How to Make LED Glowies and Throwies

Connect an LED to a battery to make an LED glowie. Anne Helmenstine

Connect an LED to a battery to make an LED glowie. Anne Helmenstine

Here are simple instructions for making your own LED glowies and LED throwies. LED glowies are glowing Light Emitting Diode or LED devices, while LED throwies are LED glowies that you can toss and stick onto any ferromagnetic surface. Both LED projects are easy and fun.

Materials for LED Glowies and LED Throwies

  • LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes – sold at Radioshack and other electronics stores)
  • 3-V batteries (sold at the same place… note the common 1.5 V batteries aren’t powerful enough to light an LED)
  • small magnets (for throwies)
  • tape (optional for glowies, necessary for throwies)

Make LED Glowies and LED Throwies

  1. Examine an LED. Notice how one prong is longer than the other. Now look at the battery. The smooth flat side is the positive (+) side, while the side with the ring is the negative (-) side. 
  2. Insert the battery into the LED with the long prong of the LED on the smooth positive (+) side of the battery. That’s it! You’ve made an LED glowie! You can use the LED glowie for any application where a little light would brighten things up. Seal the battery portion of the LED glowie with tape or wax if you think it might get wet. 
  3. Now, if you want to make an LED throwie, tape a small magnet onto the positive (+) side of the battery. Toss the LED throwie at your refrigerator or whatever.

See How to Make Glowies and Throwies

Do you want to see exactly what to do? The Fort Worth Museum has a video showing you how to construct throwies and glowies and explaining how to choose the best tape for the project.

How to Make LED Glowies and Throwies
Last modified: December 27th, 2016 by Anne Helmenstine

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