How to Make a Small LED Light

Written by kelly smith
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How to Make a Small LED Light
Make a small led light look like a mini lava lamp. (test tubes image by Paul Hill from

Small LED lights are simple to make, even if you have no background in this type of project. You can make it with your older children for a school project and create them in all different colours using different power sources from a small lithium battery to a USB cable. LED "throwies," small lights that can be tossed, are even used as artistic projects when used in a variety of colours in abundance. They are inexpensive and a way to make colourful street art that you can see at night.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 1 small LED
  • Soldering iron
  • Blood test tube
  • Glue gun
  • Dish washing liquid
  • Resistor
  • USB wire, male connector (black and red wires)
  • Electrical tape
  • Knife
  • CR2032 3V lithium battery
  • Strapping tape
  • 1 10mm diffused LED
  • 1/2" Dia x 1/8" Thick NdFeB Disc Magnet, Ni-Cu-Ni plated
  • Conductive epoxy

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  1. 1

    Solder the resistor to the LED.

  2. 2

    Solder USB wires to the LED, red wire to the resistor side and black straight to the LED. Plug cable in to be sure the light is working.

  3. 3

    Fill test tube with coloured dish washing liquid.

  4. 4

    Take rubber out of the test tube cap with a small knife and cut in half before inserting back into the cap. You will see a hole through the cap and through the rubber inside the cap.

  5. 5

    Insert LED into the small hole of the top of cap and rubber inside.

  6. 6

    Hot glue the top of the cap around where the wire is going, so as nothing with leak out, once the cap is on the test tube. Let dry.

  7. 7

    Put hot glue around the top of the test tube before putting cap back on, so it stays securely in place. Put electrical tape securely around the exposed wire on top and around top of test tube cap to be sure there is no leakage. Tie cable ties around the cap to secure.

  1. 1

    Hold your battery with positive (+) side up. Insert the battery between the two prongs or leads, with the longer lead on top so that it is touching the "+" sign. The shorter lead should be touching the "-" sign underneath.

  2. 2

    Tape the leads around the battery very tightly so that it says in place.

  3. 3

    Place the magnet on the positive side of the battery while still wrapping around tightly with tape so the magnet is securely on.

  4. 4

    Toss your throwie towards a magnetic surface like your refrigerator and watch it stick.

Tips and warnings

  • Use many different coloured throwies to create cool art projects.

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