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My original LED light cube got allot of reactions. Some of them where about making the LED's react to music. This did sound very interesting and I found some instructables on here.
Unfortunately I found it very hard to understand those instructables. In my opinion they weren't explained well enough and even some circuits weren't correct.

That's why I though I build one and make an instructable of it. I tried to make this instructable so easy, that everyone with or without any experience can make one!

If you make one, don't forget to share your end result photos and movies with us.

Below you'll see the end result of my Music LED Light Box.

The movie is shot with my Canon Digital Camera, in the dark. My camera can't handle the fast switching between light and dark very well. In reality the effect is even nicer then on the video.



Before people go asking who's music or what songs these are in this video, these beats are made by my brother.  :)
You can visit his website www.motabeatz.com or  YouTube channel for more information and songs.

Step 1: Materials & Tools

To make this Music LED Light Box you can use many different things and build it different ways.
In this instructable I'll explain how I made it, a very simple way.

Materials
- 12v Adapter (a battery can be used as well)
- 3.5 jack headphone cable.
- tip31 transistor (this is the key to the whole project) - $0.50
- 5mm LED's (the color or amount is totally up to you, 1 LED per 3v. I used 12v, so 4 LEDs) - $0.28
- A4 acrylic sheet - 3mm thick (also known as 'plexiglass') - $2.00
- Fine sandpaper (I used 400) - $1.00
- Electrical Wire

If you see a price above, that means I bought it. The rest I just ripped of some old junk. The 12v Adapter was from an old wireless headphone and the 3.5 jack plug is from another old headphone.

Tools
- Jigsaw (also a Jeweler Saw can be used. But that's really hard to get straight lines)
- Glue Gun (hot glue, other glue to glue acrylic is possible)
- Drilling tool
- Solder tool (optional)
- Pen

Ones you've got this stuff you're ready to begin!


Step 2: Preparing the box

From the acrylic sheet we're going to build the box.

1. Draw out the plates for the box on the acrylic sheet (photo 1). My longer plates are 15cm x 5cm. And the squares are 5cm x 5cm. Of course you can use any size for a box you want.

2. Use the jig saw to cut the plates from the acrylic sheet. Be sure to do this as perfect as you can. Because all plates need to line up nice with each other (photo 2).
If the plates don't turn out to be equal, you can sand the sides till they all fit nice.


3. Get the drilling tool and use a drill bit that is the same size as the thickness of the headphones cord (photo 3).  Then drill another hole for the adapter to go though.
When you're drilling, do this very carefully! You don't want to hurry, else you might put too much pressure on it and break the plate.


Step 3: Frosting and Diffusing

To get the nice 'glowing' effect with the LED box, we need to have a 'frosted' look on the box and need LED's that are diffused.

I only could get my hands on water clear acrylic sheets and water clear LED's. For all those who have the same, continue with this step.

If you already have frosted acrylic (opal acrylic) and diffused LED's, then you can continue with step 4.

1. Get the fine sandpaper (400) and place it on a table, with the sanding side up. Get a plate and rub it over the sandpaper in a circular motion. If one side is frosted enough, turn the plate over and do the same with that side.
Now you'll have a nice frosted looking effect we need (photo 1 and 2 to see the difference).


2. Do the same with the LED's. Sand the LED's until they get the nice diffused look (Photo 3,4 and 5).

Photo 5 shows you 1 diffused and 1 water clear LED hooked on a 3v button cell.

Step 4: Building the box

Now we've got the plates for the box, we need to put them together.

Before you go and glue parts together, make sure first they fit nicely onto each other. We need all parts to fit nicely.


1. After fitting the plates get the glue gun and glue the first 3 plates together. If you have some trouble holding the plates together before gluing, you can use some tape to hold them together. This way you can put the glue on more relaxed.

After gluing the 3 plates you should have something like photo 2

2. After the glue is dried, it's time to glue in the side plates. First place them and see if they fit nicely.
If not sand the sides a bit so everything fits nice together. Then glue them on their place.


The last (bottom) plate will not be attached yet. We need to put the whole circuit on the bottom plate later and then put it in place.

At this moment you should have something like photo 3 and 4.

Step 5: Preparing the circuit

Since I have no experience in electronics whatsoever, this was the toughest part for me to find out.
Other instructables had no good explaining on this subject.

So for everyone who's new to this electronics stuff and have no idea what they're doing, here is some explaining for the circuit.

1. How many LED's to use?
The average LED needs 3v to work. If you are going to put the LED's in series (like I did) you need to calculate how many LED's you can use with your adapter. The formula you can use is adapter output voltage / LED voltage = Total LED's

So if you use a 12v adapter with the 3v LED's its: 12 / 3 = 4 LED's

You can also put LED's parallel in the circuit. But I'm not getting into this, just so that this instructable stays simple and easy to understand for everyone. Let's just focus now on the LED's in series.
If you want to experience with more LED's, you can always calculate your LED's and resistors here.

2. The real voltage on a adapter.
Before I went building this circuit, I thought it would be useful to measure the real voltage on the adapter. The sticker on the adapter (photo 1) says the output 12v. But once I hooked it up on my multimeter, it shows that the actual output is around the 18v (photo 2).

So that means I can calculate the LED's again: 18 / 3 = 6 LED's.

Since I'm going to make the LED's in series I can use 6 LED's in my circuit. 


3. The 3.5 audio jack plug
Which wire is what? That's what I was asking and trying to find out.
As you can see on photo 3, the plug itself has 3 metal parts, and 3 wires in the black protective layer.
On the photo I explained which wire is what.


Now with this information you can go to the next step, building the circuit.

Step 6: Building the circuit

Many people get scared when they see all those weird circuits with those symbols on it. Having no clue what they mean.
That's why I made a instructable friendly circuit image :) See photo 1.

1. Make sure you have all the materials to make the circuit. And enough electrical wires to connect all the components.

2. Before we build the circuit, we first need to put the audio cable through the whole in the back.


3. Build your circuit, and test it out.  The best way to test it is through your audio output from your computer. Make sure the audio on your computer is set to 100% and then test it.

CircuitThe positive pole from the adapter goes to the positive leg of the first LED. Next the other 5 LED's follow. Hook the negative leg from the first LED to the positive leg of the second LED. Hook the negative leg from the second LED to the positive leg of the third LED, and so on. The negative LED from the last LED goes to the center pin of the TIP31.
Then hook the right pin of the TIP31 to the negative pole of the adapter.
All there's left now is to hook up the audio cable. Hook the red or the white wire from the audio cable on the left pin of the TIP31. And connect the ground wire from the audio cable to the right pin of the TIP31.

For better details please see photo 1, the circuit.

4. If your circuit works, solder all components together so the circuit stays together nice and strong and wont fall apart.

When done with these steps it's time to finish up!

If you have trouble getting the circuit to work, you can try to set it up first on a circuit board.
Carlosserious was so kind to make a how-to video on making the circuit, click here for the video.

Step 7: Finishing up

We've now got all the parts we need. All we need to do now is put the bottom part into the cube to make it a whole cube.

1. Use the glue gun again to put the connector for the adapter right behind the hole. Tip: Plug the cable in before gluing. This way the connector will always be on the right spot.

2. Sand the sides of the bottom plate so it fits snugly into the bottom. You just want the bottom plate slightly bigger then the hole it fits in. This way, once you put it in there, it will get stuck and won't let go while moving the cube. We won't glue the bottom, in case we need to open it for some reason. So make sure the bottom fits in tight.


That's it!!
Now plug everything in and put your music on max and enjoy!


You can change this project as much as you like. Use any LED's you want, create the box that fits the best on your desk, etc. You can also build the cube from my previous instructable.

I used photoshop to show you how different colors would look like (photo 7).

I tried to make this instructable the way so everyone can understand it. I'll try to answer them all. If you want to make one and get stuck, we'll try to get through it together.
If you have any questions please don't be shy and let me know.


is it a normal tip31 transistor or works a tip31A or tip31B or a tip31C to? or works it only with a normal tip31 transistor?
<p>What kind of tip31 transistor should I choose? Is it tip31c? </p>
Hello there,<br>Its an awesome project. But i would like to add something to the circuit if you guys dont mind. :)<br>The thing is for this circuit you have to give an input to it via 3.5mm jack.<br>But using my mod you can use this circuit to make a portable beat sensing light box. Place it on a table when music is being played and the box will response to beats on its own without connecting any cables.<br><br>Hope it helps.<br><br>Regards :)
<p>What kind of capacitor should I use? can you take a photo of your circuit for me please :D thankss</p>
<p>sir......what u suggested was exactly what i was looking for......can i have some assistance from you?</p>
Yes , ofcourse :) always happy to help in circuits :)
<p>awesome :) is there a easier way i can communicate with u? btw i want to use <a href="http://www.parallax.com/product/29132" rel="nofollow">Parallax Sound Impact Sensor</a> as the sound ssensor...can that be used?</p>
<p>the thing is , if you use the sound impact sensor , it will obviously work better in detecting the sound. but the output of that module is either 0 or 5volts. But think for the case if there is a continuous signal of sound. then the module will activate for the 1st time when it excites. </p><p>it can be used for the strobe effects. connect the signal output of the module to one side of the transistor. and it should work :) <br><br>and one more thing.<br>the module is a bit costly in india its about 500 rs <br>but lm386 costs 10 rs :P so in cost effective way, i would suggest the 386 ... :)</p>
<p>i got the lm3866 :) so let me get this straight...what is the speaker for....doesnt the lm386 pick up sounds or no? :/</p>
<p>any speaker can act as a microphone.<br>the circuit which i have given for lm386 is a very basic circuit for making it amplify a received signal.<br>here the speaker is acting as an input mic which will pickup the audio which will then be amplified by 386 and then sent to the transistor to act as a activator. i hope it helps :) </p>
<p>ahhhhh i understand i see i see....let me show a list of all the things i have </p><p>-386</p><p>-4 multicolour led lights</p><p>-TIP31c</p><p>-some 120 ohm resistors...</p><p>what else do i need to have everything i need....just a small speaker now?</p>
<p>i also have a 9v battery and its connector and the sand paper and a casing to put it in</p>
<p>i guess then you are totally ready to begin the project :)</p><p>The small speaker can be gathered from broken head phones if you are worried about it :)</p><p>Happy building :)</p>
<p>How would i do this project with RGB leds?</p><p>Any help would be apprappreciated.</p>
<p>guys I could not find tip 31 ...but i bought tip41.. Can I use it like normal ...or I have to get tip 32?</p>
<p>any NPN transistor will do... Its main purpose is to act like a switch.</p>
<p>31*</p>
<p>I included the lyrics to Bob Dylan&rsquo;s &ldquo;Like A Rolling Stone&rdquo; in the scene where all the psych patients have music therapy. </p><br> <a href="http://bit.ly/1JaHbnt" rel="nofollow">http://bit.ly/1JaHbnt</a>
i have same question as @sahul hameeds. can tip41c transistor be used in place of tip31????
<p>cani use tip41c transistor for this project? what is difference between tip31c and tip41c usage?</p>
<p>CAN SOMEONE PLEASE HELP!!!</p><p>I am doing this as a project for my engineering class and I have little to no knowledge of circuitry. Anyway I built the whole circuit EXACTLY as it is shown but for some reason when I plug the Aux cord into my phone or computer it turns on the LED lights even if no music plays. So you can barely tell they are blinking in accordance with the sound because the light is already on. It would be like trying to use a strobe light in a room that is already completely lit. Can somebody please help me!</p>
Are you sure about the polarity of the transistor(the three leged thing)?<br><br>Or it might be that the points in the 3.5mm jack are having an error.<br><br>Or there is a connection problem to the 3.5 mm slots.<br><br>Or there might have been a short @ the transistor connection.<br><br>Hope it helps :)
<p>You should mask each seam with green painters tape before slathering on the silicone/glue. Smooth the stuff to very thin layer by time it reaches tape on each side of joint (perhaps leave 1/8&quot; between seam and tape).</p><p>Once set up, pull the tape off and you'll have MUCH nicer looking fit and finish vs globs.</p><p>I'd also recommend drilling the hole on the bottom and adding feet</p>
<p>Can i use any other npn transistor for this project?</p>
<p>Hi. Very nice project and very well explained. I would like to make something similar, but instead of working with an audio cable, i would like to work with a music box (something like this http://www.klockit.com/products/dept-166__sku-GGGKK.html). Would that be possible and how? Thanks!</p>
<p>I made it, I use 2 channels, four LEDs each Channels.</p><p>Here is the video</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="281" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/b17zd35TTKs" width="500"></iframe></p>
<p>Hi man this visualizer is amazing, but regarding the headset cable which is 3.5 jack I already cut it off but i have 4 wires one of them is red, is this red wire needed?</p><p>And is there any other components required like resistors for example? (like the diagram below)</p>
<p>I created another music led, but this type with band pass filter. Watch at my demo.</p><p>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnMQG-hF-ho</p>
<p>Thats nice keep going on :D</p>
<p>&lt;iframe width=&quot;560&quot; height=&quot;315&quot; src=&quot;https://www.youtube.com/embed/xnMQG-hF-ho?rel=0&quot; frameborder=&quot;0&quot; allowfullscreen&gt;&lt;/iframe&gt;</p>
<p>Very cool! Are you splitting left and right channels from the audio and then using two tip31 transitstors? Are you using a 24V power supply or is there a better way to fire up that many lights?</p>
<p>Yes I am splitting them L&amp;R with 12V powersupply, you can try two parallel the additional LED that you want as long as your power source can support it.</p>
<p>Hey my LED's have an earth in the middle of the + and - ... how do I earth them? I got this working years ago but trying to do it properly now but the lights I got have 3 conections.</p>
Also I'm not familiar with working with LED how did they hook them up together? With a wire or did the just twist the legs together?
<p>anybody have any idea on how i can integrate speakers into the box?</p>
LEDs r glowing very dim evn at the maximum volume. Any solution to bump the brightness to the maximum ? Thanks in advance <br>
<p>hello,<br>question is the music coming out from the speakers from the computer right not from a speaker integrated to the box,btw music is so cool!</p>
<p>Hey guys, I've been looking at this for a while and have some Ikea LED lights lying around at home, some RGB ones with a wired remote and have been testing them to see which parts control the positive and negative ones and opened up the splitter to see how it would be possible to have two TIP31 chips to control left and right but after looking into it, I struggle to see how to do that since the connectors to the LEDs have 4 pins each so I'm not sure where to go from this, I could simply only have left or right for all but why do it simply when it can be complicated ^^ Anyway, if anyone can help me out with this then thanks a lot and if the only possible thing to do is buy a new set of LEDs then so be it (but I'd rather not have to). Thanks a lot everyone :)</p>
<p>where is the circuit?</p>
I know this is a dumb question, but how do you keep from burning out the LEDs? Does it just evenly disperse? <br><br>Say i hooked the whole thing up to a cigarette lighter....<br>
Would substituting the individual leds with a led single color light strip, work?
Can i use my broken flat screen to do this?
<p>I made this(pics of the box will be posted later) instead I used 4 LED's (red,green,red,green) with a 12v 3.33a power supply. The reds are slightly brighter due to their lower forward voltage rating, compared to the greens. With this circuit, I tend to keep my volume low but higher on my headset. An with my HD Realtek Audio driver, I'm able to have multiple outputs, allowing me to plug my array in and not have to use a Y splitter. Again, I will soon post pics of my project. </p>
<p>Also, this is one of the best projects that I can say &quot;time well spent.&quot;</p>
Very awesome project. I did get it to successfully work; however, I also have the audio hooked up to an amp and the only way the LED will work is if the volume is maxed. I don't have any way to control the amp volume so it's really loud. Anyone have an idea how to up the signal to the LED's without increasing it to the amp? Thank you!
<p>someone plz tell me what kind of old material does have tip31c ?</p>
<p>u cant salvege that kind of part but there like 1.20$ at radio shack or</p><p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B0002ZPZYO/ref=dp_olp_new?ie=UTF8&condition=new" rel="nofollow">http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B0002ZPZYO/...</a></p>
<p>copy cat u copyed this from the diy popular scinces book </p>
<p>someone plz tell me what kind of old material does have tip31c ?</p>

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