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Turn an ordinary umbrella into something whimsical and magical. The Electric Umbrella will glow with many pinpoints of light. Carry the sun and the stars with you at night! Perfect for night-time strolls through the countryside or just being silly. And it's dimmer adjustable so you can set how bright you want to be - anywhere from dim ambient light for strolling in the dark to carrying your own portable supernova beacon of light!

Step 1: What You Need

The things that you need may be found through some combination of local stores, electronics parts shops, online and scrounging parts from old electronic junk you may have lying around.

Parts & Equipment:

-One umbrella, preferably light colored (I picked yellow), with a straight handle and with a hollow shaft so that you may pass wires through it. It is very important that the umbrella be simple - none of that spring loaded-automatic stuff! You want the shaft to be hollow.

-64 SMD (surface mount) LEDs in your color of choice. The actual size does not matter except that smaller will look more invisible (preferable) but will be more difficult to work with. I used size 805 (2mm wide) 3.5V white LEDs. White, blue, UV & some greens require 3.5 Volts and won't require additional resistors on each LED, but 1.8V LEDs (red, yellow, green) do (more trouble!)

-A spool of thin single strand, lacquered copper wire. Thin enough to be almost invisible against the umbrella, but thick enough to withstand the occasional stresses/snags. This is what the SMD LEDs will be soldered onto.

-3AA battery holder, preferably compact and arranged in an L shape, as the batteries will have to lie over the umbrella's shaft. 3AAA batteries would work well too, and are more compact, but won't last as long.

-Normal plastic coated multi-strand copper wire, preferably the kind that will not break easily after repeated flexing.

-One 750 Ohm variable resistor with built-in on/off switch for dimming and turning the umbrella on & off.

-Needle and thread (of the same color as the umbrella)

-Solder and Soldering iron/gun

-Wire cutters, wire strippers, scissors, x-acto knife

-Drill and drill bits

-Large board and small nails, to be used for laying out the wires and soldering the SMD LEDs onto the wires.

-Masking tape and double sided tape/carpet tape

-Clear epoxy or Glue, super-glue
<p>Hi Sockmaster!</p><p>Wow! This is an absolute marvel!</p><p>I was worried I may have made a promise I couldn't keep to my better half, until I saw this excellent effort of yours!</p><p>But I do have a couple of questions, if don't mind answering, that would be grand!</p><p>1) I don't understand how the voltage works out, I though that each LED had to have it's voltage worked out. I.E. a 1.8v LED would need 1.8v, 2 would need 3.6v, 64 would need 115.2v! Obviously, it would be impractical to have 77 batteries, but I don't get how 3 batteries has powered this array!</p><p>2) With regards the variable resistor (or volume control potentiometer, if you listen to matey below!), 750ohm seems to be like rocking horse poo! However 500ohm and 1kohm are readily available, which would be the better option?</p><p>Sorry to be a bore, but I would appreciate your time!</p><p>Cheers.</p>
<p>I would probably avoid 1.8V LEDs (usually the red, orange, yellow, yellowish-green ones) because they have a low internal resistance and would normally require a resistor on each LED (or have them wired in series). It makes things more complicated. If you wired them in sets of 4 in-series, then your battery would have to be ~7.2V (5 or 6 AAs or a 9V battery).</p><p>The 3.6V LEDs (usually green, blue, UV or white) have a higher internal resistance and are more tolerant of simply all being wired together in parallel. A 3.6V or 4.5V battery will happily light up bunch of them wired in parallel.</p><p>a 1KOhm variable resistor would be better. 500 Ohm would work too, but the 'darkest' setting would be brighter.</p>
<p>what is the Switch you use to turn it on/off and to dimm it</p>
<p>do green leds work i only found some with 3.5v and are 2mm big</p>
<p>Wow, pick up girls in the rain will be easier.. Thank you sockmaster, for this brilliant idea.</p>
<p>Can you explain the the arrangement of the wires in the central hub and how to attach the led spokes to the hub in more detail please? I am confused, sorry. Also, would you recommend twining the led spokes around the spines of the umbrella and can this be done on a foldable umbrella. Thank you! I know this comment is kind of late and I really hope you reply.</p>
It's two parallel wires, one positive and one negative, with breaks to allow connection to the strings, to which the LEDs are also connected in parallel. <br><br>Yes, you can twine the wires around the ribs instead of glue it to the fabric.<br><br>Folding umbrellas have springs in the shaft, which means you can't use them for wires. Also, you'd be putting too much stress on the wire with all the folding and shorten the life of your project.
<p>Wow! That is a great project.</p>
<p>very very creative! Awsome project</p>
<p>Awesome project! </p><p>You just gave me an idea to use the sticky LED flex strips to make a super-bright umbrella! :))</p>
<p>Sweet!</p>
Amazing!
&quot;It is very important that the umbrella be simple - none of that spring loaded-automatic stuff! You want the shaft to be hollow. &quot; <br> <br>http://www.ebay.com/itm/Solid-White-Mini-Umbrella-40-Weddings-Golf-Photo-Shoot-/180651232118?pt=US_Umbrellas&amp;hash=item2a0fa70b76 <br>Is that umbrella okay? It's an auto-open one, but I can't find any umbrellas that don't have the auto-open nowadays.
Where can I buy the Safe Mount LED lights?
your dimmer / variable voltage resistor is actually a volume control potentiometer. <br>just so people have an easier time locating a part. very cool build i want to make one myself
Also, I saw that some places offered UV LEDs. Can this be done?
Anyway you can do this with LED strips? Have you or anyone else found a way to do the multi colored one?
how to close the umbrella? . what if rain&lt; will i get shock because it will get wet
Can I buy it from you?<br>;D
When this is closed, is it a light sabre?
Yes!
It's been a while since this instructable was posted so I hope I get a reply.<br><br>What are the cons of using a darker colored umbrella? Obviously, you get less reflection of the LEDs and thus they look more like points of light rather than a flood of it but are there any other reasons?
The only cons are less reflected light, and less light passing through to the top side of the umbrella. It's simply aesthetic. I chose a light color for the first one to get the biggest/brightest impact, but I've since made a few more in different colors. One of them is a darker purplish blue and lots of people really like it. <br>
I followed the instructions and made my own umbrella :)<br><br>My Specs:<br>- size 0805 white SMD LEDs (luminous intensity: 150mcd) Got em from Harvateck. Mouser electronics works too. Most places have a minimum order of 1000 LEDs but these dont. <br>- green stick umbrella from target<br>- 500 ohm variable resistor (for dimming the lights)<br>- 9v battery (had to use a 100 ohm resistor to reduce the voltage across LEDs to the prescribed 3.3v) <br>- adhesive coated velcro to secure the battery.<br><br>Notes: I messed up the first time and bought yellow LEDs that weren't bright enough (8mcd) so i had to re-order white LEDs with a luminous intensity of 150mcd. I used size 0805 but it honestly wouldn't make much difference if you went to the next size up, 1206, which would definitely be easier to work with since they are so small. I was initially worried that the LEDs would not stand up to water but i did some tests and soaked a few of them for a couple hours and they light up great. <br><br>It was a pretty long and hard project for me considering i didnt know how to solder and had limited electronics experience but it worked out swell!
hey!! <br>put up your photos I would love to see them.<br><br>
Hey!!! thank a lot for your idea!!!<br><br>my umbrella is much easier!<br><br>olsapich@gmail.com<br><br><br>
That looks cool! Thanks for sharing a photo of it, it's great to see more of these being built.
This is a great idea. I could see this marketed with electronic control creating a light show. Also good comments here. I want to light up my bike, but this is simpler.
Super awesome! I have a 9' patio umbrella I've been wanting to light up, and this would look awesome. Maybe I'll get really ambitious and attach it to a solar trickle charger. Thanks for sharing!
You might want to mount a bug zapper near that umbrella . Cause all of the lights at night are going to attract moths and mosquitoes . So use at your own risk . Maybe you can get some citronella candles instead. :P
You could use yellow LEDs which reduce insect attraction.
Water is only conductive if it has electrolytes in it. Rain water is mostly non conductive. You should be safe.
It's people or contributors like you that make me love instructibles! Thank you for sharing your knowledge! I mean, there's lots of website with diy stuff and lots of comments posted on the projects, but here, well, without sounding snobby, I know there's a little more people who know more than the basics on things and are willing to share what they know. If this comes across snobby, I don;t mean it to be. I don't put myself in that category at all -ha! I'm just smart enough to know what I don't know! So thanks Dudleytrump, Snotty, Wakeupsilver and others who have addressed this concern and of course, the author for sharing your whatya know!
I feel the same way <br>
its realy a diff thinking!!!!!!!!!!1
pure water does not conduct electricity
:) <br>This is the shiznit. <br>I want to marry someone like you.
once you take the umbrella in rain &quot;BOOM&quot; THERE WILL BE A SHORT CIRCUIT. and everything will become dark?
No this looks like a DC voltage project and as far as I know it will be pretty resilient to water. Water sump pumps run on DC motors for this reason.
DEAR FRIEND, <br> <br>KINDLY CONFIRM WHETHER THUNDER WILL AFFECT THE PERSON WHO IS USING THIS UMBRELLA ?
I am confused!?! Why would thunder affect someone using this umbrella? Thunder is just sound...<br><br>Perhaps you mean would lightning have any effect? No more effect to the umbrella carrier than if the umbrella did not have this enhancement.
Tengo una duda. &iquest;No se estropea la tela del paraguas con el calor de los leds?<br>Gracias.
Los LED no radian mucho calor :) Saludos, es grato encontrar alguien que escriba en espa&ntilde;ol jajaja
Muchas gracias luis.<br>Un saludo desde Espa&ntilde;a.
Seems awfully dangerous to be taking an electrical device like this out in the rain. Aren't you running a significant risk of getting zapped if it gets wet in the wrong places???
It's run by two AA batteries. They couldn't zap you.
I was taught that electricity + water is always a bad equation. That's why everybody gets out of the swimming pool when there's a thunderstorm.
2 AA batteries 3V DC max <br>Lighting estimated average Voltage 100,000,000 <br>Just a little bit of a difference besides it not the voltage that normally kills you it's the Amperage <br> <br>Chance of injury from 2 AA batteries only if you eat them
Sorry if I'm having a hard time keeping up with this conversation. I certainly didn't mean for anything I posted to give the impression that I might be going to eat the batteries. Surely everyone knows that the lead in batteries is quite toxic. I'm not an expert, but I'm guessing you'd have to eat a lot of paint chips to get the same lead dosage as a single AA battery.
I actually don't think there's any lead in AA batteries. Still keep them out of your plastic mouth though Mr. Potato Head.

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