Instructables
Picture of DIY Funky Nightlight: The 4x4x4 LED Cube
This was actually an old project I did. My own version of the popular LED cube. Anyway, if you have plenty of time and you're crazy enough to do this simple-looking yet complicated nightlight project, you may choose to follow my tutorial -- but there are tons of comprehensive online LED Cube tutorials out there.
 
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Step 1: WHAT YOU NEED?

1) 64 pcs. LED (Blue) - I decided to create a 4x4x4 for the mean time because I don't quite have the budget to do anything more than the 4x4x4. 64 pieces of LEDs cost me around $8, Blue LEDs are a little expensive than Green, Red and Yellow obviously because Blue and White LEDs have more demands than the rest of available colored LEDs.

2) 64 pcs. Resistors - Although I was not able to acquire and connect resistors to my 4x4x4 LED Cube, it is advisable to connect resistor to each LED. You can use this site to compute for the resistance value. You can also use 16 resistors instead of 64 and connect them to the wires which will be directed to the I/O pins. 64 is just way too much work.

3) Arduino Duemilanove - The main brain of your nightlight. The one responsible for controlling the light sequence. You can use any model of Arduino, mainly depends on what you prefer but this is the only model of Arduino available in my place as of the moment. Moreover, when buying a microcontroller like this, it usually comes with a CD which contains your uploading software, bootstrap and driver for your MCU. However, if you didn't receive any CD, you can always download everything from the Arduino website.

4) Craft Metal Wire - If LEDs are the heart, Arduino the brain, your metal wire is like the spinal of the 4x4x4 LED cube. This metal wire is the one responsible for holding everything together and most importantly, the medium to allow current to flow to your LEDs. Try acquiring the thinnest craft metal wire in the market. As much as possible the one which is easily bendable. I got mine under $3 at Ace Hardware store.

Other Materials:

- Soldering gun/iron
- Soldering lead
- Solid wires
- Pliers and cutters
- Measuring material
- Board marker / pencil
- Illustration board
- Fine sand paper (400 grit)
- Scotch tape
- Glue gun
- Glue stick
- Screws and nuts
- Screwdrivers
Hi i was just wondering for some more information on where to connect each wire to on the Arduino? Im a bit confused :)
vishalapr2 years ago
Nice ible :) But I have a question...I am using these LEDs...

http://www.ebay.pl/itm/110783289032?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649#ht_1456wt_1139

I have resistors of all the values from 1 ohm to 1 mega ohm....in 10's ....
So which resistors will I need to use for those LEDs? The cube is connected to an arduino nano...

plz help :)
aekara2 years ago
Hey Great project!
I have already started making mine but i have one question
as i can see you have connected all the (--) together and that make it like you can just light up only one layer it will light all the layers but not all the leds
is there a way instead off 1 ground use 4? that way you can control each led!
thanks
Jiax2 years ago
I don't get how you connect wires to arduino. My leds will just blink as random and not in order when I use the code. 'Cause I wired them up just randomly. Which ports should I be using? There is something I do wrong, but I don't know what. Please help!
redhead18562 years ago
Hey Great job where did you get your LEDs from i'm new so I don't really know any good sites. Thanks
bkeaton3 years ago
Nice job on the cube.

You can get 100 carbon film resistors for around $2.50 on eBay. Even the tighter tolerance metal films are around that price. Free shipping too.

Isn't the cube kinda bright for a night light? I built a 4x4x4 with diffused blue 5mm leds and it's really bright. I started hand sanding them, but quickly switched to my Dremel which made the job much easier. You could easily control the brightness with higher value resistors or you could cover the cube with something.
bkeaton bkeaton3 years ago

BTW, if you're interested in seeing my cube projects, go here  http://www.instructables.com/id/My-8x8x8-LED-Cube/?comments=all#CA7NC8WGRFN1I05
veeectorm3 years ago
Question, wouldn't you need resistors for those leds instead of driving them directly from the arduino pins?
rmagtibay3 years ago
Ma'am that's cool!!! hahahaha!!!
zazenergy3 years ago
Nice Job!