Picture of Easy Mood light
This is an easy way to make your own $50+ value mood light with a minimum of parts/effort/Cost and electrical or electronic experience. Even soldering can be avoided!.

Total cost could be as little as $2.

Step 1: The heart of the mood lamp

Picture of The heart of the mood lamp
The heart of the mood lamp is the colour changing light. Bright LEd systems driven by complex microprocessor systems are detailed elsewhere in instructables but this uses a commercial easily available colour changing LED from www.Rapidonline.co.uk if you are in the Uk or search fro colour changing LED or rainbow LED in Ebay or google for your country i am sure you can find them. Here they are £0.56 or so each.

The LED contains a red - Blue - Green LED and a minute microprocessor inside a standard 5mm LED package - IT IS SMALL. All you need is to apply 3 volts to the LED to make it work.
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Mmjmama2 years ago
rickharris (author)  Mmjmama2 years ago
WrshpMzshn3 years ago
If I want my circuit to contain 3 LEDs should I wire them up in series and apply 9v, or in parallel and apply 3 volts? Or am I asking the question wrong?
rickharris (author)  WrshpMzshn3 years ago
Assuming your using the same type of LED as I am then you can wire them in parallel. The ic in the LED will operate from 3 volts to 12 volts without any other components.
Thanks, Rick.
moodlight3 years ago
Very attractive. Fantastic job done, creativity with the led at its best!
rickharris (author)  moodlight3 years ago
miamimac3 years ago
I noticed that the flat/smoth sides do not glow with color. Is there another material plastic... or would colored panels work...or very lightly translutent that would radiate the color from the smooth sides
rickharris (author)  miamimac3 years ago
If you want the smooth sides to glow then the easiest way is to rough them up with fine sand paper. Then they will reflect the inner light.

LauraClaire6 years ago
This is a very nice project, I liked it so much that I am thinking about creating one for myself. Is the only way to find an LED such as this on line? And where might I find some acrylic like that? This would be a great summer project for me, thank you for the post /r
rickharris (author)  LauraClaire6 years ago
The rainbow or colour changing LEDs you can get from the internet quite easily - even ebay sometimes. You don't say where you live so try a search. The acrylic you should be able to get in your local DIY or hardware store. Or you can try begging scraps from a local sign writer. In the UK try www.rapidonline.com and B&Q
I live in the U.S. So I can probably try Ebay. I will still try a search, though, to see what I can find. If not I am sure I can ask my dad to help me find one... Thank you once again.
Both home depot and Lowes sell polycorbonate and acrylic window panes. They would be with normal glass window panes. Just cut them up into slices. A big piece cost $18, but the little ones cost about $4.

I just used some scraps from with windows installation. 5 RGB LED's (From eBay) and a plexiglass pencil holder.
PICT1713 (Large).JPGPICT1715 (Large).JPG
rickharris (author)  rcisneros3 years ago
Very cool :-) Nice.
rickharris (author)  LauraClaire6 years ago
The acrylic is clear it is only coloured by te lights. The size is about 6 inches wide, 3 inches deep and max 8 inches high. But the size can be as you want and can find the acrylic to do it. Even a single small section cut to the shape of a flame and lit by a single LED looks good.
Oh, and before i forget, about how large would you say this light is all together? It looks pretty small....
I was wondering what kind of a switch would work, because I am really new at all of this and am basically trying to teach myself so any help would be accepted! Thank you!
rickharris (author)  danmcgann1213 years ago
Any kind of on off switch will do - I used something like this 

Depending on your junk box :-) the design can be easily changed.
Thank you! Are there any instructables that you know of that can teach me some of the basics? (such as wiring a switch) Thatd be very appreciated!
foobear9 years ago
how did you cut the acrylic? what tool did you use?
Most Common tools will work including a table saw. Finer blades will help prevent chip-out and putting tap over the line to be cut. (A plywood blade would work best).
Win Guy4 years ago
Just so you know, that strip board can also be called "Perf Board" or sometimes Bread Board.
acornman4 years ago
Nice .... Just to clear up the confusion for some people, RGB led's are generally requiring an electronic circuit to energise the colours as do Bi-Colour and Tri-Colour Leds . The Leds' shown here are nearly always referred to as RAINBOW Leds and always have only two leads and as stated contain the electronics for the colour change INSIDE the led lens, and as stated they come in
different flash or change rates.
Dren4 years ago
I got really excited with this project. Instead of acrylic I used broken school material(like rulers).
I thought I would need to sand it but turns out when unsanded the mood light stays enven better!
For the base I used cardbord and wrapped in tin foil so the cardboard don't fall apart.
I was reading through all the comments and the cost of the acryllic and had an idea... Could you use old/AOL cd's either cut, whole or whatever as the "acrylic" ? I know they are not translucent, but if you used something in the base to space them a little bit, you could get a very nice effect I think. Plus reusing a very nasty bit of garbage most houses have aplenty...
That was my first idea dude. But cd's aren't as tall as acrylics pieces. The idea itself works buf the lamp would be short.
very true...but more affordable, lol
Kylearin8 years ago
How did you keep the different LEDs from assuming the same color change pattern? Is there extra circuitry underneath for that, or do they just happen to come on differently?
rickharris (author)  Kylearin8 years ago
Each LED runs off its inbuilt microprocessor - Rainbow LEDs are made like that. All you have to do is supply 3 to 6 volts. You don't even need to put a resistor in series as the IC regulates the current as well. The frequency of operation varies and if you leave it on the LEDs will run out of sync and produce different patterns automatically - Nothing very complicated here - but not expensive either. All the LEDs start at red and then go through the same colour change cycle but generally at a slightly different speed.
They would go back to the same color, and then randomize out again, but not in a very long time, because its the LCM of the time required for them to change...
Quality isn't good enough to keep them at the same rate on most RGBs. They will eventually randomize. I have a couple of hi end - super bright RGBs, they all basically blink at the same rate. That's good or bad depending on what you want to do.
Just know there are kind of three different types of RGB's you'll run into. Slow blink. Fast Blink, (IMO really annoying) and Slow than Fast (Still annoying.)

Also you'll probably want to find RBG's in the 5000mcd (brightness) range. Beware of 2200mcd's and such as they are pretty dim.
I was wondering the same thing...
how the led connected?? Series with the battery?
rickharris (author)  biswasprateek6 years ago
in Parallel - these rainbow LEDs have an integrated circuited in the led to control the colour change so they can be connected direct to a battery (3 to 6 volts) - They are connected all negative side together to the negative of the battery.
n33r6 years ago
Hey Awesome Idea!! I Wish I Didnt Throw All The Glass Strips I Had Can U Pls Post Video Of It PLssss!
rickharris (author)  n33r6 years ago

Here is a video of a simpler lamp using the same LED. - (sorry for the audio).

and some pictures showing the simplicity of its construction.

rickharris (author)  n33r6 years ago
Owing to a hard drive crash (back up NOW - it's important) I lost the only video of the lamp and sadly it was taken apart for another project BUT I have a smaller similiar thing I can put up - Watch this space in a day or so.
andrew937 years ago
you're right. but for better results, apply 4.5 V .LEDs were made to work on that voltage
Yes and no. Check the specs for the best voltage.
guyfrom7up7 years ago
I bought 10x 5mm and 10x 3mm on ebay for 10 dollars including shipping, just so you all know
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