Have you ever needed a night light but didn't like the fact that it plugs into the receptacle and takes up both plugs, or covers the other one? Here is your new night light. It may be constructed with what you might have at the house already. I spent just under $10 on a few things, only because I was looking for a certain style soap dispenser and I didn't have and empty bottle or funnel. The rest of the materials I had on hand from other Instructables. You may have the right style soap already. My wife also has night lights in both of our bathrooms that incorporate the auto on (photocell) feature as well as an air freshener but they take up the wall plug I use to charge my razor. I also plan to add a photo cell into mine but not for a while as I have to scavenge one. This will make it much more effective although I'm not sure how long the battery will last being on all night or powering the photocell.
This project was also inspired by the Let it Glow! contest and hopefully it will inspire others to incorporate a night light into their own soap dispenser. I also want to say that this was my wife's idea, I just made it work. This may be more of a novelty item than anything but it was fun and easy to make. Have fun and thanks for reading. Please feel free to improve, add on, and post your pics! This is also my first Instructable so please comment.
Step 1: Materials and Tools
2 - bottles of hand soap (one to mod and the other to fill it to the top) - Dial Color Clean, comes in blue and green - $3 each
1 - funnel (you can make one if you want) - $1.50 dollar store special
1 - extra bottle for temporary holding soap - $1 dollar store special
1 - clear or opaque cap from any spray on whatever (clean) - on hand
1 - 3 inch piece of sheet metal
1 - high power 5mm LED (white) - Radio Shack Part #
1 - 3v watch battery - CR2025 Radio Shack Part # 23-161
1 - ON/OFF switch (optional) - Radio Shack Part # 275-406
- I'll post more of the prices when I find the receipt -
Variable speed drill (variable speed is easier to use for a precise hole)
3/4 inch spade bit
Rotary tool with small sanding drum
Hot glue gun
Utility knife (Be careful and always cut away from yourself!)
Hot glue sticks
Note: Make sure you get a soap dispenser that has a large inset cone or sphere shape on the bottom and a flexible tube so that it can bend to the side and still pick up all the soap. I was also lucky enough to find one that had a shrink wrapped label, this meant no sticky label to peel off. Bonus points!
Step 2: Clean Your Bottle.
Cut a small section of the shrink wrap off the bottle with a utility knife. Peel the rest off by hand. Save the wrapper for later. You only need to start the cut as the shrink wrap tears pretty easily. Remember to cut away from yourself and the soap dispenser to prevent leakage.
Unscrew the top, let drip for a minute and place carefully on saved wrapper to prevent workbench from smelling like "Wild-berries". Empty the soap into another empty bottle with a funnel while being careful not to spill said stinky soap all over "Man Land". If you already have the same soap I used you can wait till it is empty and start then.
Wash out the bottle. Rinse, shake, rinse, shake, rinse, shake... Best way to get this done is to hold under the faucet and let the water force all of the suds out and then shake, dump and repeat. It took about four rinses for the bottle to be spotless. Nice! Dry and check out your clean bottle.
Step 3: Prep the Hole.
Choose the right size spade bit for your cap, mine was just over 3/4 of an inch wide so I used a 3/4 inch bit and still had to widen the hole a bit.
Start the spade bit by hand to insure you get it into the center of the bottle. You don't need to force the bit just cut out a little bit so when you chuck it up you don't have the bit veering to one side or the other. Go slow at first to ensure you get the bit centered. speed up a little until you are almost through then slow down again to prevent from tearing up the inside of the bottle.
Clean up the inside of the hole you just cut with your rotary tool and utility knife. Be careful with the knife, if you press to hard to one side you could intentionally cut right through to the outside of the bottle.
Test fit the cap until it is tight and will go almost all the way in. Tight but not pinching.
Hot glue cap in place. Wet your finger and smooth out the glue.
Blow into the bottle after it is cool to ensure air tight/water tight seal. If it leaks add a bit more hot glue. Don't over do it!
Water test, fill with water and check it out. Add more glue if needed.
Step 4: Make a Base Plate.
Take something close to the same size as the bottle and trace a circle out of sheet metal. I used my roll of solder. :D
Cut out a workable piece, and trim it down.
Place on top of solder roll, hold with one hand and use an old carpenters gauge to remark.
Recut to smaller size and try to come out with something that looks round. Good job!
Place writing utensil in hand.
Place finger under utensil to adjust length from tip.
Run finger along the edge of object to be marked slowly with tip or pencil/sharpie running on top edge.
If done properly line will be mostly straight/curved and the same distance from the outer edge.
Practice and patience are key.
Step 5: Lighting: First Attempt...
Skip this step if you are in the middle of the project.
This was the first attempt at lighting up the dispenser. Needless to say it lit up nicely but not enough for what I wanted. The LED was far to small for the amount soap that is around it.
This is a basic circuit that consists of a switch, led, resistor and battery. I bent the components in a certain way so that I can take the battery out and replace it with a fresh one. Look at the pictures to see how. Make sure to test the circuit before you solder to make sure you have everything in the right location.
Clip and solder the LED to the switch.
Clip and solder the resistor to the other side of the switch.
Step 6: Wire Up a Big LED.
This is a basic circuit that consists of a switch, an LED and a 3v watch battery. I bent the LED in a certain way so that I can take the battery out and replace it with a fresh one. Look at the pictures to see how. Make sure to test the circuit before you solder to make sure everything works.
Clip and solder the LED to the switch.
Clip and solder a small piece of wire to the other side of the switch. Use a longer piece of wire than I did . I made mine a bit to short and found out when it came time to mount the battery. Everything worked out in the end.
Step 7: Finish the Base Plate Assembly.
Take out the tape measure and find out how big it is. Mine was 1 3/4 inches wide.
Make a small mark in the center with a pencil. I marked mine at 7/8 inch (half of 1 3/4 inches). Rotate the base 90 degrees and remark. You should now have a small X. This is where you want the LED to be sticking straight up. The switch and battery will be off to one side.
Hot glue the switch to the plate.
Put a small dot of hot glue under the wire from the resistor and push the wire into it to help secure it. Stay away from the end but keep it up high enough to be able to be pressed down just a tiny bit.
Put a small dab of hot glue under where you want the battery and press the battery into it. Again, keep the glue away from the end of the resistor wire but low enough to make sure the battery touches the wire cleanly. Also make sure that the Other lead from the LED is able to press on the top of the battery. This is a pressure circuit. to make the wire touch just put a small bend in the lead.
Flip switch to see if the LED lights up. If not check all wire to make sure they are touching the battery clean (metal to metal, no glue in between) and that you have the battery in right. If you have installed the batter upside down use your utility knife to cut the glue and try again. This is also how to replace the battery when it dies.
Note: The black plastic disk was also another first attempt. It ended up being way to flimsy, but I glued it to the bottom of the metal base to protect my counter.
Step 8: Fill It Up and Finish!
Refill the bottle ensuring not to spill. Use the funnel. It is hard to clean up soap! It just makes a big clean soapy mess.
Re-check for leaks. Re-glue if needed. You should be OK by now.
Screw on the top and take it to the bathroom with the base you made.
Set base on the counter and turn on, place bottle over top and admire your handy work. SWEET!
Take a picture and send it to me!