How To Make LED Lights for Party Decoration

Our DIY wedding is getting closer, but the challenge of lighting remains. The dinner will be held on a gravel road, lined by olive trees, with the nearest power outlet a good 200 yards away. We've already purchased some second hand paper lanterns (used in a previous wedding) and now have an idea to put LED throwies to work ...

Our need? Multiple light light sources that are both cordless and available with minimal cost and minimal waste. While we lucked out with our second-hand paper lanterns (which we will also be handing off to and cost-sharing with another wedding to be held at our same venue), they can be ordered at minimal cost from sources such as the Paper Lantern Store for as little as $1.15 for a 10" lantern.

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To light the lanterns, there are pre-made lights available, but we've decided to take the DIY route and use slightly modified LED Throwies, originally envisioned as an inexpensive way to add color to a magnetic surface (developed by the Graffiti Research Lab, a division of the Eyebeam R&D OpenLab). Consisting of a lithium battery, a 10mm diffused LED and a magnet, they have been used as a type of urban graffiti (see Instructables).

With the price of LEDs and button batteries being very inexpensive (compared with pre-made battery powered lighting), LED "throwies" can be made for about $.25 each. We purchased lead-free LED lights from Radio Shack and batteries from eBay. While I do wish these options were more sustainable and reusable, we hope to pass on the leftovers to other weddings at the venue.

Check out a DIY LED lit lantern from Two Kids and a Wedding:

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See also the WeddingBee on LED lighting for more information.

(Top Image: Flickr member vmiramontes licensed for use under Creative Commons)

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