Night Writer

Video | Instructions


The night writer extends the functionality of LED throwies by allowing a writer to catch a tag in lights. It�s cheap, easy to make and writes 12-inch glowing letters 25-feet in the air on any iron or steel surface�if you stand on a turned over garbage can.


1/2-inch, 3/16-inch and 1/8-inch foam core, preferably black
5-minute epoxy
Paint Edger attachment
15-foot telescoping pole
A few hundred LED throwies
Shrink Tube or electrical tape

An exacto-knife

Step 1:
Cut a 10-inch wide strip of 1/2-inch and 3/16-inch foam core. The length of the strips will be determined by what you want to write. For each letter add 3.75-inches in length. Cut both pieces of foam core the same length. Now graph out a 1.25-inch square grid on the 1/2-inch foam core. Make a 1/2-inch diameter circle at the intersections and cut a hole in the foam core using short cuts tangent to the circle (Fig 1).

Step 2:
Once you have cut all the holes into your 1/2-inch foam core, use the epoxy to glue the 1/2-inch and 3/16-inch foam core strips together. Use the epoxy the fix the paint edger attachment on the back of the night writer (Fig. 2a). Cut 1-inch wide strips of the 3/16-inch foam core about 1-foot in length, and cut 1/2-inch wide strips of the 1/8-inch foam core 1-foot in length. Epoxy these strips together and then epoxy them on the front of the night writer with the 3/16-inch foam core side down (Fig. 2b). These stand-offs are the secret ingredient. Once the epoxy has set-up (about 5-7 minutes), you can screw the painter attachment onto the telescoping pole and get ready to load the night writer (Fig. 2c).

Step 3:
Now make enough LED throwies to catch your tag. You can learn how to make throwies from this site. Modify the original throwie design by adding shrink tube or electrical tape to the LED leads. You can use a lighter or hair-dryer to shrink the shrink tube. On average it takes about 50 throwies to write a four-letter word (Fig 3).

Step 4:
First bend the LED on your throwie so it is pointing perpendicular to and opposite the face of the throwie with the magnet. Add a small ball of clay to the throwie face opposite the magnet (Fig. 4a). The type of clay is called #2 medium Roma Plastilina (Fig. 4a). Now, you can load your word into the night writer. Remember you have to put the text in the night writer so that it is both reversed and mirrored. You can use this javascript application, made by Lonely Guy, to see what your word should look like loaded correctly into the night writer.

Step 5:
Do your thang!

Notes from our experience:the clay freezes in the NYC winter, it�s hard to conceal a 10-foot pole and the NYPD vans are ferromagnetic.

Check out the second LED throwies campaign to see more video of the night writer in action.