Picture of Convert Square LED Arcade Buttons to RGB
So, I see you sitting there saying to yourself: "Self, I sure would like me some nice and clicky buttons. But (with expensive exceptions) they all seem to be just one stinkin' color!" 

Well, that's until now!

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Step 1: Parts

Picture of Parts
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I made this with a button I got from Adafruit, but I would imagine the concept would carry to most large arcade buttons:
LED Illuminated Pushbutton - 30mm Square

Also, I got my RGB LED's from Adafruit. Any 5mm RGB should work, but I strongly suggest you get diffused because otherwise you'll get a pretty evident "hotspot" on the button face.
Diffused RGB 5mm LEDs

Also, and this is pretty important, the wires I used are 26GA, I think much larger and this trick may not work.

Step 2: Wiring up the RGB LED

Picture of Wiring up the RGB LED
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First, you'll want to trim back the leads on the LED, make sure you leave the longest lead (the anode) longer than the others. Also, in most cases, the order of the leads are 1. Red, 2. Anode (longest), 3. Green (I used yellow wire) 4. Blue.

Second, solder the wires to the leads. 

Next, slide the respective shrink tubing up against the LED. The length of these need to be as little as you can get away with. This is because if it's too long, the LED will stand too proud, and may restrict the movement of the button, along with not looking very diffused.

After shrinking the individual leads, slide a large shrink tube against the LED and shrink away (again, make as short as you can get away with).

Step 3: Disassemble Button

Picture of Disassemble Button
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Take apart button. The black LED holder (pictured above) can be discarded. 

Next, get the LED connector assembly (white with brass tabs, pictured), and pop those brass tabs off. 

The area where those tabs were are going to make the space for the wires.

dtontchev1 year ago
(y) Great Idea!