Lighting Lanterns With 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!


Mrs. Tiramisu

Annapolis, MD/Maine
Wedding Date:
July 2008
Polebridge: The "Grand" Tour
Significantly Better
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  1. Guest Icon Guest
    what is rgb led, Guest @ 9:01 pm

    Wonderful paintings! That is the kind of info that should be shared around the web. Shame on the search engines for not positioning this publish upper! Come on over and talk over with my web site . Thanks =)

  2. Guest Icon Guest
    Stephanie, Guest @ 2:44 pm

    Can you do 3 LED lights per battery??? Or will they not last long enough?

  3. Guest Icon Guest
    Mrs. Stroller, Guest @ 3:15 pm

    I used only one per battery and it provided plenty of light. If you want to try three, I suggest making a trial one and seeing how long it lasts. I did this in a dark closet before I ordered a ton of bulbs and batteries. Send me an email at ourlittlebeehive at gmail dot you know what, if you’d like to see a photo at night from our wedding 🙂

  4. Guest Icon Guest
    Lori slater, Guest @ 10:27 am

    How did you attach the throwies to the lanterns ?

  5. Guest Icon Guest
    bánh làm tiramisu, Guest @ 11:18 am

    Its such as you read my mind! You seem to grasp a lot approximately this, like you wrote the e-book in it or something. I feel that you just could do with a few % to pressure the message home a little bit, however instead of that, this is excellent blog. An excellent read. I will definitely be back.

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