Introduction: Quick, Temporary, and Cheap LED Diffuser

Not ready to sand/embed your LEDs, but they're too bright to look at? This Instructable is for you!

I'm fiddling around with my Arduino and TLC5940, and I'm getting a headache from staring at them. But, I don't want to sand them down, or otherwise permanently diffuse them, and putting them behind a sheet of paper or typical diffuser won't let me clearly see the specific patterns I'm trying to achieve.

Step 1: Straws to the Rescue!

Amazingly, straws fit atop generic 5mm LEDs perfectly.

What you need:
Straws (Normal, cheap ones. Bendy-style optional)
Scissors
LEDs you want to diffuse.

Step 2: Obviously...

After cutting, stick your straws onto the LEDs. They should rest nicely on top.

If you're anal-retentive like me, tape them together, so they stand up together.

My inspiration came from Mitch Altman's Trippy RGB Waves He used a straw as a diffuser, and I thought it was a brilliant idea. As such, I'm passing it on to you :)

I also have a copy of this back at Coffeebot Labs

Comments

author
The+Expert+Noob made it!(author)2010-04-12

straws from subway, if ya have one around, are completely white and make excellent diffusers!

author
Coffeebot made it!(author)2010-04-12

 Ooh..you're right. Good tip, Noob!

author
Dr.Bill made it!(author)2009-02-10

Oh, now thats a neet idea

author
Zippy_Pyromaniac made it!(author)2009-01-21

cool! maybe Ill make a straw lamp!

author
Coffeebot made it!(author)2009-01-21

Haha...that's a cool idea. Post some pics, if you do!

author
depotdevoid made it!(author)2008-09-17

Neat idea, I like it!

author
Coffeebot made it!(author)2008-09-17

Thanks!

author
%3DSMART%3D made it!(author)2008-09-05

how do you use that board the LED's are plugged into ??

author
Coffeebot made it!(author)2008-09-05

It's typical breadboard. You just plug your components into it. No need to solder. Though, it's only good for prototyping; anything beyond that and it's useless and cumbersome.

author
%3DSMART%3D made it!(author)2008-09-05

Any particular order the holes have to be used in ??

author
joejoerowley made it!(author)2008-09-05

Yeah. Here is a link to a video about breadboards. Not the greatest but it gives you a good idea about it.

author
%3DSMART%3D made it!(author)2008-09-05

Cool Thanks

author
Coffeebot made it!(author)2008-09-05

Basically, each column of holes are connected, so anything you plug into them will be, too -- like soldering a wire to the lead of your LED. The gap in the middle separates the columns into two independent sections. The row at the top is entirely connected, as is the one on the bottom. These provide a way to give easy access to your power supply and ground.

About This Instructable

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Bio: Just a dude who likes making things :)
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