This is a very simple instructable that even an expert with LEDs could enjoy. I guess you could call this a lavalamp, but without all the glowing blobs of stuff. It is pretty bright, and is fun for any night party, or just a nice room decoration. Not too expensive, just an LED, some button cell batteries, and two styrofoam cups. You can get a pack of 20 assorted LEDs at Radioshack pretty cheap.

You'll have to trust me here that it is much brighter in real life.

Step 1: Light Your LED!

To light up your LED, take your two batteries, put them positive to negative, and then take the longer wire of the LED (this is called the anode) and put it to the positive side of the battery. Next, take the cathode (shorter wire) and connect it to the negative side of the battery. Then, tape it together so the LED stays lit.

This is the finished LED, when it is lit.

Step 2: Make the Lavalamp!

Put the LED in the styrofoam cup, then the other on top. The first picture is it in the cup and second is how you put it on top. The second picture is the same one on the introduction.

Step 3: The Simplest Step

Shut the lights off. Oh my, we are finished here. These were very simple steps.

Your finished product hopefully looks like this.
Alright. No offense, man, but I should tell you how a lava lamp works. Basically whats in the lava lamp is wax and water. There's a light at the bottom, which lights up the lamp. This also heats up the wax. As the wax heats up, it gets lighter. As it gets lighter, it floats to the top. Then, it hardens just enough at the top to sink again. As I said, no offense to your idea. But maybe you could take this info and make a real lava lamp.
1'st it's not a lava lamp 2'nd there's no such thing as a "led expert" it's pretty cool (cause it's simple) tho'
couldn't you wire up a switch or something so it would work better?
I picked up an old fake Christmas tree my mom was throwing away. I thought, "why not use it?" so I made it light up. with usb power. but I didn't like it because I didn't have any leds, so I was using incandescent christmas bulbs. so I ordered resistors and lights off ebay. woohoo!
I like the soft glow of it... You could take a string of Christmas light and cover each of the LED bulbs with the cups and voila! A patio summer string! You litteraly inspired me!
Pretty cool, I might try this sometime, thanks. xD
Yes, I too was thinking it almost a lamp. Here is a simple way to fix the problem. Hold the motor horizantally. Attatch the glowing LED to the motor so the LED is vertical. then, simply attatch the motor to whatever voltage that motor has. Then, fit the motor in the cup so the LED is spinning vertically in a circular motion. you may want it to be spinning slow, or fast, but i would prefer slower. I would have added this, but couldn't go to Radioshack, and forgot to write it in my Instructable.
Lavalamps consist of large wax blobs moving from bottom to top. To even be anything remotely close to a lava lamp, I would use some sort of an IC to create a pattern that would cause them to fade up and down. Don't worry, I wouldn't know how to do this either. As for the lights, you would have a much better effect if you merely hot-glued or taped all of them around the inside of the cup, say, on those ridges for instante, then lined the rim with bare metal, split in half. That way, when you closed the two halves, they would turn on, and when you were done, you could pull it apart, and they would turn off.
How long do the batteries last?
get better pictures please, this seams like more of a lamp than a lava lamp.
I decided to do this instructable because LEDs are getting pretty popular, so I thought I'd do one of my own LED projects.

About This Instructable




More by Castle Seige:Origami transforming star and frisbee LED lavalamp 
Add instructable to: