We love Blinkies. Especially simple led throwies.
Lately, we've been playing with "candle flicker" LEDs, which contain a tiny chip that makes their warm light flicker like a flame.
Tape 'em to a battery and watch glow. They're great. But we wanted a version we could, essentially, blow out.
Enter the tilt switch.
This little component is a small cylinder, about the size of a bean, with a metal ball inside. When the cylinder is vertical, the ball rests on two metal leads at the bottom, completing a circuit. Tip it, and the ball rolls away, breaking the circuit.
Here's what we did:
- Put the battery in a holder.
- Touched the LED's legs to the leads on the battery holder to make sure it was oriented correctly (LEDs have polarity, so if it doesn't light, we swapped the legs around).
- Wrapped one LED leg around one leg of the tilt switch (doesn't matter which one).
- Stuck the LED leg through the hole on a battery lead and bent it at a right angle to hold it.
- Stuck the free tilt switch leg into the hole of the other battery lead and bent it at a right angle to hold it.
- Tipped the whole thing upside-down to make sure the light went out. (If it didn't, we made sure the leads of the tilt switch weren't touching.)
- Added a drop of solder to both battery leads to hold the wires secure. Also added a little to the intertwined legs of the LED and tilt switch.
- Trimmed the extra wires.
Voila! We just stand them up to light, and tip 'em over to douse.