How to Make Battery Powered LED Lights

By Stephen Benham
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Light emitting diodes (LEDs) produce a subtle lighting effect. They use very little energy and operate under low voltage power, so a battery is an effective means of powering them. You can wire as many LED lights as you need, but the greater the number of lights, the less time your battery will last, so you should consider the correct size and voltage of your battery; otherwise, you will need to replace it frequently.

Look on the side of one of your LED lights to find out the voltage it needs to operate. You need to match this voltage with your battery. LED lights can use 1 to about 6 volts, depending on their type.

Select a battery that produces a similar voltage to the voltage the LEDs use. The larger the size of the battery, the longer it will last.

Put your LED lights into the light holders. Push them in using your fingers.

Count up the number of LED lights you want to wire to your battery. This determines the number of wires you need to connect the lights up.

Calculate the number of strips of wire you need. Multiply the number of LEDs by 2 and then subtract 2. For example, if you're wiring 6 LEDs, multiply 6 by 2 to get 12 and then subtract 2 to get 10.

Cut 3 inch strips of thin electrical wire with a knife. AWG 18 gauge wire works fine. Remove about a ¼ inch of plastic off the ends of the wires using wire strippers.

Loosen the tiny terminal screws on the LED light holders using a suitably sized screwdriver, if the wires connect this way. Some LED light holders have small clips; with them, you just insert the wires under the clips, so you don't need to prepare them for wiring.

Use a short strip of wire and connect one end (it doesn't matter which one) to the first light holder terminal. Insert the wire under the screw and then tighten the screw using the screwdriver or slide the wire under the clip so it holds the wire securely.

Use another strip of wire and connect it to the other terminal of the first LED light holder using the same method. Connect the opposite ends of the wires attached to the first LED light holder to the terminals on the second light holder. Connect two more short strips of the wire to the same terminals.

Connect the opposite loose ends of the wire from the second LED light holder to the third light holder using the same method. If you are wiring more lights, connect two more short wire strips to the terminals of the third light holder.

Continue the process until you reach your last LED light holder, but don't connect the last two loose ends of wire to the holder yet.

Cut two long strips of wire using a knife; about 18 to 24 inches is fine. The wires need to reach from the last LED light holder. Use wire strippers to remove about ¼ inch of plastic coating from the ends of the wires.

Connect the opposite ends of the two loose short wires from the penultimate LED light holder and one end of the two long strips of wire to the terminals of the last LED light holder. Connect the opposite ends of the two wires from the last LED light holder to the battery that is going to power your LED lights. Connect them with a couple of strips of electrical tape if the battery doesn't have connectors. The LED lights illuminate as soon as you connect them to the battery.

About the Author

Stephen Benham has been writing since 1999. His current articles appear on various websites. Benham has worked as an insurance research writer for Axco Services, producing reports in many countries. He has been an underwriting member at Lloyd's of London and a director of three companies. Benham has a diploma in business studies from South Essex College, U.K.