In this instructable I'm going to show 3 options for putting LEDs into bottles to make decorative lamps. I want to use these blue bottles for my lamps, but I'll be using these clear bottles to see inside better for the pictures.
If you want to see a video version of this instructable, you can view it here: https://youtu.be/muWbnUJokK0
Here is a brief list of tools and supplies that I used:
- Drill Bits
- Hot Glue Gun
- Soldering Iron
- A Bottle (of your choice)
- LED Lights
And miscellaneous other tools and supplies, which I'll list more specifically in each section.
Step 1: First Clear Bottle: Drill the Hole
This first lamp I'm going to use the following tools and supplies:
- 6mm Diamond Bit (for glass drilling)
- Hot Glue Gun
- Water Supply Setup for Drill Glass
- (see my instructable Drill a Hole in a Glass Bottle for details)
- A Bottle (of your choice)
- Fairy Lights
I'll be mounting the battery pack to the bottom of the bottle. This means that I'll need to drill a hole into the bottom of this bottle.
First I'll mark where I want the hole to be. I put some water into the bottom of the bottle where I'm going to be drilling the hole. I'm using a 6mm diamond bit. It takes a while, the bottom of the bottle is pretty thick.
Step 2: First Clear Bottle: Put in the Lights
Next I unravel the fairy lights and pass them through the hole into the bottle. This is 7 feet of fairy lights. There aren't as many as I would like, so for my blue bottle I'm going to use 2 sets of them.
Step 3: First Blue Bottle
This time I'm going to drill the hole in the middle of the bottom instead of off to the side. I push the lights into the bottle, 1 set at a time. Now that both set of lights are in the bottle, I glue the battery packs to the bottom using hot glue. I make sure to leave the side with the battery access out so that it is accessible to change the batteries. A quick test and that's it for the first one.
Step 4: Second Bottle: Drill the Hole
The next bottle I'll be using these tools and supplies:
- 6mm Diamond Drill Bit
- 1/8 inch Drill Bit
- Hot Glue Gun
- Water Supply Setup
- Soldering Iron & Solder
- A Bottle
- LED Light Strip
- 12 volt Power Supply (for LED strip)
- 3/8 inch Diameter Wood Dowel
- Speaker Wire
- Electrical Tape (if necessary)
I'm going to drill a hole on the side near the bottom of the bottle. This bottle has a little indent that is the perfect place for the hole. This time I'm going to setup a water supply to maintain a steady stream of water on the drill bit while I'm drilling. I do this with a bottle of water that has a pin hole near the bottom.
Step 5: Second Bottle: Make the Light
Now I'm ready to make the light. I'm using some speaker wire, a 3/8" dowel, and an LED strip. I put the dowel into the bottle to measure the length that I need to cut it. I want to cut the length about 1/4" less than what I measured, so I mark a second line and draw an arrow next to the line that I want to cut. Starting at one end of the dowel, I wrap the LED strip around the dowel. I use some hot glue to hold it in place. If the glue doesn't hold, you can use electrical tape to wrap the end. When I get it wrapped to the other end, I glue that into place too.
Step 6: Second Bottle: Put in the Light
Next I'll solder the wire to the LED strip, but first I need to pass it through the hole into the bottle and out the top. Pay attention to the polarity that you're soldering the wires to the LED strip, one side is positive(+) and the other side is negative(-). If you get these backwards the light will not work. Now I'm going to pass the light into the bottle and glue it to the bottom. I cut the wire to the length that I want it and connect it to a power supply. Make sure the power supply you use provides the voltage your LED strip requires. Now it's done, and I test it out.
Step 7: Third Bottle: the Pieces
The final bottle will be similar to the previous, but instead of bringing the wire out of the side of the bottle, I'll be taking it out of the top of the bottle. Nothing special is happening inside of this bottle, so I'm just going to use the blue bottle. I have already made another light strip like the last. And I'll be using the bottle cap.
Here is a list of the tools and supplies I used:
Step 8: Third Bottle: Preparing the Light
I'm going to drill a 1/8" hole into the center of the cap, slightly smaller than this little screw. I estimate where the wire needs to pass through the cap, and I drill a hole there. It's about half way between the center hole and the edge of the cap. I also drill a hole into the center of the dowel, the same side that the wire is soldered to the LED strip.
Step 9: Third Bottle: Putting It All Together
Now I can pass the wire through the cap and screw the cap to the dowel. Next I put the light into the bottle and screw on the cap. I'm ready to test it out. You can see that the blue color of the bottle dulls the brightness of the light a bit, but it still looks pretty cool. Now let's see how each of these can be used.
Step 10: The Results: First Bottle
The bottle with the fairy lights makes a cool display. The battery packs make a good, flat base, and the blue bottle gives it a cool glow.
Step 11: The Results: Second Bottle
The bottle with the wire coming out the side is good for setting on a table or shelf. You may want to use something to diffuse the light; I used a rolled up piece of white paper. This looks cool too, but I wanted to diffuse it more. I rolled up another piece of white paper, but a little bigger. Now it looks like a glowing blue tower.
Step 12: The Results: Third Bottle
Having the wire come out the top makes it easy to hang the bottle. I replaced the regular screw with a looped screw and connected it to a chain to hang it from the ceiling. And if you diffuse it like I did the last bottle, this looks awesome too!
If you have any ideas for tips or tricks, leave a comment and let us know.