DIY LED Sign

By Brenda Barron
Build an LED sign for a bright way to promote your business.

Building an LED sign might seem like a complicated task, but once you get past your inhibitions, it's actually pretty simple. Plus, once you're done with the project, you'll be able to make a statement and promote your business is any way you see fit in brilliant and pure LED light.

Draw out the border of the sign on the mat board and cut it out. Draw the lettering and designs you want in LEDs.

Map out small circles in your LED design. Each circle should be slightly smaller than a single LED. Fill in the entire area of each design, giving a little space between each circle. Using a sharp hole punch, cut each circle out.

Hold the mat board to a light and take a look at the design. If everything is to your liking, apply a little ring of glue around an LED hole and push one LED through the face of the sign. This will force the glue through, making for a clean seal. Make sure the LED leads are free and clear on the back of the sign. Repeat this step until all LEDs are placed.

Connect the LED leads in parallel -- all positives connected together, all negatives connected together, Solder each positive lead together. Use a small wire to bridge gaps if needed. Now solder each of the negative leads together.

Attach the battery holder to the back of the mat board. Solder a wire to the negative post and a wire to the positive post. The wires should be long enough to reach one LED. Solder the negative wire to the negative LED lead and the positive to the positive LED lead, completing the circuit.

Place the batteries into the battery holder. This will light up the LED sign. Remove one battery to turn the sign off.

Things Needed

  • Mat board
  • Hole punch
  • Scissors
  • Craft knife
  • Light-emitting diodes
  • 22-gauge wire
  • 4 AA batteries and holder
  • Wire cutters
  • Soldering iron and solder
  • Glue
  • Pencil
  • Paint

About the Author

Brenda Barron is a writer, editor and researcher based in Southern California. She has worked as a writer since 2004, with work appearing in online and print publications such as BabyZone, "Cat Fancy" and "ePregnancy." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from California State University, Long Beach.