LED Parachuties

About: Hi all, I'm a college student in the copenhagen technical college. I'm currently working with 3D printers and I'm building my own RepRap.
A LED Parachutie is basically a LED Throwie with a small parachute attached to it. You can toss it out from a tall building, bridge, mountain etc.
When it's dark, you don't see the parachute itself, but only a flying light. It looks pretty cool.

This is a great little project for kids, since it's easy to make and it doesn't require any soldering.

Here is some videos. It looks much better in reality than it does in the video.

I'm sorry for the bad video, but a car drove by, when the LED Parachutie was going to land.

NOTE: The annoying "rrrrrrrrrr" sound in the video is just my camera, when it zooms.

The parachute used in this video was thicker and heavier than the one used in the other video. That's the reason why it descents faster than the one in the other video.

You can control the speed of the descent by changing the size of the parachute. The bigger the parachute the longer "hang time" in the air.

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Step 1: Get the Parts

To make one LED Parachutie you'll need:

  • A LED. Use any size and color you like. I used a 5mm superbright blue diffused LED.
  • A 3V Lithium coincell battery. These are available in many different sizes. The most common though is the CR2032 which is also the type used in the original LED Throwies.
  • Some tape.
  • A chewed chewing gum or a small piece of clay (a chewing gum works best).
  • A garbage bag.
  • Some sewing thread.

Step 2: Start Making the Parachute

In this step, I'll show you how to make the parachute. It couldn't be much simpler. Just grab a garbage bag and cut out a square using a pair of scissors. Remember that the size of the parachute determines the descent rate. I cut a 50x50cm (20x20 inches) square, which gives a nice and slow descent rate without being too big.

Step 3: Adding the Sewing Thread

In this step, I'll show you how to add the 4 pieces of sewing thread to your parachute. You'll need to cut out 4 pieces of sewing thread. Cut them in the same length as the width of your parachute. In my case, it's 50cm (20 inches).

Move your mouse over the yellow boxes on the pictures to get a more detailed instruction.

Step 4: Make a LED Throwie

In this step I'll show you how to make a LED Throwie. Well. It's not really a throwie, since it doesn't have any magnet attached to it, but it's almost the same.

Step 5: Attach Your Throwie to Your Parachute.

In this step, I'll show you how to finish your LED Parachutie by attaching the LED Throwie to your parachute. It's very easy. just take a look at the pictures.

Step 6: Finished!

Congratulations. You've now made a LED Parachutie. Now find a place high above the ground and set it free. It looks really awesome.

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    15 Discussions

    Maybe I'll make one of these but with a group of LEDs on a circular mount so people will think they are looking at aliens.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    this is pretty cool is it just me, or are there too many ibles called "how to make an led (insert random name here)ies"?

    1 reply

    10 years ago on Introduction

    maybe... adding a hole in the middle of the parachute might help


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Since weight isn't an issue you can use AAA batteries. You might even be able to use AA's but that would be pushing it.

    1 reply

    10 years ago on Introduction

    can you launch it with a blowgun somehow??? I was thinking of that... but it won't go far enough

    Karel Jansens

    10 years ago on Introduction

    I wonder if you can put throwies in helium balloons. Tape or tie the throwie in the middle of a piece of sewing thread a bit longer than the diameter of the (inflated) balloon, tape one end of the thread inside to the top end of the balloon (before inflating), inflate the balloon and secure the other end of the thread by knotting the balloon. This way the throwie stays in the center of the inflated balloon. I bet a few dozen of these, let up at night, would freak out the Homeland Nazis no end...

    Personally i don't like the whole 'throwie' thing seems like a bit of waste for 5 minutes of...throwing...not to mention they can also get pretty pricey. I just think there's tons of other things you could do with an LED rather than tape it to a battery and add some neodymium magnets...