PinewoodLights Light Kit Contents:

PinewoodLight Kit Contents

Contents:

  • Two Bright White Headlights
  • Two Bright Red Tail Lights
  • Circuit Board
  • Lithium Battery
  • Conducting Copper Foil Tape
  • On/Off Switch
  • Nylon Rivet
  • PinewoodLights™ Stickers 
  • Mounting Screws
  • Instructions (not shown)
Completed PinewoodLights Circuit Board PinewoodLights are Optimal for Pinewood Derby Cars

Circuit Board

  • Length: 1 7/8 inches
  • Width: 1 inch
  • Height: < 1/4 inch
  • Weight: 8 gms
  • (0.28 ounces)

Pre-Wired Lights

  • Performance
  • Battery 20-30 hrs
  • Lights 20,000 hrs
  • Red Wires:positive
  • Blue Wires:negative

No Lights: The battery may be dead – test and replace. Make sure its installed + side up. Switch may not work right – push down to flex it or add tape to the underside of the switch. Be sure the blue wires are connected to the top strip in the back and the red wires to the bottom strip. A short is another common cause. Check to see that there are no bits of tape or wire causing a short. Make sure the third tape is not touching the bottom of the battery (see assembly step 3) and that the battery is tight to the board.

Lights Always On: For sure, the switch is not working correctly. Check that no copper is bridging the gap on the front of the board (assembly step 2) and that there are no pieces of copper foil bridging the gap around the rivet hole on the switch.

Switch only works when pushing down on it: The board may be warped causing the switch to not lie flat and properly bridge the gap. Loosen the screws and push the board flat. Flex the switch so it presses down harder against the tape on the board. Screw the board down evenly with the lights on. If the lights go off, loosen that screw and tighten another until they are all snug and the lights are on.

Only 1-3 Lights on: Poor connection between copper tape and twisted wires on back of board. Press down harder on the tape around the wires or gently remove, re-twist the wires tighter and re-tape.

Flickering Lights: Probably caused by a bad switch (see above) or the third tape not holding the battery down tightly (adjust). Can be a poor connection between the twisted wires and copper foil on back of board. Press and smooth tape and/or remove and twist tighter.

Damaged Rivet: If the rivet is damaged or does not hold the switch tight to the circuit board remove it and use the spare screw in its place to hold the switch down securely.

Tape Doesn't Hold Wires Down: If the tape does not stick to board or to the other copper tape it is likely that finger oil residue on the surface is preventing it from sticking. Clean the surface with rubbing alcohol (isopropanol - Caution: Adult supervision) and the tape should hold.

Broken Wire: Occasionally the stripped end of a wire may break off during twisting. You can fix this with a pair of fingernail clippers and very, very carefully cutting into the insulation while pulling on the wire. Rotate it slowly as you work and you should be able to strip the insulation from the wire.

Replacing Battery: The battery will give 20-30 hours of light which is way more than enough for a Derby race. To replace the battery, carefully cut along the side of the tape and peel it back from the battery. Place the new battery + side up in the circle and put the tape back over the battery. Use part of the leftover copper tape to repair the cut or wrap electrical tape over the copper tape to hold the battery down. There needs to be a copper path for the electricity to flow from the + side of the battery to the red wires on the back of the board.

Design, Construction and Installation Information:

Rear quarter of the flatbed Pinewood Derby TruckPinewoodLight ™ kits are designed to teach basic information about electronics and electrical circuits. The entire first section in the instructions explain how the kit works.

9-11 year olds should be able to build the kit with very little supervision. Younger scouts may need some assistance.  The design is such that no soldering is required, however more advanced Scouts may want to try it if they have the equipment.

Installing the lights requires some woodworking tools and modifying the car may add about a half hour to the construction time. Proper planning is important.  Look over this site and watch the vidoes to ensure that your design will work with the kit.  Remember, developing new skills  is partly what the Pinewood Derby is all about.  A hand drill is helpful to route the wires internally from the lights to the underside of the car and a chisel is helpful for installing the board.

Building the circuit board should only take about 20 minutes and installing the kit a little longer but you will like the results.  

Nothing in the Pinewood Derby rules excludes the use of lights on your car but you should always check with your pack if there are any questions (send the Pinewood Derby chairman, den leader and Scoutmaster a link to this website).   Most packs consider lights a "decoration" similar to steering wheels, bumpers, engines etc... that scouts add.  However, you should keep in mind:

  1. The length of the car must be 7 inches or less. If the lights extend beyond the front or back of the car you need to cut the block shorter by about 1/8". See the Installation instructions.
  2. The weight of the car must be less than 5 ounces or 141.7 grams. PinewoodLight kits weigh only 0.28 ounces or about 8 grams. A basic Pinewood Derby car kit and a PinewoodLight kit together weigh less than 5 ounces even before carving the car.
  3. If mounted underneath the car as recommended, the circuit board and battery must be recessed into the bottom of the car so that it clears the raised center portion of the track (ie... the wheels run in grooves on the track).

Raised center of track

Reasons to Buy and Place Lights on your Pinewood Derby Car

I hope you'll purchase a set of lights, they are easy to build (no soldering required!) and look great as your car goes down the track during the race.

Although you hope your car will win you can't be sure of it. One thing you can be sure of is that everyone will be talking about how cool your car looks with PinewoodLights™.

Here are some reasons to buy...

1. You will have a great car.
2. You will learn about electronic circuits and how they work.
3. You will build your own circuit board.
4. It is fun to make and install.
5. It will certainly impress your friends and Scout leaders.
6. You can meet certain requirements (achievements, electives, pins, belt loops etc...).
7. You will help me learn about developing a business.
8. Some of the proceeds will be donated to Scouting.
9. The lights are great for reading under your blankets at night. Cool
10. College is expensive.


Pinewood Derby Racer - Cars like this are too narrow to hide the circuit board underneath.

Adding Lights to Pinewood Derby Cars is EasyKevin sells Pinewood Derby Car Lights

Hi, my name is Kevin. As a Webelos Scout I got the idea to put lights on my Pinewood Derby Car.  It came out looking great!  Then, after that race I had another idea: Why not sell light kits on the internet for other Cub Scouts?

I am now a Boy Scout and this is my seventh season selling light kits.  I hope you enjoy the Website and if you decide to purchase a kit I hope you make a really cool car.

Have Fun too!     -Kevin
P.S. Tell your friends about this website.