This isa project that I made for my wood working class. It was designed to look good whilst remaining simple interms of electronics and physical design.
It uses automatic fading leds, this saves time and money as a microcontroller would cost more and would require programming and a driver to be made.
The chassis consists of a 18mm birch ply body. This body has a hole milled out in the centre, along with a ledge for the acrylic panel to sit on. The leds are hot glued in some 3mm perf board and all 48 led's, with a resistor, are soldered in parallel. This goes to a cheap 5 - 12V ac adapter to power it. An MDF draw was made to fit inside, this allows the unit to be used as a bed side table. It is rased from the ground via 2 custom made, steel box section, u-shaped legs.