LED Ice Chest




Introduction: LED Ice Chest

Have you ever been out at night, like a drive in movie or party and can't find the drink you want in your ice chest? This is an ice chest that has an LED light in the lid. When you open the chest it's light turns on and when you close it it turns off.

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Step 1: Step 1: Materials and Tools

The first thing you need to do is get all of the
tools and parts for this project.

Duct Tape
Circuit Board/PC Board
2 (3.5V) high output LEDs
9V Battery and Holder
Switch that turns off when pressed

Soldering Iron

Step 2: Step 1: Putting Together the Circuit Board

Solder in the 2 LED's in series using rosin core solder.
Solder the positive lead from the battery to another wire and solder that wire to one of the
leads off the switch. Then take another wire and solder that to the other lead of the switch.
Then solder that wire to the LED. Take the negative lead off the battery and solder it to the other
lead on the LED that is available.
Make sure your wires are long enough the switch can reach the part of the lid where you are putting it. So it looks like this.

Step 3: Step 2: Cutting the Lid

Using a dremmel, cut a piece big enough for your circuit board to fit in out of
the hollow part of the lid from the inside. Go all the way around so you can replace it
when you are done. You also need to cut a small hole big enough for your switch
somewhere on the edge of the inner part of the lid. That way when the lid is closed it will come in contact with the lower part of the chest and push the switch. We chose the top because it was easier with the lid we had. Should look like this.

Step 4: Step 3: Putting It All Together

Then using duct tape (The Worlds Greatest Invention Ever) tape the circuit board on the piece of the lid that you cut out in the last step so that the LEDs point through the hole in the front.
Then stick the switch on so it gets pressed when you close the lid.
As the final step tape the lid back together and TA-DA you're done!

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    9 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    try putting a mercury switch so that when you tilt the lid up it turns on the light automatically and off when you close it


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Actually, this is a great idea. A quad of 2700mah AA's and a holder could be cut into one corner of the lid pretty easily. Pop out the batteries and put them in a wall recharger before you go fishing, camping or to the drive-in.
    Wired in series-parallel the batteries could be made to give 3.0v, enough for most LED's you would use in this application. At 2700 mah, you could theoretically get a days worth of continuous illumination from them. Using a switch as you have, means they are on only when the lid is open - and only at night - so they would last even longer. You could probably get a weekends worth of nighttime illumination out of them, easily.
    Add a limiting resistor and that might be increased even more. I suggest you look into patenting the idea... if you're not too late already! :)


    10 years ago on Introduction

    This would be even sweeter if you could power the LEDs with a thermoelectric generator, i.e. melt a little ice to light things up. Although I don't know if the efficiency is good enough.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    The circuit will put 100mA through the LEDs, which means a 9v battery will barely last for 2 hours. Plus, the LEDs will probably become dim quite quickly. Add a 150-ohm resistor at least to limit current flow.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for the info. This is my first instructable so I still have lots to learn.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Nice!! I did this for my dark mini-fridge once! I like the way you did the switches. It looks like you have a diffuser -- what's it made of?


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks! I don't have a diffuser, must just be the LED's I used.