Picture of Music LED Light Box

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 or  YouTube channel for more information and songs.

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Step 1: Materials & Tools

Picture of 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.

- 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.

- 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!

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en_rov mmehzin9 months ago

You could wire another plug in parallel for AUX out

samzimmer5 months ago

Very cool!

Works out of a portable cd player, but not out of my laptop or phone... any reason why???

judeon.zhou6 months ago

really very nice ,this music light box are very fashionable .it is similar to the crystal loudspeaker ,which is made of crystal material ,but not acrylic material . And also i see a led light box ,which is made of acrylic material ,it is here

oliverb1236 months ago


Juste.Futari6 months ago

Thank you for a really easily understandable instruction for this! I am really interested in trying even though I have very little experience on this stuff. Problem is, I would need a single LED and I would need to to be voice-controlled. Due to my inexperience (sorry :C ) I am not sure where and how would I attach the microphone in this project. Your help would be greatly appreciated!

nejatb6 months ago

i tried this but it isnt working for me need help here are the images how i done it


Are you using that 9v to augment the system or are you using it as the only power source? If you're using it as the only power supply there may not be enough power in the circuit to power that light bar. This is based on the premise that you wired it correctly and that the transistor you have is indeed a TIP31. (Though as long as it is some sort of NPN transistor and the inputs satisfy the need any will work in the genre)

i tried the same thing with three leds with no effect either there isnt enough power for the system or im doing something wrong

how much power is needed by the system 3 leds need 9 v i have a 9v battery do u think ineed more power?

RileyS1 nejatb6 months ago

i don't think that's a transiter your useing r u sure its a tip 31

nejatb RileyS16 months ago

its this one hope its right

paquiton9611 months ago

Leds are not lighting because the jack voltage isnt enough, how can i boost it?

An amplifier (VERY low db) can help boost the audio signal. Also, a small DC voltage (like a <1V battery) in series will help turn on the lights, but may cause the change in brightness vary less. Try using an audio device with a higher output.

ThaXified11 months ago

Did you Guys see my LEDS already?

bostaba ThaXified8 months ago


huyvu899 months ago

Can anyone tell me how can i hear the music when i already plug the jack into computer? please explain.

bostaba huyvu898 months ago

You just need an audio splitter. One cable plugs into the lights, the other plugs into the speakers.

Nanu_hb9 months ago
Ani equivalent transistor for tip31...
taz99taz Nanu_hb9 months ago

BD243C that is what i use :) works just fine

Nanu_hb9 months ago
Any equivalent transistor for tip35
Jacob Dorr9 months ago

Your brothers music funks man, thanks for referring to his YouTube channel!! Is there a link to the cube in action? For some reason I can't see the video above...

eimua10 months ago

Can i use tip35c for this project?

eimua10 months ago

Can I use TIP35c in this project?? Please answer.

jthunder21 year ago
Anyone try this with rgb color changing led's? I'm going to try it but I'm not really sure how well it'll work out.
Update in case it's helpful. COLOR CHANGING LED'S ARE AWESOME IN THIS.
How did you do that?
I purchased RGB flashing led's like these ( I also changed things up a bit. I used a laptop power supply cable for power. It gave me 18 volts. I ran four parallel chains of led's on two circuits with separate transistors. This gave me a total of 24 led's. I used both left and right channels so when listening to a song that has different parts playing on each speaker each half of the lighting would do its own thing. It looks really awesome. I also painted the back of the back piece of glass white, so that it would reflect more light forward. Oh, and I added a resistor in series with each string of led's. I thought about making an instructable for it but didn't know if that was a violation since it was just an improvement on someone else's design.

You should be fine. Just ask the orignal guy and tell him your idea, I'm sure he'd be happy to let you do this.
Plus I'd love to see how you did this :)

Awesome, can you please share the circuit?
Yeah. I'll draw it up and post a link.

What resistor did you use in your build? Also what was the amperage of the laptop power supply that you used?

This is the schematic for what I did. If you use a computer power supply cable, you will have lots of current to spare. In theory, you could put a few hundred led's into an array of 6 series led's in many parallel chains. Does that make sense?
sweetie031 year ago
Hi, awesome work guys... i just started learning these things and dis is quite fun ..can i use a bc547 npn transistor in place of tpi31 ?

try it and see what happens. They are all NPN transistors. Just make sure you plug it in correctly.

I've having some troubles with this. When I connect my LED to the farthest left pin of the TIP31 I get some constant light but when I connect it to the middle pin nothing happens. I'm using the headphone part from old apple earbuds if that makes a difference.
I'm having the same issue. Constant light on either side pin and no light on the middle pin. I thought maybe it was the transistor, but I changed it out for a new TIP31 with the same results. My schematic is slightly different. Any thoughts on why this might be happening?
tamlani dseter11 months ago

heyy did u find any thng good relating to your problem??

i am having the same problem... i am using 5m led flex roll and 1 transmitter TIP31C and a 12v power suply...plz help me out if u know how to deal with that. thanks

are u sure your looking at the front of the tip 31 when connecting the wires. you might have the right confused with the left causing problems.
xangel1 year ago

Hello! I am new here and.... I have a question about this project: What should I do to make it work with light bulbs at 220V ? :D
Thank you!

MarioNL xangel1 year ago

Search "Relay" on google. I wouldn't do it as a beginner though, because you will be working with high voltages. Try some smaller projects first.

csshandy1 year ago

if you use lets say for example a car stereo and try and connect it to a high or low input of one of the channels it can cause some problems because the stereo is using the 12 volt car battery and the tip31 is aswell it can create a short circuit because the sound out of a stereo is A.C meaning the wire on the ground side can shift from low to high causing a short circuit the only way I can think of around this is adding a 1k resistor between the power for the tip31 so that it stops this however haven't tested it, this is my understanding of it so if anyone has anymore input on this feel free to give advice I will test this theory out tomorrow and post back.

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