Picture of Led Incense Burner

Incense adds a nice mood to a room, as does mood lighting. This instructable shows you how to modify an incense burner to subtely glow via hidden leds. The combination of light, smoke and nice smells makes for a really cool chill-out object that looks quite magical.

This project is really easy to build and is very cheap, making it a great beginners electronics project. Hence, I've written this instructable with beginners in mind. Also, the modification is done in such a way that you won't do any damange to your incense box and is easy to remove whenever you want.

I gave this incense burner to a friend of mine when he graduated. Hope you're as happy with yours as he was with his :-)

Step 1: Stuff you need

Picture of Stuff you need
1 - Box.JPG
For this project you will need:

1. An incense burning box
The type with a closing lid and holes for the smoke. You can usually pick these up in new age or fair-trade shops. This one cost around £6.00 and takes either incense sticks or cones.
2. Some square dowel
You can get this at all good hardware shops. The stuff I use in this project has a profile of around 8mm square. 1 meter cost about £1.50

3. Leds.
I used 3 green ones but this is where you get to be creative. No reason why you can't have different colours. I chose some with a wide viewing angle to get a nice distributed light.

4. A Swtich
I took mine out of a broken torch (flashlight). You want something that you can mount inside the box when the lid is closed. It also needs to lock in position (like a light switch).

5. Battery holders + Batteries
2 single AA holders provide enough power while not taking up too much space.

6. A bit of wire
To connect it all together (two different colours)

7. Heat shrink (optional, you could use tape)
To prevent short circuits

9. A bit of Tape (duct, electrical or masking tape all good)

10. An elastic band

You will require this modest selection:

1. Soldering Iron + solder
2. Super Glue
3. Pencil
4. Junior hacksaw
5. Strong safety pin / Tack
6. Helping hands / crocodile clips (optional but a great tool to have anyway)
7. Small piece of sandpaper (a file will do)
CyborgGold5 years ago
Nice idea, might I suggest instead of green LEDs to use UV LEDs... they would react with the smoke and make for a really cool effect.
Adlab (author)  CyborgGold5 years ago
Hey that's I cool suggestion and I think I have some UV leds lying around... That's my evening activity sorted then! :-)
If you got around to trying the UV, how did it work out?
Adlab (author)  CyborgGold4 years ago
Hey, I finally tried the UV led the other night.

It looked cool but it was hard to tell if the smoke was glowing more because of the UV or just being lit up by the LED. I mean, the led lights up my hand and everything else so still emits quite a bit of light in the visible spectrum.

So I'm afraid I'm not sure how it worked out.. :-/ It did look cool though so I guess you've got nothing to lose by using UV leds :-)
Adlab (author)  CyborgGold4 years ago
Not yet, I'm writing a thesis at the moment so haven't had much time to play :-( It's certainly on my to-do list and will let you know the results.
zombiefire5 years ago
aradi5 years ago
I've Got an almost Identical box NIce Idea
Very Cool. Simple, good instructions.