Introduction: Give Your Bed Underglow!

Picture of Give Your Bed Underglow!

In this Instructable, I'll be explaining how to make your bed look awesome with RGB LEDs. The ones I got are remote controlled, they have different options such as fading or flashing, and they are very inexpensive.
Recently there was a sale on for a 5 meter long, remote controlled LED strip. It was a great deal, so I bought one. I didn't have any plans in mind for what I should do with it.
Two separate events caused me to come up with Bed Underglow. First, I saw a car drive by at night and it had some sort of lighting underneath, which looked cool. Secondly, I have a clear plastic dragonfly with an RGB LED that slowly fades and changes colour. It is currently beside my bed to help me calm down when I'm in bed. Then the idea came to me; I should line the perimeter of my bed with the LED strip and give my bed "underglow" lighting!

Also: If you like this project, as many people seem to, feel free to follow me on Twitter for more projects and casual tech stuff.

Step 1: Purchase an LED Strip

Picture of Purchase an LED Strip

First you need to measure the perimeter of your bed. I sleep in a single bed, and it is up against a wall, so I only needed enough to cover three sides. This meant that a single 5 meter strip was enough for me. If you sleep in a double, queen, or king, you will obviously need more.
The strip I ordered is a great one, and I bought it here:
It can be cut, so if your bed requires more than five meters, but not exactly ten, you can buy two spools and then trim some off and use the leftover for another project. The spools can be plugged into each other as well. They recommend not plugging in more than two spools into each other because the controller can't supply enough power for more than two.
Once again, the LED strip I used is the least expensive one I could find and you can buy it here:

Step 2: Get a Power Supply

Picture of Get a Power Supply

You will need a 12v DC power supply that can deliver at least 2 amps for a single 5m strip, or 4 amps for two 5m strips. I used a power adapter from a speaker, but I also considered using a 12v lead-acid battery. Both will work. The LED strip kit comes with a barrel jack that you can solder to your power supply, but the power adapter I had already had a barrel jack.

Step 3: Line the Perimeter of Your Bed

Picture of Line the Perimeter of Your Bed

Now peel off the wax paper to reveal the adhesive, and stick the LED strip around the underside of your bed. The adhesive won't stick well to fabric so you will have to put it on wood or metal. My bed's foundation has a wooden frame, which the strip stuck to easily. To get around corners, bend it like shown in the picture so the strip points out in the direction of the bend. I found that staples helped hold on the strip in the corners, but be sure to gently hammer the staples in manually, if you use a staple gun it can crush the LEDs.

Step 4: Attach the Controller Somewhere

Picture of Attach the Controller Somewhere

The little white box with two cables coming out is the controller, and it will have to be placed on the bed close to the start of the LED strip. I attached mine to the side of my bed where I have a night table, so it can't be seen. However the infrared receiver is sticking out so it can still get signals from the remote. There are holes in the controller so it can be attached with screws, but I didn't want to permanently ruin any part of my bed so I just used duct tape. And it's camouflage duct tape so you can't really see it...

Step 5: Plug It All In

Connecting everything is simple. Just plug your power adapter into the white box, and connect the LED strip to the white box. There is an arrow on the plug from the white box and an arrow on the plug from the strip. Make sure these line up.

Step 6: Turn on the Lights and Relax!

Picture of Turn on the Lights and Relax!

The Underglow looks amazing in the dark. You can set it to slowly fade between 7 colours when your falling asleep, or set it to a dim white to use as a night light. Or if you're just relaxing in the middle of the day, set it to whatever colour you like. Just looking at the strip directly it will appear to only make red, blue, or green. But when it is shining onto something from a short distance, such as the floor under your bed, the red, green, and blue combine to create any colour you like.
I especially like turning mine to a bright, light blue, because it makes it seem like there's a nuclear reactor under my bed...

Step 7: Bonus: Add Timer

Picture of Bonus: Add Timer

After making this Instructable, I realized it was rather inconvenient having to turn it off before going to bed. Ideally I would have it run as I fall asleep, and then turn off after a certain amount of time. So I decided a quick fix for this problem would be to get a mechanical outlet timer. I looked online and ended up ordering one from the same place I got the LED strip, The timer I got is nice because you can have as many "on" or "off" times as you want, and each "on" time must be at least 15 minutes. The timer also has a switch to bypass the timer and just turn it on, which is nice if I want it on at a time but don't want that time to be regularly programmed daily. Currently it is programmed to be on for 45 minutes around when I go to bed, so it's on as soon as I enter my room and stays on until shortly after I've fallen asleep. It also comes on at 6:15 and stays on until 6:45. This is because I wake up at 6:30 for school, so it's on when I wake up. It's amazing how much easier it is to wake up early with the calm lighting. It also prevents me fro having to turn on my bright bed side lamp, which is too bright when you have just woken up.
If you want to buy the timer, it can be found here for a low cost:


Linkin_J_Knex (author)2015-10-09

woah that's so so cool! too bad I have a bunk bed :(

DenethS (author)Linkin_J_Knex2017-03-12

Its one also a bunk bed ...its okay try it...try try try.... someday u will fly

DenethS made it! (author)2017-03-12

Its awesome ....simple.....stylish...u can make it simply like i did .. TRY IT NOW....

mschicago27 (author)2016-11-22


Lolwhatever112 (author)2015-10-21

And if so what store

Lolwhatever112 (author)2015-10-21

And if so what store

Lolwhatever112 (author)2015-10-21

Is there anyway i can get them at a store and not online

Caleb Smolenaars (author)2015-08-21

I love my Underglow! I didn't make it but my brother Liam.great98 made it for me

kylie.kulon (author)2015-01-27

Ordered my LEDs from Banggood's US warehouse for 4$ extra and came in about a week. I was worried the adhesive wouldn't be strong enough, but the strip stuck on my metal bed frame perfectly. I also used an old stereo adapter for the power supply. Great instructable for people who want awesome lights under their bed without having to reinvent the wheel. Thanks a bunch!

Jakonator (author)2014-12-07


Jakonator (author)2014-12-06

What other ways could the lights be powered?

LiamOSM (author)Jakonator2014-12-06

Hamster running in a wheel? Lol. I have a bunch of 12Ah sla batteries that I use to power it sometimes. But for my purposes, the wall power supply is the way to go.

tch180 (author)2014-05-31

I did make it still have yet to take a picture but my 4 yr loves it, its the coolest thing to her, thanks !!!

cracker jacker (author)2014-05-22

you can find them on amazon also if anybody was wondering and there cheap there too

cleggett1 (author)2014-05-15

bed looks Amazing!!! thanks Dude :D best place to get your LEDs from is Ebay, for future reference, dirt cheap and work brilliantly :D

fatdevil1982 (author)2014-03-18

I ordered everything, but it looks like I have two female ends for my lights. How do I fix this?

LiamOSM (author)fatdevil19822014-04-09

Order this, it is a male to male plug that will fit the LED strip. It comes with 10 pieces, but it’s still great for the price.

fatdevil1982 (author)LiamOSM2014-05-02

never mind. I found a double male piece that attaches the two female ends at the bottom of the bag. My daughter now has LED under glow for her loft bed.

LiamOSM (author)fatdevil19822014-04-09

The LED strip *should* have a male and female end. If I were you, I’d email and tell them your order number, and they’ll likely send a new one. Or, if you would rather fix it yourself, buy a male to male connector.

Cyncha227 (author)2014-03-31

Hi Liam! O.K., so I'm really slow to action, but I'm still really in love with this. I was doing some measuring and it seems that 5 Meters that the strips are sold in (for$13.99 each) are just a bit short for all the way around the underside of a twin bed. My reaction is to just make the perimeter "circle" a bit smaller. Am I visualizing and measuring correctly, or did you find 5 meters a bit on the short side too? Looking forward to "playing" with the remote to get different colors. Thank you!

LiamOSM (author)Cyncha2272014-04-09

5 meters was about 50 cm too short for me too. However, my bed is up against a wall so I just made the 50 cm section without LEDs on the side that faces the wall. You can’t even tell that it’s short. If your bed isn’t against a wall, or if you just want full coverage, you can buy short sections of LED strip from Banggood and solder this to the end. Of, if this is possible, just decrease the “circle”, as you suggested. The suggested power adapter is more than enough to handle an extra 50 cm.

bradk3 made it! (author)2014-02-27

I loved this idea so much that I made it for my 7 year old daughter, and she couldn't be happier!

Inspired by your project, I was able to hack the strip to add a motion sensor and microprocessor so that it can turn on and off automatically. Check out my Instructable here:

Thanks so much for the great idea!

LiamOSM (author)bradk32014-04-09

That looks great. I’ll try that after I get a spare controller, just in case something gets busted. I added a timer to mine, so it’s on when I wake up and go to sleep. It really makes getting up at 6:00 nicer…

ruviwije made it! (author)2014-01-29

Great idea and an easy build- thanks you! I ordered from the recommended vendor and it took about 4 weeks to deliver. Goods came in as promised. There is an option for $6 more to get it shipped from the US warehouse - I assume that will be significantly quicker.

The "directions" that came with the set were in 2pt font size and were on a piece of paper smaller than a playing card. No useful info at all. Thankfully this thread had info on how many amps were needed, etc.

An added benefit not stated previously is the the purple light melts any Monsters that hide under the bed ;) This eliminated a problem that started after my daughter started reading Calvin and Hobbes. Or perhaps it was after watching Monsters Inc.

LiamOSM (author)ruviwije2014-04-09

That looks great. Recently I installed it under my brother’s bed for his Birthday. 2 down, 1 to go, now it’s just my parents’ bed that needs it…

Fisherplay (author)2014-02-06

una pregunta ya que soy nuevo en esto de utilizar los LED por no decir otra cosa :I el mando a distancia viene con ellos?.Agradecería que contestara lo mas rápido posible y lo felicito por el trabaja :) (bueno para q no me salgas insultan o divulgando, soy joven así q no entiendo algunas o cosas)

jhaney1 (author)2014-01-31

Oops, spoke 4 days too soon. Banggood finally came through. Got my led strip today. Took a little more than a month, but everything works and looks great. Thanks for a cool instructable. My bedroom looks like a disco now. lol

LiamOSM (author)jhaney12014-02-04

Awesome. Banggood is great because there's free shipping and everything is so cheap. It just takes forever. I'm currently a month in waiting for another Banggood order.

jhaney1 (author)2014-01-27

I ordered from the link provided one month ago. The website says my order shipped just a day after I ordered, but I haven't received anything. I guess that's $14 gone. :-/. Be ware ordering from banggood. I'll just stick to amazon from now on.

nolan79 (author)2014-01-12

This looks really cool totally voting for u

aury (author)2014-01-12

so awesome ive already done it and it looks really cool really impressive :D

hardy1812 (author)2014-01-12

wow looks awesome,,,getting new beds for my two lads so this will be a defo to-do for em,,,thxs for the how to guide,,,,just need to buy the led kits,,,,will have a look on fleabay

XzTS (author)2014-01-11

oh man, this looks fun. I might try it after college if I have time.

rogueleadr (author)2014-01-09

Question: How do you program the "DIY" parts of the remote control? Mine came without any documentation whatsoever.

LiamOSM (author)rogueleadr2014-01-09

Excellent question. That took me a while to figure out. The DIY buttons are for making really specific colours. I find it useless because there are already so many colour options. But to program, you press a DIY key, then use the six arrow keys to inscrease or decrease the red, green, and blue. Then it will save that colour for you. Basically it's like a bookmark, or a favourite button.

FlyinHigh (author)2014-01-08

And thanks for the idea and compliments!

FlyinHigh (author)2014-01-08

I actually ordered them from amazon. I bought 2 rolls @ $14 a piece I think. I ordered a controller seperately and also a power adapter. I ordered them Saturday with free shipping and they arrived Tuesday so I was surprised lol.

Cyncha227 (author)2014-01-05

Great Liam! This I may do for my son. I have an assortment of power adapters like you show in your components picture. Do you think any one of these would work as long as they were 2 Amps for a 5 meter length, or 4 Amps for two of the 5 M strips? Not sure about the connector sizes and if they would work though. I have seen cars with the glowing undersides, and thought they looked pretty nice. Thanks!

LiamOSM (author)Cyncha2272014-01-08

Thanks, glad you like it! 2 Amps should be fine, the package is a little confusing saying each colour can draw 2 amps so you need a 6 amp supply (for the three colours), but on the website the power adapter the sell optionally to go with it is only 2 amp. And I run mine off a 1.5 amp adapter. So All I can say is you need at least 1.5 amps for 5 meters. 4 amps should be fine for 10 meters.

huskerland3 (author)2014-01-02

Good job. I wonder if you could hook it up to blink when the alarm goes off

LiamOSM (author)huskerland32014-01-02

Thanks! I suppose you could, it's pretty easy to mod. There are four wires from the controller. Red, blue, green, and ground. So you could easily set an arduino timer to interrupt the ground.

Legoman132 (author)LiamOSM2014-01-05

If you are using one of the IR remotes with the LED strip, an IR LED attached to an arduino is a very easy way to get control of the lights with few extra parts and wiring. shows an example of an arduino simulating the simpler APA1616 24 button remote. If you search around for the model of remote you have, you might find that someone already has reverse-engineered the protocol for it, and if not there are plenty of examples out there on how to capture the IR codes for yourself with an IR receiver. The IR control method also works great with my raspberry pi and LED strips using LIRC.

LiamOSM (author)Legoman1322014-01-08

Interesting idea. I was envisioning a system where the Arduino interrupts the actual connection between the strip and the controller, which would also allow me to control the colour with the Arduino. I’ll consider both ideas, thanks!

husamwadi (author)2014-01-05

Holy guacamole I have the exact same LED strip and bed frame,

time to NUKE it up lol!

Actually I was wondering what to do with my LED strip, I had it sitting in a box for over 5 months, this is perfect!

LiamOSM (author)husamwadi2014-01-07

Same thing happened to me, but I thought of this pretty much as soon as I got them! I love your hexacopter Instructable by the way…

husamwadi (author)LiamOSM2014-01-07

Thanks man, only took 3 centuries and 2 keyboards! I plan on making a new one soon.

Oh yeah and I voted, faved, etc etc this project.

And for the people who say "this isn't imaginative, or you didn't make anything yada yada" the fact that no one thought of this makes it an awesome instructable haha.


husamwadi (author)husamwadi2014-01-07

Turns out I don't have the same bed frame, but close enough lol!

LiamOSM (author)husamwadi2014-01-08

That looks great! That blue colour looks just like a nuclear reactor glowing pool! I did a search on Google and someone beat me to it in 2008 but they didn’t make an Instructable and the video was a little bit shaky… Oh well, first Instructable at least. Thanks for the vote!

OT4 (author)2014-01-07

This is great! I already ordered my leds!

LiamOSM (author)OT42014-01-08

Awesome! Post pictures when you’re done.

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm a teen with interests in physics, electronics, music, RC, high voltage, and MAGNETS. I enjoy taking things apart and creating unusual uses for ... More »
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