pick something too soft it may break after frequent posing. I just cut a piece of coat hanger for mine.
Bend the wire to form a base for the flower, so that it will stand on its own. The circle base in the picture worked well for mine, and it would also slide nicely into a very small pot, if you went that route.
While you are cutting and bending cut a few bits of metal for your switch. I used a binder clip.
Step 4: Put It Together
Slide your electrical wires into your heat shrink tubing. You want one long piece that will cover at least the top half of the stem, and one short piece to cover one of the electrical wires where it is soldered to the switch at the end (so it does not short out.)
Slide the wire for the pose-able stem in from the other side.
For the switch: solder your two pieces of metal (binder clips) to the wire ends. Be sure to slide the heat shrink tubing out of the way, so you do not shrink it early by accident.
Slide the tubing into place. The long piece will hold the electrical wires, and stem wire together neatly. The small piece will slide over the end of one of the electrical wires, so it does not touch the other electrical wire. I put a bit of electrical tape around the stem wire at the same place, also to prevent shorting.
Shrink your tubing. Use a heat source (responsibly, don't be a shmuck) to shrink the tubing, and hold everything in place. A heat gun will work, but Usually I use a lighter or candle (carefully.)
Step 5: Make the Stem a Stem
Wrap the stem in green tape. Start a bit below the flower, wrap up to the flower, and then down. That way you cover your starting point, which will anchor it. Wrap down as far as you can. If you need to, secure the tape at the bottom.
Step 6: Battery and Switch
I did not have a spare switch laying around, so I just put one together. The batteries are held in place by electrical tape, and a piece of thin plastic separates one of the connections (the binder clip) from the battery. There is a slot cut in the plastic, so when it is pulled out it allows the metal, and the battery to touch, and complete the circuit.
Again, this is not the strong point of this design. It took some bending ans tweaking to get mine to the point that it was easy to move the switch back and forth and have the light turn on and off reliably. It was about getting a bit of the binder clip bent, so that it was pressed into the battery right where the slot would be.
Step 7: Finish
If your switch work, and your flower lights up it is time to work on your presentation. If you can find a mini flower pot that would be cute, and a stable base. I had some green fabric in my collection, so I cut out a circle and pulled that around the base, and used a piece of ribbon to tie it up (I just have a green twist tie in the pictures, and that also worked, but the ribbon looks nicer.)
Enjoy your decorative light. Pose it as you wish, but remember the wire you used for your stem; sharp bends will eventually break the wire.