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Looking to build a battery powered small light (LED?) that works on a winding/pull cord. Alight until cord winds up. Answered

I'm an assemblage artist and I'd love to begin putting electrical components into my art pieces. My first idea is to back light a piece with a small lamp which the user has to pull a cord to turn on, and then only lasts a short time (20 seconds?). This would need to run on a battery of some sort which could be changed when it's dead.

Can anyone point me in the right direction? I know VERY little about wiring/electrical -  only enough to rewire traditional lamps or light switches in the home.

Thanks so much!



6 years ago

I would also make the pull cord wind a generator that would charge a capacitor that would then power the LED. I don't know about 20 seconds from one pull but you can definitely get a few seconds (or make them pull more than once) - check out the hand-cranked LED flashlights. You may be able to re-purpose one of them.

They are ubiquitous these days. I had a certain charity send me two of those as free gifts so far in their requests for donations. They are also pretty popular as corporate swag items. If you can't find a free hand-cranked LED flashlight out there, I'm pretty sure you can get one for couple bucks in a discount store.

This way you'd need no battery and no turn-off control circuit either. It'll just go out when the charge is gone.

Good luck with your project!


Answer 6 years ago

Oh great minds think alike! I just ordered two different types online to see if I could retro fit them for my purpose! If I success, I will post a photo! :-) Thanks so much!


6 years ago

You'll probably want to use a micro controller to run the setup. When your cord is pulled it can hit a small switch telling the micro controller to turn on the lights and keep them on for a pre set amount of time.

The Arduino is a nice simple platform to start with. You should be able to find a wiring diagram and code that has already been done that will work for your project.