Pump Up the Volume Middle Finger Light

Project Status: Complete

I love Pump Up the Volume…. I want the middle finger light to go above my work desk. I think I can do it easily enough with a USB LED bulb thingy as I have a load spare.

Here are a load of images I stole off YouTube clips…

It doesn’t seem to have a switch in the film, there appears to be a separate switch attached to one of the mixers who’s sole function is to turn this light on!

I think I’m going to skip this and have a small box with multiple switches for various different lights.

There are also a bunch of other lights …

There are a few scenes where the ‘No’ is covered over but it would be cool to have the ‘No’ and ‘Vacancies’ on different switches.

This one needs to be made as well but possible with the a separate switch so that I have a single control panel for the different lights.

I have no idea what this is but it is awesome and I want it!

Possible tattoo ideas?

On with the Build

If I base everything around 5v USB then I can chop and change as I want. It seems like I’m using 5v USB connectors wherever I can. I don’t like attaching trailing leads to projects, I much prefer mounting sockets and removable cables as you can then swap out cables for different types/styles/lengths of cable.

These are the type of lights I’m going to use. Look for USB light on aliexpress / ebay to find them, they are cheap!


I’ve decided that my control box / switches are going to be in a separate case like the film but I’m not sticking to the film and I want to control multiple lights from one box.

These are the switches that I am going with. They are chunky, overkill, satisfying and I love them! I periodically buy handfuls of them as they find their way into various projects.

As always I do a rough sketch / sanity check before I do anything else.

I might add an LED to the switch box to show if the switch box has power.

So the switch box has now morphed into this….

That is pretty much finished so back to this! I was going to make a rough first draft as we are in lockdown due to COVID-19 and I can’t get parts but I just kept going…

The slot is cut for a chunk of perspex but I didn’t have any… what I did have was a plastic milk bottle that I cut up.

…and then traced the image on straight off the screen of my laptop…

Painted the box red and finished the wiring. I went for the dimmest of the lights in the end as they were so bright. I even had to bounce the light off the back of the box as it was too bright shining straight out.

The camera can’t show the light and the image on the screen but in person it comes out fine!


  • I should really go back and tidy up the edges of the of the inside of the front plate.
  • The switch and USB port should also be nicer mounted on a metal panel on the side of the box. The wood is quite thick making it difficult for a clean mount. I also need to get a bunch of better surface mount USB ports.