Lit-up LED

Length of Project:
Project theme:
Suitable for grades:
Tools & Materials
Material List
  • two or three lithium coin batteries (CR2032, CR2016 or similar)
  • two or three LEDs (3mm or 5mm, assorted colours)
  • electrical tape
  • Optional:

  • craft supplies such as construction paper, origami paper, paint, felt pens, cardboard, tape, paper towel tubes, etc.
Tool list
  • Just your hands!
  1. Play with the coin batteries and LEDs; can you make the LEDs light up? What parts of the LED and battery need to touch to make it work?
  2. Look up labelled diagrams of an LED and of a coin battery. Use the following words to explain what you observed or learned: LED, wire, short, long, positive (+), negative (-), battery, terminal.
  3. Troubleshooting: Does your LED not light up? Try a new battery. Try a new LED. Flip the battery around. Try bending the LED wires so they make better connection with the battery.
  4. Make something fun with your lit-up LEDs! Use a wrap of electrical tape to hold your LED wires in place on the battery, then use it in one of the following projects.
  5. Project Ideas:

  6. Do you like origami? Fold a balloon or box and insert the lit-up LED into it before you finish folding it.
  7. Do you like collage and painting? Make a “stained-glass" lantern: paste scraps of colourful tissue paper onto an empty glass jar using white glue and a paintbrush. Place your lit-up LED inside and let it shine!
  8. Do you like vehicles? Choose and print a “printable paper car template” online, cut it out and tape it together, then add lit-up LEDs for headlights and taillights, etc.
  9. Do you like boats? Make a boat model and use lit-up LEDs for port (red) and starboard (green) navigation lights.
  10. Do you like sculpture? Use toilet paper tubes to make a house or dragon or robot or creature, decorate it, then cut or poke holes and insert your lit-up LED, hiding the battery inside the tube. The LEDs can become light-up eyes, or windows, or buttons - whatever you can imagine!
  11. Do you like play acting or dressing up? Make a cardboard crown, decorate it, then poke holes and insert lit-up LEDs to make light-up jewels!
  12. Can you think of other places you could be creative with your LED and battery?
Extension Challenges
  1. Design a new light-up toy using what you know about LEDs and batteries.
  2. Make a switch mechanism that can turn your LED on and off so you don’t have to take the LED and battery apart each time.
  3. Design a device that uses a lit-up LED to solve a problem in your daily life (is that hall closet too dark to find anything in?), or develop an imaginary or real product you could market to people (do dogs need light-up collars for night walks?).
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