Intro: Making an LED Filled Bottle for Ambiance
My cousin wanted an LED filled bottle. So he made one at techshop in SF. Quick and easy, down and dirty. Nothing to it. His name is Will Kinard.
First, gather the materials.
You will need a bottle. Most bottles seem to have a standard opening and will accept the battery pack that we will put in it.
4 or more LEDs
light guage wire. I used 18 guage.
two AA batteries
a switch that will fit in the neck of the bottle. Many toggle switches will work.
5/8" inside diameter plastic tubing.
5/8" outside diameter plastic tubing
spyral ground connector for AA battery from an old flashlight or some such device.
Step 2: Diagram
check out this diagram.
Step 3: Solder Positive Lead to Switch
solder a wire that is 18 inches or so to the switch's outside lead (not center lead).
notice the picture of the switch. The center leg of the switch is made to push up against the positive lead of the battery. The other lead of the switch gets a wire soldered to it. This positive lead wire goes down the tube and out the bottom of the tube along with the negative lead that is soldered to the spyral. These two wires exit the tube and go to the LEDs
Step 5: Tube in a Tube.
Cut the 5/8" inside diameter tube to be 4 7/8" long. Cut just under 1/2" of the 5/8" outside diameter tubing. Squeeze the smaller tube into the larger tube. In mine, in the picture, the inside tube is black and the outside tube is whitish clear. Have the ends on one end be flush.
After soldering a wire to the spyral, fit the spyral in the tube from the end that does not have the smaller tube in it. When inserting the spyral, be careful to have it be facing toward where the battery ground will be once the batteries are put in. When inserting the spyral, send the wire to which it is soldered down through the two tubes and out so that it can be soldered to an LED later. Have the positive lead from the switch go down the tube and out so that it too can be soldered to an LED. Seat the spyral on the shorter skinnier piece of tubing and push the battery into the larger tube from the other end and the battery will hold the spyral down. Put a slit down 1 inch of the tubing from the top as in the picture to help squeeze in the batteries.
Pack in the batteries, push the switch into the tube so that the center lead is touching the positive lead of the batteries. Have the two wires hanging out the bottom. Have the spyral seated well at the bottom of the tube.. Silicone goo the switch into the top. If you ever change the batteries, you will have to pull the switch out from the goo, replace the batteries and then silicone the switch back into place.
Step 8: Solder LED
Now with the hot lead and the ground lead sticking out the bottom of the tube, with the batteries packed in and the goo that holds in the switch dry you can solder 4 LEDs onto the wires. Or you can solder before you goo the switch. Now you have a switch on a battery pack that is connected to 4 LEDs
Now simply shove the LEDs into the bottle. When the LEDs are in, push in the bottom of the battery holder and press in the battery holder until the switch is just sticking up out of the bottle neck. Turn it on, set it on the shelf, turn off the overhead lights and enjoy the peaceful light show.