LED Necklace

A Bright and Shiny Present:

I am terrible with giving birthday gifts, so today I really wanted to make a really good one as a step in a new direction.

I thought she would really like an LED necklace (we spoke together about making one earlier), but in order to make it wearable, I was stumped as we couldn’t use AA’s or AAA’s to power it (these are what I usually use) – those batteries would simply be too heavy.

I knew it was finally time, and I fished-out a coin cell battery from a remote control just lying around and began to think.

Thinking for a bit, it occurred to me: you can use grip it with alligator clips and use the vinyl electrical tape to prevent any shorting.

Just showing this to depict the basic idea.  Use an alligator clip to bite the coin cell, and prevent it from touching the other side with electrical tape.

The flip side.

There were some caveats on the way:

  1. The ends of the alligator clips could touch and short (so we needed to wrap the non-contacting side with tape
  2. you needed to make sure the edge of the battery didn’t touch the metal clip, so I wrapped the edge of the battery with electrical tape.

Wrapping the non-contacting side of the alligator clip with electrical tape, and along the edge of the battery with electrical tape, I tested to see if the contact was stable (shaking it to see if the LED would blink).

Wrapped the non-contacting side with electrical tape.

Put tape along the edge of the battery preventing the “back of the mouth” of the alligator clip from creating problems.

Finally the contacts were perfect, and I taped it all into place, wrapping the clips securely to the battery (as if it was a cast for some broken bone).

Once it works, wrap it like a cast.  The start of the video shows just how much wrapping I used.

The battery part was done!

Next I made sure the LED connecting ends would not short by wrapping the ground with electrical tape.

Now on the other end of the alligator clips, connect as shown.  I later wrapped one clip with tape to prevent shorting on this end.(Make sure that you still can insert an LED wire into the clip after taping it)

Connect the “+” wire to the longer metal lead. Here we connected the red clip to the “+” side of the battery, so we clip it to the LED’s longer metal wire.

Here’s a pic of the final result (here is it on my friend, she wanted to model it but for privacy reasons I am not showing her identity):

Now it all looks good now, but making jewelry is not for the easily frustrated, spend some good time to get the connections secure, and pick out some nice LEDs to go with it : )


The materials were:

-Coin Cell battery x1

-Alligator clips x2

-Electrical tape x1 (only used about a foot of it)

-LEDs (lots of leds)

Basic Steps for Construction:

Here are links to the precise resources I used to build it*:

  • -Coin Cell Battery
  • -Alligator Clips
  • -Electrical Tape
  • -LEDs
    • $7.55 for 60 LEDS (10 of each color: red amber green blue white purple) — (Amazon Link)

*prices are estimated at the time of publishing this entry.


Oh and here’s a movie showing how different led’s turned out (no models just me : |   )