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Induction-powered LED wedding ring lights up when couple holds hands

An amazing tutorial surfaced this week, showing how one geek has proven that nerdery and romance really can go hand in hand. Ben Kokes apparently decided some time ago that a store-bought wedding ring was far too boring for his (potential) marriage, and decided to make one that had a more personal meaning. For an engineer working in inertial sensors, that meant making some very cool electronics.

The ring is a titanium band featuring LED lighting set just below the surface, but it’s not designed to give his wife a brightly shining finger all day. Rather, the LED is linked to a small coil of copper wire which, when exposed to precisely the right alternating magnetic field, produces enough current to power the LED. Set inside the ring itself, this pale light illuminates the ring’s stones from behind.

inductive LED ring transmitter

This transmitter unit stays hidden under the arm of a jacket.

The truly ingenious part of the design is the way Kokes decided to deliver the alternating current. Strapped under the arm of his suit jacket is a cleverly concealed powering unit that looks a bit like a MegaMan gun — stealthy it is not, but Kokes managed to get the bulky “transmitter” unit in place. When the two units come close enough to one another (when the couple holds hands) her wedding ring springs to life.

Carved from titanium and featuring 23 evenly spaced stones, the ring is an impressive piece even without the wireless power aspect. What’s most impressive about the tutorial is the fact that Kokes had virtually no experience in this sort of work. Being a professional engineer is presumably a good starting point, but everything from inductive power to cutting titanium was still apparently totally new to him.

The dedication on display is staggering. The website chronicles several false starts and dead ends, and funnily enough the most difficult part seems to have been boring the stone settings into the ring itself. All told, it took Kokes about 5 months and 10 prototypes to get a ring he felt comfortable presenting.

For the record, she said yes.