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Engineer crafts induction-powered LED ring for love

It took months of painstaking research and development for an engineer to build a light-up ring for his fiance that activates when he's nearby.

Ring lighting up
Here's the light-up ring lighting up. Ben Kokes/Enfinicorp

Engineer Ben Kokes is a lot of things. He's an outdoor enthusiast. He's a Bronco mechanic. He's a tinkerer who builds electronic gadgets for fun. He's also in love.

I'll let him tell his story in his own words: "Once upon a time, a boy met a girl. Then a short amount of time later, the boy decided to design and build a ring for the girl, because doing things in the most complicated way possible is just what he does to show the love." To that end, Kokes made a ring. But not just any ring. It's a titanium ring with internal illumination.

Specifically, Kokes embedded an LED and copper coil assembly inside the custom ring. It lights up when it's in close proximity to an induced alternating magnetic field, more simply known as a transmitter. Kokes wears this transmitter around his arm, and whenever his loved one is near, her ring lights up from beneath the stones.

It's much easier to talk about this ring than it was for Kokes to build it. His exhaustive project page goes into the trials, tribulations, failures, and triumphs of the build. It's a spectacular show of dedication and maker ingenuity. He could have just popped down to Zales, but instead he started with a bar of titanium, carved out the ring, and carefully embedded the internal components that make it light up.

Kokes started the build in January of this year and finally presented the ring to his fiance in May. The ring he gave her was version 10. The other nine didn't survive the testing and experimenting.

The ring ended up making quite an impression. "So, the original plan was to present this ring to the girl, then take her to a professional jeweler the next day to pick out something more permanent. Well, she insists that I change the design on this ring to make it more permanent and forgo a professionally made ring," Kokes writes. Sounds like these two are going to have a long and happy marriage.

Armband transmitter
This armband transmitter triggers the ring to light up. Ben Kokes/Enfinicorp