Introduction: Music Flashing LED Bar

Picture of Music Flashing LED Bar

Ever seen the LED bars found at clubs or raves etc. ?

well we'll show you how to make a bar similar to those in an easy step by step instructable. All you need is a little bit of thinking and you can make this in any way you want. Ultimately this light bar is only a model and you can modify it in several different ways and even make it extremely extravagant. Like all of our instructables and videos, have fun and make it even better than us. We'll give you the ideas, ya'll make them better! 

Good Luck, With that said, lets begin this awesome project! if you want a step by step instructional video watch the video bellow, if not, go on to the first step.


Step 1: Getting the Supplies

Picture of Getting the Supplies

You will need a couple of supplies for this project, most of which you can find on E-bay (if you need a cheap price) or your local hardware store or even laying around your house.

You will need a number of LED"s depending on how big, or how extravagant you want your light to be you will need more LED's you will use etc.

For our light we used,

28 -LED's with 4 different colors.
    - White =10
    - Blue = 3
    - Green = 3
    - Red = 4

28 -120 Ohm Resistors

54 - 1" x 1" square pieces of glass
   - we found these in a pack of 24 at Hobby Lobby for $3.99

You also need several pieces of speaker wire and jumper cables.

A 48" piece of wood, if you want the bar to be larger you would go out and buy a larger piece of wood.

For your tools you will need:

Dremmel Drill
1/16" Drill Bit
Soldering Gun
Metallic Paint

Surround Sound or speaker System :)

Step 2: Getting the Board Ready

Picture of Getting the Board Ready

The first you need to do is find the location of your LED's this location can be calculated by measuring the length of your Board and then dividing the length of your board by the number of LED's. Once you do this you will get a number. This number will be the location where your LED's will be located.

You start by making a line down the middle of your board, your LED's will be located on that line and at the distance that you calculated above.

For example, our bar is 48" long and we have 28 LED's in our project. we know that we have to place one LED every 1.71 inches apart.

Your board might be different depending on the length and the number of LED's you have in hand.

Step 3: Drilling the LED Spots in the Bar

Picture of Drilling the LED Spots in the Bar

Using your 1/16" drill bit and your Dremel Drill you need to make 2 small holes in the location of the board where your LED's will be located about 3 millimeters apart from each other. 

Your LED's prongs will fit in the small holes and keep everything in place, make sure that your LED fits snugly inside the holes.

Step 4: Placing the LED's in the Bar

Picture of Placing the LED's in the Bar

Next thing is to paint the LED bar in a metallic reflective color. This will make the LED's appear more brilliant than they really are once you paint the bar in a metallic color.

Place all the LED's on your bar in their corresponding groups.

Our LED has 5 white LED's on the first and last row, followed by 3 Green LED's and then 3 Blue LEDs then lastly 4 Red LEd's on the center similar to the drawing bellow.


Step 5: Connecting the LED's Together

Picture of Connecting the LED's Together

once you have placed the LED's in the bar you need to begin to bend the Large Prong of your LED downwards. you will connect every Large prong of your LED together using Jumper Cables.

The short end of the LED will all be connected together with a 120 Ohm Resistor in between each of the LED's

You need to place the LED's in groups, the White LED's will all be connected, the Green LED's will all be connected, the Blue LED's will be together and lastly the Red ones will all be together.

Each one of your speakers will control a different group of LED's.

For Example we have our Sub-woofer controlling our White LED's

Our Center Speaker controlling the Red LED's

Left and Right speakers controlling the Green and Blue LED's

Step 6: Getting Your Speakers Ready

Picture of Getting Your Speakers Ready

If you want to make this a permanent fix to your room you can solder your speakers and your bar together, if not you can use a set of alligator clamps to make it a temporary fix.

Opening the speaker system you can solder your positive and your negative connections of the speaker and connecting them to the positive and negative connections on your group of LED's 

for example, our Sub-Woofer is controlling the White LED's so we connected the Subwoofer speaker wires to the White Group of LED's

Step 7: Finish Up the Bar

Picture of Finish Up the Bar

Once you have finished the connection you can begin to hot glue your mirrors in a triangular setup in between all of your LED's this will give it the appearance of a multiple line of LED's rather than just a single line.

Step 8: Testing Out the Bar

Picture of Testing Out the Bar

And that's it, you have finished the LED lights have fun with it and enjoy the bar in your new room. This is how the bar should look.

This is another preview of our bar in action with different songs and music sounds.


jleonard9 (author)2013-01-26

Wow, this seems like the perfect project for me, but looking over it, I thought up some questions. If I hook these directly up to the speaker, It has to be getting it's power from it then. So I was just curious if the amount of power to flash say... 10 LED's from one speaker would be noticeable, especially if I have matching left and right speakers, and I only hooked up the LED's to the right one, would the sound be noticeably dimmer? Also, you hooked it directly up to the speaker, I imagine that is what allows you to get distinguished flashes, but if I hooked it up to my receiver directly, would I still get flashing LED's, or would that burn them out? Really interested in this, thanks for the tutorial!

snipesome (author)2013-01-25

Can you please link me two the mirrors I can't find them on hobby lobby

chetancc (author)2012-11-24

Where is the circuit diagram?

brobertsmhs2009 (author)2012-08-02

Hey, I have Klipsch Pro Media 2.1 Speakers I was wondering if you could recommend how to connect the led's to my speakers. They do have the left in right speaker inputs as the spring inputs, but I am unsure as to how to connect the "white leds" to the subwoofer.


gm93d (author)2012-06-20

This is great but can you give me the circuit.

gm93d (author)2012-06-20

This is great but can you give me the circuit.

yissa (author)2012-04-26

Hi, great video =) could you please explain how you connected the resistors and LEDs with the speaker!!! And if I could use instead of a sound system, for seperate speakers connected to an amplifier? Looking forward to a response =)

tviskovic (author)2012-04-14

Do you have any sheme, if you have please post to comment.

onlystatic (author)2011-11-27

thank you. i think this is project is a great way to start out learning of L.E.D.S. i honestly think alot of people are missing the point of its simplicity. its a great learning tool and i appreciate you guys at HM-Innovations taking the time and effort to post it. thanks guys, keep up the good work and keep projects like these coming.

King Julien (author)2011-10-22

Is it really that easy? You just connect the led wires to the speaker wires?

nodoubtman (author)2011-08-28

LED color's have a different intensity, you cannot put a same value of the resistor for each led?

THank YOu!

You can use a resistor for the weakest LED and then the otherones shouldn't have a problem

saif.mac (author)2011-08-05

in 1:30 minute in this video who is the name song ?

HM-Innovations (author)saif.mac2011-08-07

I completely forgot the name of the song, it was so long ago.

saif.mac (author)HM-Innovations2011-08-09

ok thnx man ;) this is awsome instructable i made it but it dont work can u give me a simple circuit

gbmaster137 (author)2011-07-17

how many volts should the leds be?

hsarode1 (author)gbmaster1372011-07-25

Look wat u have to do is select the input u r goin to put n then divide the number of LEDs u use by it

Input. 9 v
No. Of LEDs 3
Voltage of led. 9/3 = 3
So ur led should be 3 v.

I am not 100% sure that it is correct.

hsarode1 (author)2011-07-21

Should we connect 1 resistor to 1 short leg and the other end of resistor to the long am i correct.

dog digger (author)hsarode12011-07-21

No. One resistor per LED. Connect it to the shorter lead or the longer lead. Your choice

ctheodorou (author)2011-07-14

that bar is only 48 in long? it looks way bigger

fastcar123 (author)2011-06-29

Could you connect one resistor from the speaker and then wire a parallel circuit of LEDs from that or will it not work that way?

MARSHALLLP (author)2011-06-01

where i can get that last song, sounds like an amazing remix! What is the title?
Also GREAT instructable, i really wanna try building this one

Steeps5 (author)2011-04-29

You did mean to say 1.5" squares of glass correct? I would say 0.5" squares of glass are awfully small.

HM-Innovations (author)Steeps52011-05-01

1" by 1" good catch!

bkeaton (author)2011-04-27

I don't think it is necessary to open up your speaker enclosures and solder anything to the speakers in order to connect this light bar to your sound system. Why not simply tap into your sound system right where the speakers themselves attach? The speakers attach either via a spring clip or screw terminals. The only way this would not work is on some of the less expensive systems where the speaker wiring runs directly into the receiver.

HM-Innovations (author)bkeaton2011-04-27

Yea this way is way better, it wasn't until after we made the video that we realized it was an easier and probably better to do it your way.

kctess5 (author)2011-03-15

Thats a somewhat inefficient way of doing this. I just use a tip31 transistor off my audio splitter. That way your not sucking power from your system. And you can more easily control max power to leds. And I don't usually set it up with one resistor per led. I just do like one for about 10-20 leds, though I know that a lot of people do it this way

wingchangwow (author)2011-03-05

that's only 26 led's

chaddu (author)2011-02-06

What voltage was the LED's that were used on this project.

dr.shah (author)2011-01-02

How much MCD the led need to be ???and also what about their voltage??

jeppers113d (author)2011-01-02

so what's correct 120 or 270? and has anyone been able to get this to work? i have 3 led's with 3 270's and they all just stay on and don't blink =\

120ohm sorry bout that.

no problem thank you, does watts matter in this ?

Yea your problem is with the power. All the power comes from the speaker, connect one LED to the possitive side of your speaker using the Resistor and the other end of the LED (anode) to the negative side of the speaker thats all you need. If you add power the LED will remain on throughout the whole thing.

jeppers113d (author)jeppers113d2011-01-02

do you have a schematic? i still can't seem to get this to work blah. ok here's the hook up tested 3 LED's, i have a 12v power supply connected + to the side with the resistors, and the - to the other side with the longer anode i think its called? then from there the output of the resistor side i connected to my computer speaker + and the negative side of the device to the - .

with this hook up the LED's just turn on and stay on, if i switch it around the LED doesn't even turn on. thanks for your help

MKJIPK (author)2010-11-17

I have 2 questions:

Where does the power come from?
Is it necessary to take the speaker apart or can the positive and neg wired going to the speakers just be spliced?

streetcurl (author)2010-09-21

Hi can go send me a graphic how you wired it because i can't see it well here ?

sasho_8 (author)streetcurl2010-10-25

I also can't see it :S:S

sasho_8 (author)sasho_82010-10-29

and I need these graphic ...:S:S:S

sasho_8 (author)2010-10-25

which are these songs??

xanxor (author)2010-10-17

what is the output of your speaker? I'm planing to do this but on my car. and I'm pretty sure my speaker needs more current than yours.

14karma (author)2010-10-05

in one of the pictures in this instructable, it has 270 ohm resistors listed. But in the text it says 120 ohm resistors. I ordered the 270 ohm resistors. i am planning on using the light bar with a PA amp. Will these larger resistors be better suited for my higher power application. Or do i need to order the 120 ohm resistors for this to work

dogs10109 (author)2010-09-21

It says:

"The short end of the LED will all be connected together with a 120 Ohm capacitor in between each of the LED's"

I was just wondering if you meant resistor when you said capacitor?
(I'm assuming you meant resistor)

HM-Innovations (author)dogs101092010-09-21

yes sorry i didnt even catch that

pink piggy (author)2010-09-08

hello..sorry for my english..nice work..
but i have an ask..
you have there any IO as for example A277D or so??you have only led and resistors and this you join only with speakers??
this is really simple and nice efekt..but i have concerns, how good it work.....

but..really nice..i want this same in my car but only with white i think, if i can make this same..

Eonir (author)2010-09-07

Schematics, please.

fardown (author)2010-09-06

any chance of "Clearer" pics? or a diagram or something? Really hard to see what connects to what..

tfultsucf (author)2010-09-02

Great instructable! I've been working on a project similar to this placing the LEDs directly inside of the speakers. Without resistors it was fine at lower volumes on my 200W home theater system but as the volume went up they became overloaded. How much power did your system put out? I've also been trying to find a circuit diagram or computer program to allow for more fluid and gradual light changes for different frequencies unfortunately I haven't come across anything promising yet. I may integrate different resistors to get a VU meter type of effect within each set of colors.

HM-Innovations (author)tfultsucf2010-09-02

I have no idea how much it really puts out. but when we placed them directly without the resistors they went out at about level 11 on volume. However with the resistors they went up all the way to the 45 volume level (max) I dont know about the second question, i tried looking for one too but couldnt find anything helpful :(

DavidNZ (author)2010-08-30

looks like night rider lol

About This Instructable




Bio: We are a group of Engineers, Tinkerers, Designers, Programers, and Nerds ! ---- and Since April 2011 We also have a Cupcake Maker
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