Introduction: Quick, Temporary, and Cheap LED Diffuser

Picture of 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!

Picture of Straws to the Rescue!

Amazingly, straws fit atop generic 5mm LEDs perfectly.

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

Step 2: Obviously...

Picture of 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


The Expert Noob (author)2010-04-12

straws from subway, if ya have one around, are completely white and make excellent diffusers!'re right. Good tip, Noob!

Dr.Bill (author)2009-02-10

Oh, now thats a neet idea

Zippy_Pyromaniac (author)2009-01-21

cool! maybe Ill make a straw lamp!

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

depotdevoid (author)2008-09-17

Neat idea, I like it!

Coffeebot (author)depotdevoid2008-09-17


=SMART= (author)2008-09-05

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

Coffeebot (author)=SMART=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.

=SMART= (author)Coffeebot2008-09-05

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

joejoerowley (author)=SMART=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.

=SMART= (author)joejoerowley2008-09-05

Cool Thanks

Coffeebot (author)=SMART=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



Bio: Just a dude who likes making things :)
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