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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mmehzin5 months ago

how do i hear the music if we put audio jack in laptop?

Just buy an audio y-cable (splitter) then one output can go to the lights, and one to speakers/headphones

bostaba mmehzin3 months ago

Search the web for an "Audio Splitter". That's what is needed to split the audio.

en_rov mmehzin4 months ago

You could wire another plug in parallel for AUX out

samzimmer10 days ago

Very cool!

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

JacquesN18 days ago

hello, can i leave out the voltage regulator and just add a big enough resistor?

judeon.zhou19 days 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

oliverb12326 days 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!

nejatb1 month 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 nejatb1 month ago

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

nejatb RileyS11 month ago

its this one hope its right

bswt4 months ago

i have a setup where i have 400leds wired in set of 4 so, 100 a group, could the tip31 switch them? or the better question would be, whats the max switching current (amps) tip31? if is more than 4-5amps than I'm fine. well i do have 3 here with me, so if it works than ill report it here.

bswt bswt4 months ago

after doing some testing i've found that one tip31 can handle 100leds any more and the tip31 cant open well enough

RileyS1 bswt1 month ago

i used 300 leds and its not so bright how did u did u do it

bswt RileyS11 month ago

i used 34 resistors total (33) 200ohm(1/4w) and (1) 470ohm (1/2w)

this only for 100 leds not 300

for 300 leds is would be (99) 200ohm(1/4w) and (3) 470ohm (1/2w)


there is alot more that i can't say here, i do have a schematic of 400leds

but i dont know how to uplead a file here and even if i did its a program file

so you would have to download the program. the schamatic is written in LTspice and its free

let me know if you would like the file, just tell me on where would like to be posted

o= led and r = resistor the first set is top to bottom then right to left

ooor ooor ooor

ooor ooor ooor

ooor ooor ooor

o. . . o . . .or

huyvu89 bswt3 months ago

how can we hear the music if the already plug the jack to the input sound?

rbeck_v huyvu893 months ago

use a 3.5mm audio splitter, plug the splitter into the music source, plug speakers/headphones into one side and the led cube into the other

paquiton966 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.

ThaXified5 months ago

Did you Guys see my LEDS already?

bostaba ThaXified3 months ago


huyvu893 months ago

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

bostaba huyvu893 months ago

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

Nanu_hb4 months ago
Ani equivalent transistor for tip31...
taz99taz Nanu_hb3 months ago

BD243C that is what i use :) works just fine

Nanu_hb4 months ago
Any equivalent transistor for tip35
Jacob Dorr4 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...

eimua5 months ago

Can i use tip35c for this project?

eimua5 months ago

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

jthunder210 months 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?

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