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Unread 09-21-2011, 11:53 PM   #1
Ninja Monkey
Join Date: Feb 2011
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Lights for a Portal gun?

So in the barrel of a Portal gun, there's the light that alternates between orange and blue. Now, at first I thought: EL wire, the battery pack could easily be hidden by the big white part in the back.

But I realized that might not does anyone have any ideas? Maybe put two lights in the tube, one orange and one blue, and a two switches? What kind of light could I use? Preferably not flammable, it's going to be under plastic and papier mache.

Or if there is a place you can get thicker EL wire (like tubes) for less than $30...
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Unread 09-22-2011, 02:04 AM   #2
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El wire wouldn't have provided enough light for you.

You will want to use two LED's wired in to a battery pack. Its very easy to do and costs but a few dollars at a local electronics store.

Aqua and Orange LED's These would work great for the gun, and should be pretty close in color
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Unread 09-22-2011, 04:37 PM   #3
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There's no reason for 2 switches unless you want to have both lights on at the same time. You can use a single 3-position on-off-on switch, up position turns on one light, down position turns on the other light, and center position is off (center position can be eliminated if you want by using a 2-position switch).

Choose LEDs based on the brightness you want, if you want the light to be visible on a target, choose a LED with a narrow angle of view and a high mcd/cd rating. If you want the light to simply illuminate the front of the barrel of the gun and be visible from a wide angle, should choose a wider angle of view and put a diffuser (a semi-transparent piece of white plastic) on the front of the barrel of the gun. In both choices choose a LED with a clear lens so you get the maximum brightness.

You could in theory also build a blinking circuit to make the lights blink automatically or without having to flip the switch.
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Unread 09-22-2011, 07:38 PM   #4
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You might want to look into the techniques used by the light-saber builders. I'm a bit rusty, but as I understand it, they prefer the Luxeon star LEDs. Once you have a light, a switch, and power, you just butt the lights against an appropriately shaped (and possibly sanded) acrylic rod.

Quick Google search reveals:
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Unread 09-24-2011, 04:37 AM   #5
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If you get some 1-watt or 3-watt LEDs, you can very easily make them switch from one to the other with a pushbutton switch or sliding switch. What I'd recommend is having the LED not point straight out, but instead reflect off the inside of the prop. This will light it up without blinding people. If done well, I think it could be a wonderful effect.

What you'd need is a SPDT (single-pull, double throw) switch. It's standard is many electronic devices. See the following links for examples:
(The last one there is nice because it has a center position too that is "OFF".)

All you would need to do is hook the negative battery wire up to the negative side of both LEDs, then the positive battery wire to the MIDDLE pin of the switch. Then run one wire from each side pin of the switch to the positive side of an LED. When the switch is flipped one direction, it turns on one LED. When it's flipped the other direction, it turns on the other LED.

You can optionally put in another switch to turn it off, or use a switch like the last one I linked that is off in the center position.

For the battery pack, something like this would work:

With those LEDs, they will work and be plenty bright if you just use 2xAA batteries, like that battery holder is.

Here are some LEDs that would work as well:
You'll want a base to mount them on as well, like this:
... or two of these:

It'll require a bit of soldering. You have to attach the LEDs to the base plate in 3 spots: Positive, Negative, and the Thermal Pad. If you're inexperienced with soldering, you may want to get somebody who is familiar with it to do that part.

This would probably be a total cost of about $20-30, depending on shipping costs.

I hope this helps. If you have any further questions, feel free to PM me. I'm more than happy to help.
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Unread 11-14-2011, 02:05 AM   #6
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I actually used a blue glow stick. Obviously, I couldn't switch colors, but it worked great in a pinch.
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Unread 01-06-2012, 03:05 PM   #7
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I'm doing Chell from portal 2 as my very first cosplay and I'm willing to do an amazing Portal Gun because I have the time and money, so I'm commenting to save this forum in my profile list of forums/comments.
May 11th-12th, Philadelphia, Pa.
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Unread 02-01-2012, 11:19 AM   #8
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You might want to check out the light kit that Crix built on the RPF:

You'll have to make an account to see it, but if you are interested in prop-making even slightly it's a really great site to get into.
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Unread 02-06-2012, 09:58 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by ayimera View Post
You might want to check out the light kit that Crix built on the RPF:

You'll have to make an account to see it, but if you are interested in prop-making even slightly it's a really great site to get into.
I second this. I actually have one of his kits and they are pure awesome.
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