Wish you could illuminate your graffiti tags in light? Then you might be partial to learning how to make your own LED throwie, an alternate graffiti concept envisioned by creator James Powderly and the Graffiti Research Lab (G.R.L.).
For less than $1 per throwie, you can create a life-size Lite-Brite on the ferromagnetic surface of your choice. Throwies can last up to two weeks and won’t cause any permanent damage to targeted areas, leaving this new high-tech street art tactic in a legal gray area…at least in the U.S. (During the 2008 Beijing Olympics, some of Powderly’s collaborators were thrown out of the country after orchestrating a silent protest utilizing the sticky lights.)
As you can see from the slideshow above, G.R.L. has inspired many to take on the medium, and because the instructions are completely open-source, anyone can tag their town with LEDs. The crafty folks from G.R.L. even built an apparatus called the Night Writer to formulate and mount phrases and sentences.
Our friends at Instructables came up with a great formula to recreate these glowing pixels at home.
-10mm Diffused LEDs
-CR2032 3V Lithium Batteries
-1-inch wide Strapping Tape
-1/2" Dia x 1/8" Thick NdFeB Disc Magnet, Ni-Cu-Ni plated
-conductive epoxy (optional)
Step One: Test the LED
Before you do all the hard work, make sure the LED is bright and functional. Stick the longer leg of the LED to the positive (+) terminal of the battery while placing the shorter leg on the negative (-) terminal.
Step Two: Tape the LED to the battery
Cut a 7-inch long by 1-inch wide piece of tape. Tightly tape the LED legs to the battery wrapping around two or three times. Note: you will have left over tape.
Step Three: Tape the Magnet to the battery
Avoiding a magnetic surface, place the magnet on the positive (+) side of the battery and finish wrapping with the rest of the tape. Take special care to keep the battery away from hard drives, credit cards, and other data storage devices.
Step Four: Plan Your Attack
Stock up on throwies, find a building (or a car?!), gather a crew, wait until nightfall and unleash your creations upon the city. Make more throwies than you think you might need as random strangers will most likely want to get in on the fun. (P.S. We hear the NYPD are fans. Phewwww!)
Step Five: Innovate
What else can you do with these semi long-lasting sticky lights? Use them to light your bike, illuminate security cameras, stick them on your keys and phone, use to help light a mid-fall bonfire party. The possibilities are endless. Have a good idea? Make sure to share in the comments…
Visit the Instructables “How To” for further explanation, upgrades, and for information on where to buy materials.