Thursday, July 30, 2009

led throwies

Crazy cheap budget-conscious Miss Tiramisu here, back with some hard-earned research for you all! I posted a while back on the possibility of lighting our paper lanterns with homemade LED throwies. Well we’ve finally gotten around to putting these suckers together. As I said in my last post, I ordered the supplies on ebay. My first mistake was not paying attention to the difference between “diffuse” and “bright” LED lights.

Here are the trial pictures so that you can see for yourself:

Mr. Tiramisu modeling our lovely 14″ white lantern lit with 3 diffuse white LEDs, all attached to their own battery.

Again, with our not-so lovely lantern lit with 3 bright white LEDs.

Are you feeling the polka-dot lantern look? I wasn’t. If you’re going for the warm glow seen in the first photo, you will definitely need the diffuse white LEDs. The bright LEDs, while they may throw more light, will give you that spotted look you see in the second photo.

Another word of caution: these are white lanterns. WHITE WHITE WHITE. With WHITE LEDs. Although the pictures make them seem a little more blue than they are in real life, they do in fact appear blue when lit. I have no idea if there is any way to avoid this. I will say that we ordered a few LEDs from another website before we found them at a lower price on ebay, and those cast a slightly less blue glow than the ebay ones. If you’re set on the white look, it may be worth it to experiment with different types of white LEDs. There are other colors available though- I found red, green, blue, and yellow easily. Our wedding colors are light blue, dark blue, and any blue in between, so we’re going to pretend like we wanted blue lanterns as well ;)

On to the assembly… we used the instructions from this website, adding the on/off switch as shown (but you don’t need the magnet). This way, we’re able to make up the throwies ahead of time, attach them to the wire frames of our lanterns, and only have to pull the switch to turn them on the day before our wedding.

Supplies: cardstock (for the on/off switch), LEDs, batteries, strapping tape, and fishing line.

Here is the on/off switch in action.

Are these totally tedious to make? Do I have to remind myself often of how much money we’re saving while making them? (it’s a LOT.) Does Mr. Tiramisu sort of want to kill me for going through with this crazy idea? Yes, yes, and yes.

But am I totally excited about seeing 150 of these in action on our wedding day and knowing that I didn’t pay a 4-figure pricetag for it? That’s a - heck yes.We’re hoping that with these and the perimeter lighting that we have planned, there will be enough light in the tent after sundown.

Does anyone have any suggestions about tent lighting? Ever been to a wedding where the tent being too dark was an issue? Help me put my nightmares about a pitch-black wedding reception to an end!