Introduction: RGB LED Color Cycling Circuit

How to re purpose a the RGB LED color cycling circuitry from a Glade LightShow air freshener.

I was in the process of creating a red, green , blue color cycling circuit based on a PIC microcontroller when I spotted the Glade LightShow air freshener.
I wanted to know if it could be hacked up and used for other purposes. I found a couple of online coupons and when it went on sale in the store, I got 2 for $3 a piece.

WARNING!!!! If you run this with the wall plug, PLEASE let it cool down first. The resistor inside WILL BURN YOU.

Step 1: Rip It Apart

I started by drilling out the plastic rivets on the bottom of the airfreshener. This is not nesscesary, but makes it easier to open. If you don't have a drill, just rip
the darn thing open with a screwdriver.

Step 2: Remove the Circuit Board

Ok, once open, feel free to cut the cord. My first one had a 5V AC power supply, the second one was 9V DC. Either way, I was not interested in the power supply.

Remove the circuit board and discard everything except the circuit board, power supply (good for some other project), and the bottle of smelly stuff.

Use the smelly stuff to make your car smell better.

Step 3: Make the Mods

Now desolder the big square resistor (the white ceramic 5W square on top). You can simply snip it off, but I chose to desolder it.

Next, I removed the switch that turned on the air freshener. This also is not necessary, but kept me from trying to use the wrong switch to turn it on.

Step 4: Now Add Power

I played around and found two alternate contact points for the 5V + and -. My goal was to eliminate the circuitry that went to the 5W resistor and heated it up to make the perfume
more effective.

I soldered a battery pack of (4) AA batteries to these connections. Note that I am using rechargables so the total voltage is only 4.8 ( 4 * 1.2V ).

Now, pop the switch once to make it come on. Again to make it cycle slowly, again to make it freeze, and again to turn it off.

I also made one of these and used the 5V from my USB port to run it. With a maximum of 3 LEDs on at a time, the current should remain well under 100ma. It worked nicey.

I also used one in a Halloween prop and it has been running fine turning on/off using relays for several hundred times.

Comments

author
AndyGadget made it! (author)2008-04-06

If you're in the UK, Poundland are selling a battery operated version of this for . . . One Pound!

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theburn7 made it! (author)theburn72008-06-21

lol, isnt it obvious

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WriotE made it! (author)2007-12-19

BRiLLiAnT!!!!!

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JackandJohn made it! (author)2007-11-12

Question: Could I use this board with more voltage, and more (brighter) LEDs? Looking for something to light a closet

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lilpunk1302 made it! (author)2007-11-03

Good idea, so let me get this straight, basically all you did was open 'er up and figure out how to bypass the "Heating element". Just one question, what kind of relays did you use( 5v in, 120v out?) and any possibility of pictures of the relay setup?

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cclontz made it! (author)cclontz2007-11-03

I admit that t was not difficult to do, I just had not seen anyone else on the net document it so I put this out there. I don't have any photos of the relay setup that would do it any justice. I amusing a kit74 8 port relay board that interfaces to a PC parallel port. I am running VSA software from Brookshire Software. Because I had 2 extra relays on the board that were not being used, I used one to switch the power lead to the circuit, and another relay that grounded the button, that I programmed two quick pulses to in order to put this circuit into slow cycle mode.

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lilpunk1302 made it! (author)lilpunk13022007-11-03

K, so let me get that straight, you bought the kit, but had 2 relays left over, so you wired those in with this thing, and got a time switchable type thing?

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cclontz made it! (author)cclontz2007-11-04

A Kit74 is a well known relay board. Here is a link. http://www.web-tronics.com/pcprinporrel.html Lots of companies sell this same board as "kit74". It will control 8 devices (AC/DC) off a printer port. And yes, it uses timing software that fires the relays as events. These boards are often used for Christmas light displays and Halloween props. I had two channels/ports unused on my Halloween controller so I hooked up the RGB circuit as explained earlier.

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lilpunk1302 made it! (author)lilpunk13022007-11-07

Yeah, I figured out what a Kit74 is, but did you just pull the relays off and solder to them, or did you get a db-25 and ran the data pins to the "timer"?

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cclontz made it! (author)cclontz2007-11-07

I can't think of any simpler way to say this. I used a kit74 as intended connected to a PC with software running on the PC to control the 8 relays. I connected the RGB circuit to the relays of the kit74 so that the RGB circuit would be controlled by the the PC.

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lilpunk1302 made it! (author)lilpunk13022007-11-08

OHHHH, Ok I get it now :) thanks for stickin' with me though :) you pplz can now go on with your regular lives :)

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zm634 made it! (author)2007-11-04

I saw one of these in a little light thingy my sister brought home. it's a single LED with red, green, and blue elements that actually has all the circuitry in it to change colors and blink. It's pretty wild.