Important Note! 

LEDs have one flat edge with a short leg. 
This is the negative side. 
Power must flow through the LED from positive to negative, or it won’t light up. 
Follow the instructions very carefully!

GLOWING EYES Step-by-step

-Cerrise Weiblen

Add light-up LED eyes to your Halloween mask this year!


You can do this by yourself, just by following the directions step by step.  You will need to solder, or you will need a grown-up to do it for you.  A complete shopping list is inside, but hopefully you’ll be able to scrounge up most of the parts for free. 

  • First, cut three pieces of insulated wire 15 inches, 13 inches and 8 inches long.
  • Connect the long leg of an LED to the longest piece of wire.
  • Connect the short leg of the same LED to the shortest piece of wire.
  • Connect the long leg of the second LED to the loose end of the shortest wire.
  • Connect the short leg of the second LED to the last piece of wire.
  • On the PC board, arrange the switch so the posts stick through the holes.  You may have to drill out the holes to make them large enough for the posts.
  • Bend the ends of the resistor down and stick the wires through the breadboard with the resistor on top but not too close to the switch.
  • Connect the loose end of the longest LED wire to one end of the resistor.  Do this neatly by sticking the wire through the PC board from the front and soldering the wires at the back.
  • Connect the shorter LED wire to an end post of the switch on the back of the PC board.
  • Connect the negative battery connector wire to the middle post of the switch. (Ignore the third post.)
  • Connect the positive battery wire to the other end of the resistor.
  • Use the wire cutters to nip off the ends of the LED legs if they are sticking out.
  • Wrap each, individual LED leg in electrical tape, to keep the legs from touching each other and shorting out the circuit.  Then wrap the legs together, to make it more stable.
  • Hot glue the eyes in place inside your mask.  (If you’re going to wear it, make sure the LEDs won’t block your vision or poke you in the eye.)
  • Hot glue the board with the switch in an easy-to reach area.
  • Use electrical tape to hold the battery in place, or store it in the hollow nose or chin of your mask.



LED Eyes Complete Circuit

LED Eyes Detail Front

LED Eyes Detail Back


What is a Resistor?

Think of a resistor as a protector.  It does what its name says,  resists electricity.  It blocks some of the electricity as it passes through, and this protects the other components in the circuit. 

If an LED is hooked up directly to a 9 volt battery, all that electricity will go pouring through the LED until it burns up.  But if you put a resistor into the circuit, the LED will be protected.



Circuit Illustration and Shopping List


Illustration of LED Circuit
Download the printer friendly PDF file.

Materials

Cost Examples

one 9 volt snap connector (RadioShack model 270-324 $2.69 each)
one slide switch (RadioShack model 275-409 $2.69 2-pack)
one 330 ohm resistor (RadioShack model 271-1315 $0.99 5-pack)
two LEDs (RadioShack model 276-309 $1.49 each)
small piece of PC board (RadioShack model 276-148 $1.99 each)
one 9 volt battery (RadioShack model 23-875 $3.99 each)
insulated wire (RadioShack model 278-1218 $4.99 spool)
electrical tape (RadioShack model 64-2373 $1.99 roll)


Tools


wire cutters / strippers (RadioShack 64-2980 $8.99)
soldering iron & materials (RadioShack basic kit 64-2802 $7.99)
hot glue gun

(Hobby Lobby sku 222497 $1.99)

hot glue sticks (Hobby Lobby sku 284851 $1.99 20-pack)


Scrounge


Look around and see what you can find for free, before you go out and buy anything! 

Snip a battery connector from a broken toy.  Re-use wire from a different project, even old speaker wire will work for this.  Ask at the electronics store for scraps of PC board.  Tear the power switch out of an old game.  Borrowing tools, rather than buying them can also save a lot of money. 

Split the costs with a friend and you can help each other with the project, plus it’ll cost less.




Copyright Cerrise Weiblen 2007.  All rights reserved.  You may reproduce these directions for personal use only.   email: geekmaker@gmail.com