The realisation of how much it was going to cost to buy materials had got me down, and I was fed up of reading around trying to work out a way to understand circuitry to get the costs down. I was trying to explain it all to my husband, and he just wasn't "getting" what I was trying to do, so I went to the LED throwie site to show him an example.
LED throwies don't use 1.5v batteries. They use 3v batteries, meaning you'd only need one to make the LED light up.
I did know this, but I think I'd discounted it because I couldn't find anywhere in town that sold cheap 3v batteries, whereas I'd managed to pick up a humungous stash of 1.5v ones at Ye Olde Pounde Shoppe. I quickly went onto a few wholesale type battery websites and realised that just because they were around £3-£4 in the shops, didn't mean I couldn't get them cheap. In fact, I could get them cheaper than the AG12s I'd been pricing up, and I'd be using half as many!
So off I went to my local battery shop (it isn't really a high street battery shop, that would be odd. it sells other things as well. like pens.) ready to shell out the £4 I knew the 3v battery would cost. After all, it was for a prototype. You have to have prototypes, right? There were a few to choose from, and I picked one up, and walked to the counter, and the woman in front of me was asking loads of questions about different styles of attendance registers (the shop sells those too). I waited, and the shopkeeper went and got some catalogues, and they discussed colours. I waited, and she tried to explain what her register was currently like, because she hadn't thought to bring it in with her.
I'm not the most patient person in the world, and I was getting annoyed that the shopkeeper didn't think to say "I'll just leave you with the catalogue while I serve my next customer", so when she said she didn't know what she wanted, but had a vague idea, I nearly shouted at her. Then I thought, actually, maybe I should check which of these batteries they use for LED throwies, so I know I'm getting the most suitable one, which was pretty much the same as not bringing your register. So I popped the battery back on the shelf, and left. Then I thought I'd nip next door to Another Ye Olde Pounde Shoppe, to pick up supplies for a birthday party, and lo and behold I found a pack of 8 3v batteries for £2. Well, £1.99 actually (it wasn't actually a pound shop, it's just cheap).
Digging around in my bag whilst waiting for my bus home, I pulled out an LED (I always have LEDs and batteries in my pocket or bag nowadays. I'd be handy in a powercut) and checked the throwie website for the right battery (which luckily came in the pack, because I didn't actually check that), and I popped the two together, and...let there be light! It worked!
So now I'm back on track! It all seems feasible again!
Tomorrow is the initial planning meeting for Light Night, which is where I'll find out a lot more (hopefully) about how Light Night works and what I need to be considering in my planning. Then I can put together my proposal...