Water Bottle Hack - LED Booklight




Introduction: Water Bottle Hack - LED Booklight

About: Name's Chris. I enjoy taking things apart, modifying and sometimes putting them back together. Like many people here, also have a passion for finding new ways to do things, mostly out of things that others w...

This is a water bottle hacked to make a nice little LED light for the laptop, desk or wherever. It's an ongoing project that I started a while back and today I decided to enter it into the Water Bottle contest. This project is far from fully complete but it will give you a general idea of the possibilities it possesses. Feel free to build upon this idea and recycle!

Step 1: Materials

For this project you will need:

Smart water bottle since it's probably the smoothest bottle out there for our purposes
rubbing alcohol (optional)
Solid copper wire
LEDs-color of your choice
spray paint-colors are your choice
box large enough to hold bottle (optional)
bread board to hold LEDs in place

tools: exacto knife, soldering iron

Step 2: Cutting the Bottle

This is where the box comes in handy. Place your bottle inside of the box, poke the exacto knife through the box approximately where you want the bottle to be cut and spin the bottle.

Step 3: Paint Job

After cutting the bottle, you want to make sure it's dry and clean. Use the rubbing alcohol for best results. It wipes off any oil. Get your spray paint and paint!

Step 4: Lighting It Up.

Mark out your bread board to the size that fits the bottle neck and cut it out. I used a set of dikes to cut out the circle. Make sure it fits the bottle neck. Pick out the LEDs you intend to use. Lay them out on your board and solder them in. Since we all have a different intention for this project, I will leave the power supply and the LED arrangements up to you. I used this website for my particular needs: http://led.linear1.org/led.wiz It will give you the schematic and the arrangements after you fill in the details of your LEDs.

Next we will drive the solid copper wire through the bottle cap and solder onto the LEDs. Power it on to make sure it works then screw it back together.

Step 5: Final Thoughts

For right now I am using a battery to power on my light. However, I am planning on making few more of these and stringing them on a line across the ceiling. Like I said it's an ongoing project and I wanted to make the deadline for the Water Bottle contest.



    • Tiny Home Contest

      Tiny Home Contest
    • Creative Misuse Contest

      Creative Misuse Contest
    • Fix It! Contest

      Fix It! Contest

    18 Discussions

     Well holy crap, thank you.

    Recently got myself a lot of super bright wide angle LEDs to slowly work on a small solar power system and was trying to figure out how to use them in an easy and yet half way attractive way. I thought the idea was cool but thought "But I know when I cut the bottles it would look terrible", and then see you give a super easy way on cutting them down.

    You are my hero.

    1 reply

    I'm glad you like it, since then I did automate the bottle cuttine technique,  https://www.instructables.com/id/Water-Bottle-Light/step4/bottle-field/


    I would love to wire about 50 of these up around my boat slip, but I haven't a clue how to run them off 110v A/C. Can any one help with a power supply? I could build it or hack it. Just not sure how to design it! LOL

    1 reply

    There is a way to do this.
    You can string them like Christmas lights, all LED's connected in series. Refer to this instructable, https://www.instructables.com/id/THE-LED-LIGHTBULB/ Adding 3 more LED's to his 46 will now change the brightness that much. From there you should be able to to split 49 LED's in to groups of 7 per light. At this point you going to end up with 7 lights. Parallel that seven more times, and you going to end with close to what you want.

    Or you can drop the voltage down to 12, throw in resistors and parallel everything.
    Let me know how it works out.

    This is way cool. I want to do it, but need more instruction re: basic LED's. REALLY great pics give me a good idea, but never having done it, I didn't even know what a breadboard was until I saw the pic. Could you do an 'ible on just the 7 LED light config you have there? Or point me to one? Really basic - the LED link above is way beyond my current kinder-knowledge on this. Got my vote.

    1 reply

    I will post all that info in part 2 of this instructible, It will be as soon as i get all my parts in the mail. There is a instructible on LEDs for Beginners, https://www.instructables.com/id/LEDs-for-Beginners/ very helpful, and it has few good links in there for arranging led. . Here are some pictures of arrangements that ware used in my instructible, There is 3 led in parallel, on each side, and one single LED in the middle. supply voltage is common.


    Very cool! You could probably get even more reflection if you painted the outside with a chrome spray paint, then covered it with what ever color you wanted the outside to be. Don't color the inside; that way the bottle acts as a clear coat over the coat of chrome pain. I don't know if this will work but it is worth a shot! If i get a chance to try it i will let you know how it goes.

    2 replies

    I wasn't really going for the reflection. Originally intended as track lighting, with soft light. It was never intended to be a spot light. I did paint the inside, because i was short on time, and i didn't feel like waiting for the paint to dry. I hope you have a chance, and take some pictures, really interested to see what it would look like. I will continue with part 2 of this Instructable when i have more time. Thank

    I decided to try it your way, and painted chrome, it actually came out good. I didn't even have to use a second color, since i liked the all chrome look. Thanks

    Nice looking project Here's an old RC car trick(but in reverse).... Paint only the outside! Start with a white primer, then apply the color. You'll still get the white inside color, but with , imho, much easier application. I really dislike trying to spray evenly into stuff, without dripping. If the shiny interior bothers you, before painting, give the inside a quick scrub with fine grit sandpaper. The frosted appearance will eliminate the "glare".

    Genius! I've been yearning for a way to make custom reflectors...