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