What is the best way to attach an LED to a plastic project box?

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by jdavies, Oct 13, 2009.

  1. jdavies

    Thread Starter New Member

    Oct 7, 2009
    Hi all,
    Now that I have my circuit working as hoped (see thread http://forum.allaboutcircuits.com/showthread.php?t=28481) I need to attach the LEDs to the plastic project box that I bought at Fry's electronics. For the time being I simply drilled a hole in the box that will fit the LED (the size to drill was conveniently printed on the back of the LED pack). My question now is how to best affix the LED to the box. It fits in the hole just fine, but will fall out without something to hold it in place. For now I have just used Elmer's glue, but Elmer's can get brittle over a short period of time.

    Is super glue the preferred method? Is there some sort of platics or metal clip that is more reliable than the glue approach? Thanks in advance for sharing your experience with this!

    - Jeff
  2. someonesdad

    Senior Member

    Jul 7, 2009
    Gluing tends to be messy because you often can't help getting glue on the LED's body and sometimes messing up the clear package.

    You can try LED clips such as those from here.
  3. jpanhalt


    Jan 18, 2008
    You could try Goop from the back side. It will dry to be very firm, but not brittle. Another alternative is to use a cyanoacrylic (CA) glue. For your application, I would use a very small amount of medium or thin and a kicker. CA glues are reactive and many plastics don't provide the proper basic catalyst that is needed. As a note of caution, some plastics are made very brittle by CA glues.

    If you are not familiar with CA's, applying a small drop can be a challenge. A piece of wire can be used to transfer a very small drop. I would not use a wood toothpick, as it may tend to set the glue off; copper or steel wire will not.

  4. t06afre

    AAC Fanatic!

    May 11, 2009
    You can get things very fancy if you want.
  5. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
  6. RiJoRI

    Well-Known Member

    Aug 15, 2007
    The mounting clips are nice, but for a DIM (Do-It-Myself) project, I use hot-melt glue. I just squeeze some over the back of the LED and the p-box, then trim off the whiskers.

  7. gerty

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 30, 2007
    I use hot melt glue also, for a lot of things. It goes on easy, pretty much stays where you want it, cools in about 3-5 minutes,cheap, cheap.
    You can also pull it apart,slowly, if you need to.
    Did I mention it was cheap.....
  8. jdavies

    Thread Starter New Member

    Oct 7, 2009
    I'm a big fan of cheap! Thanks for the responses all. I'll also check out some clips to see what they are like to work with. I knew there were better ways than Elmer's!

    - Jeff
  9. rickmartin

    New Member

    Sep 26, 2009
    Be advised, the hole for holding a clip is a LOT bigger than the hole in which an LED would fit, but if you make it too large the clip will be loose--been there, screwed it up.
  10. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
    3/16" for T 1 mounting clips, 1/4" for T 1 3/4. Most packaged indicators fit 1/4" hole, but check the drawing for dimensions.