Introduction: LED Lights Gummy Candy. Edible + Glowing Candy!

Picture of LED Lights Gummy Candy.  Edible + Glowing Candy!

This is our Instructable on making techie Edible + Glowing LED Light Gummy Candy at SoHa SMART. We make this for people to nosh on before classes and Meetups. If you put them under a black light they glow! This is because of the ingredient Quinine which is the key ingredient found in the tonic water. We mixed tonic water instead of plain water. Use our recipe as a base and tweak it from there to make any gummy glow!

Our recipe makes approximately 120 candies

Step 1: Things You Will Need...

Picture of Things You Will Need...

We used some standard gum drop molds. Plastic candy molds and shaped ice cube trays woork too (small shapes work best).

Cooking spray

1 3-oz. package powdered Jell-O, any flavor. This also depends on what color you want you LED's to be. We used Jolly Rancher Green Apple Flavor.

7 packets gelatin, unflavored


Small saucepan

Small whisk

Wooden spoon

Useable Options:

Food Syringe

3D Printer (we used this to create the LED leads and printed in PLA which is a corn based plastic) (you could easily use 2 plastic food picks or colored toothpicks)

Blacklight bulb

Step 2: 3D Print Your LED Leads

Picture of 3D Print Your LED Leads

You can use your 3D Printer to make the leads. Here is the .STL file you will need to make them from Thingiverse.

If using plastic picks or colored tooth picks skip this step.

Step 3: Create Your Gummies...

Picture of Create Your Gummies...

1. Spray plastic candy molds generously with cooking spray. Set molds aside.

2. Use a fork or small whisk to combine powdered Jell-O and gelatin in a saucepan. With a wooden spoon, stir in tonic water. Don’t worry if it isn’t smooth.

3. Stir mixture constantly over medium heat with the wooden spoon until the powder is completely dissolved and you feel no more grit when you stir. Do not allow mixture to heat to a boil.

4. When the powder is completely dissolved, remove the pot from the heat and pour the mixture carefully into molds, being careful that the mixture does not overflow the molds.

If you have a food syringe you can utilize it now.

Step 4: Insert Your LED Leads

Picture of Insert Your LED Leads

Allow to cool completely (about 10 minutes in refrigerator or 30 hour at room temperature) and insert your leads. You might find it easier to monitor the cooling and insert your leads earlier.

Step 5: Have Fun!

Picture of Have Fun!

Unmold and enjoy!

If you have a blacklight set up make them glow!


instructable person 9 (author)2014-07-01

Quinine , 3D printing , Jello who knew!

Great instructable.

Thank you Instructable Person 9!

lucky1010 (author)2017-02-01


anna243 (author)2016-11-29

no video wtf these needs videos

The cloud 1808 (author)2016-03-11


The cloud 1808 (author)2016-03-11


carlpoppa (author)2015-08-17

Are you using resistors on each light to keep the powere from frying the LEDS?

these are EDIBLE LED's...they do not actually flow current

Icesphere (author)2014-07-01

This could be a great prank if you plant one of these on a robot or with some engineering group and just randomly pick one up and eat it the reactions would be priceless :D

gunman15 (author)Icesphere2014-07-02

what you do is mold the leads with a EDIBLE food and just eat it whole, or are the leads edible?

Robin Horsman (author)gunman152015-06-06

PLA plastic is a corn-based material that is biodegradable and used for medical implants in humans. It is safe to eat.

hey gunman15, I presume you could mold leads in sugar and use them, but it might be hard to insert them due to the gummy being warm's worth a try! These are 3D printed with PLA.

Polylactic acid. Poly(lactic acid) or polylactide (PLA) is a biodegradable thermoplastic aliphatic polyester derived from renewable resources, such as corn starch (in the United States), tapioca roots, chips or starch (mostly in Asia), or sugarcane (in the rest of the world).

Are PLA products safe to eat?
PLA products are not edible yet are generally non-toxic. Small pieces of PLA will most likely pass harmlessly through the gastrointestinal tract. Once passed through the gastrointestinal tract it will be eliminated in the stool. Please consult a doctor if pain or discomfort arises.

Coat the hard candy sugar leads with a food grade varnish and they might survive in the jello long enough to work for a prank. :)

there are other conceerns with 3D printing for food contact as well.

I do indeed like your thinking Icesphere!

fixfireleo (author)2014-07-03

you cant eat the leads can you? i wonder if there would be a way to use something that would be would be too expensive.....

They could be made from fondant or gumpaste. Paint them gold or silver with edible, food-grade colorings.

yeah but would that conduct the electricity needed to light the LED?

hamsterbot (author)fixfireleo2014-08-28

these don't light anything. It is just quinite glowing in the tonic water.

fixfireleo (author)hamsterbot2014-08-28

oh, ok. i misunderstood that part. that makes sense then. i would be cool if they did light up for real! but i'm not sure how you would work that without a power source and who want wires running thru their cake?!?

What about casting them out of sugar like they do with cake letter decorations? Might be too brittle though.

团子 (author)2014-07-25


傲风天下 (author)团子2014-07-28


thundercookie (author)2014-07-18


I love it

Ploopy (author)2014-07-08


Robibame (author)2014-07-05


thank you Robibame

Suraj Grewal (author)2014-07-05

light emitting desserts

MRCAB (author)2014-07-04

Isn't this just a bad idea? I mean, edible things-kids-shouldn't-be-eating...

Taranach (author)MRCAB2014-07-05

While I agree that it may not be the best thing to give to kids because they may try to eat the real thing without knowing any better, but I think this particular instructable is aimed at adults... or at least those of us "kids at heart" that can tell the difference between a candy and a real LED...

Ubercoder (author)2014-07-03

Stupid question here, but it's got to be asked. Do these LED's actually light up?

Light up? As in with an electrical current? NO. Tonic water will fluoresce under ultraviolet (UV) light, owing to the presence of quinine. In fact, the sensitivity of quinine to UV is such that it will appear visibly fluorescent in direct sunlight.

Thanks for clarifying that, I was about to question my understanding of physics and start a major googling session on led's and 3D printing... :\

Darthorso (author)2014-07-04

There are two things that my girlfriend certainly loves: LED lights and candy.

I think she will freak out like a drunk berserker if I show her this guide XD

medicontherun (author)Darthorso2014-07-04

sorry but i couldn't help myself, you've got an awesome girlfriend hahahaha :)

would be nice if my girlfriend allowed me to tinker as much as i wanted :(

That being said this is an awesome instructible!! i don't like candies but this will most definitely change my view on it

Darthorso (author)medicontherun2014-07-04

Ahahah yes she is ;) You should craft as much as you want, if your gf don't let you do so, throw her this candy! ;D Just kidding ;) Or maybe not...

amandaghassaei (author)2014-07-03

these are freakin adorable!!!

thank you amandaghassaei!

Chain N Sprocket (author)2014-07-03

Looks like fun!

thanks Chain N Sprocket!

Ricardo Furioso (author)2014-07-03

Thank you. The ingenuity and originality of the Instructables community is constantly both amazing and inspiring.
I may never ever make these.

But I'm so glad you not only did it, but took the time to photograph, describe, and post it.
Please keep doing so.
I think of Instructables as the Wikipedia of DIY.
And I am sure that Wikipedia is the highest achievement of mankind.

Thank you again.


Thanks Ricardo!

KyleTheCreator (author)2014-07-02

Ingenious! The LED lead frame looks very realistic! You could also use this same technique to make tasty LED popsicles. Yummy summer treat! Thanks for sharing:)

goldlego (author)2014-07-01

Those look just like LEDs! That's incredible!

Fun right! Thank you goldlego!

CurtosNoirDesign (author)2014-07-01

This is such a great idea! Love it

Thank you CurtosNoirDesign!

Constructed (author)2014-06-30

These are so cool!

Thank you Constructed

doodlecraft (author)2014-06-30

Wow nice! I don't know if I'd dare eat them...but they are super cool! :)

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