Mailbox Light...

Discussion in 'Home Improvement' started by tjm73, Sep 27, 2018.

  1. tjm73

    tjm73 of Omicron Persei 8 S197 Team Member

    Ok electronics people.... need a little help with a switch. I have a mailbox that is about 500 feet from any appreciable kind of light and from about this time of year till spring it's hard to see inside the mailbox when you open it in the dark. This has bugged me for about 4 years now. I have a solution but I need help with the on/off switch. I know what I want it to do but I don't know the lingo to find it.

    Below is a crude drawing of my simple circuit. For the switch, I want it to allow the light to turn on when the door opens, but turn the light off when the door is closed. The two 9V batteries are wired in series to deliver 18VDC to the 12-24VDC LED license plate light.

    What switch will make this work?

    Mailbox Light.png
  2. oldVOR

    oldVOR forum member

    I'd use a magnetic reed trigger switch. Mount the switch on the inside of the box with 3M DS tape and the magnet on the door with 3M DS tape. When closed, the magnet on the door will flip the contacts on the switch. The magnet and switch need to be roughly an 1/8" from each other when the door is in the closed position.
  3. skwerl

    skwerl tree hugger

    Why not just use the same switch used in car doors for the last 50 years to turn on the overhead light? A simple pressure switch available for free out of any junk car in the country. Or is that not fancy enough?
  4. tjm73

    tjm73 of Omicron Persei 8 S197 Team Member

    Well shit. That never occurred to me.
  5. Totheboards

    Totheboards Junior Member

  6. tjm73

    tjm73 of Omicron Persei 8 S197 Team Member

    That is a lot simpler. Didn't know such lights existed. Thanks.
  7. Gabe

    Gabe Whippled Coyote

    I just use my phone's flashlight app to see in there.
  8. tjm73

    tjm73 of Omicron Persei 8 S197 Team Member

    I just want to open the door after sundown and see whats in the mailbox. I don't want to hold a flashlight to do it.
  9. Gabe

    Gabe Whippled Coyote

    Lol. I just never thought of putting a light in there.
    My mailbox is just a regular size piece, sometimes the mail takes up most of the room in there.
  10. bujeezus

    bujeezus forum member

    What about one of those push-to-turn on led lights 3m'ed to the inside of the door.
  11. tjm73

    tjm73 of Omicron Persei 8 S197 Team Member

    Our mailbox is oversized and has an inner door.
    Gabe likes this.
  12. Macman45

    Macman45 Resident Geriatric

    Pressure switch is fine, but would most likely require screwing into both the box and the door so there's no movement. 3M tape won't be enough, the force required to activated the plunger over time will tweak it's mount I'd imagine and cause it to slip off and stay activated all the time.

    I like the magnetic reed switch for the simple fact that it doesn't even require physical contact. Like said above, 1/8". Line em up close and golden
  13. LikeabossTM

    LikeabossTM forum member

    As an aside, I just stick my hand in and feel around after dark.

    But I love surprises.
    bujeezus and Gabe like this.