Night Lights

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In this activity, learners create night lights using a plastic cup, programmable PICO Cricket, tri-color LED, and sensor. Learners can decorate the outside of the night light using a permanent marker or with paper cut-outs to resemble a skyline at night, for instance. Use this activity to help learners explore PICO Crickets, sensors, and LEDs.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per student

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 18

Resource Type:


Materials List (per student)

  • A small plastic cup (for example, a nut cup, a clean cough medicine dispenser, or plastic drinking cup)
  • Sandpaper
  • Scissors or utility knife
  • Cricket
  • Tri-color LED
  • Sensor


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Computing
    • Engineering
      • Electrical Engineering
    • Technology
      • Information and Communication
  • Physical Sciences
    • Electricity and Magnetism
      • Electric Charges and Currents
      • Electric Circuits
    • Vibration and Waves
      • Light and Optics
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Invention and Innovation

Informal Categories

  • Arts and Crafts
  • Electronics


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • use mouse
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Links STEM to other topics of interest such as arts and humanities
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



Funding Source:

  • National Science Foundation, 0087813