Introduction: RGB LED Moodlight in 10 Minutes!

Picture of RGB LED Moodlight in 10 Minutes!

Here is my 2nd. Instructable. A very quick one! ;-)

I will show you how to build a nice 3-RGB-LED mood light in nearly 10 minutes.

What did you need?

- battery powered LED touch-light
- slow rainbow effect RGB LEDs with slow automatic color cycling (or fast if you like ;-)
- small screw driver (depends on your LED touch-light)
- soldering-iron

Step 1: Look What Is Inside the Touch-light

Picture of Look What Is Inside the Touch-light

First I remove the batteries from the bottom side of the lamp.

With my fingernails I can grip between the upper silver and the lower black part and simply lifting it up.
Then the rest of the parts dissolve them self. Really cheap build lamp ;-).

On the 3rd picture you can see the small PCB with 3 white LEDs and in the switch in the middle.

Step 2: Heat Up the Iron

Picture of Heat Up the Iron

Now you should remove the 3 LEDs with your soldering iron.

Then replace the three LEDs with the rainbow LEDs.
Don't forget that the long legs of the LEDs are the anode pins. They have to connect to the positive voltage.

Step 3: Test and Rebuild

Picture of Test and Rebuild

Now insert the batteries for a quick test and then rebuild the parts.

If you like it you can place the semitransparent paper between the reflector and the glass for a smoother light.

If you switch the light on all 3 LEDs starting with the same color. But with the time they drift to different colors because of their tolerances.

Thats it. Have fun with it!

PS: don't forget to switch off the soldering iron ;-)


Pineapple_D (author)2009-04-24

I know this sounds stupid but how do you change the colour? do you press it or what???

WattSekunde (author)Pineapple_D2009-06-25

The LEDs are automatic colour changing LEDs. Each of them has 3 LED chips inside red, green, blue and a control circuit chip. (You can see these chips on the first picture with the macro shot of one of those LEDs. under the lens you see the control chip and on the lower side you see the three LEDs. Thank you for your interest.

Adam Manick (author)WattSekunde2010-11-09

Radio Shack sells an RGB led that changes color when you connect its ground and trigger pins together. You can put a push button between them. Here is the link if you want to check it out.

mnc (author)Pineapple_D2009-05-16
there is different kind of leds changes colour according to:
  • depends on time, (changes by it self)
  • electric way if you swap + and - it changes colour
  • according to watt/volt im not sure.
MilotisX (author)mnc2009-06-25

hey do you know the name of the second type you mentioned??

Derin (author)MilotisX2009-07-07

bicolor led

mnc (author)MilotisX2009-06-25

sorry I don't know, try to asking "low power colour changing led" or "two colour led"

cokecola (author)2010-04-18

The first image looks real cool, is that just a drinking glass over the top of the lite?

Wesley666 (author)cokecola2010-09-06

No its a single LED taken very close up.

Dryank04 (author)2009-02-02

so is there a difference between a RGB slow flash LED and a RGB color cycling (slow)? i cant find one that says color cycling they all tend to say 'flash' but flash makes me think it wouldn't be a smooth transition to the other colors.

I got some slow flash rgb leds from ebay and they fade slowly from one colour to the next but the fast flash rgb leds I got at the same time flash real fast from one colour to the next and just give you a headache. Sureelectronics sell them in lots of 100 with 100 X 470ohm and 100 X 100ohm resistors but that is a lot of leds.

You can get them individually here (on sale right now also).

There is a video that demonstrates the RGB LED color cycling, fast flash and slow cycle in one device.

johnny q (author)2008-08-31

where do you get the touch light that you are starting with ? What type of store would sell one ? The raw light itself looks really neat, kinda like a crystal ball. I haven't tried any projects from here, but this one could be the first. I sure like it.

Phoghat (author)johnny q2009-03-26

A lot of drugstores have them

WattSekunde (author)johnny q2008-09-02

I found them in a "Baumarkt" here in Germany. Very cheap no name 3-Pack. You can buy similar from Amazon, etc. Search for Tap Lights. Thank you!

woodswalker (author)2009-01-17

I'd like to build a small LED art piece from scratch using the drawing above. What voltage of battery are you using? (with no resistors I'm guessing it's 4.5?)

WattSekunde (author)woodswalker2009-01-19

Yes, the lamp has 3x1.5V battery inside. But there is a resistor on the PCB. You can see only the shadow of it in the upper right side on the picture in step 3. The resistor has 10 Ohm and connects the red cable with the middle pin of the switch. Thank you for your interest.

didibemi (author)2008-12-26

really nice but i think you can buy that rings or others that have this device. they're cheaper. aushuashuashasuhash

Carlos Marmo (author)2008-10-30

Wonderful Work! Congratulations!

WattSekunde (author)Carlos Marmo2008-11-01

Thank you very much!

prototype27 (author)2008-09-30

Very cool! I actually use these all over the place as accent lights, but instead of diffusing with paper under the lens I just scuff it up a bit with sandpaper. Good job.

WattSekunde (author)prototype272008-11-01

Yes, sandpaper was an alternative way but could not removed ;-) Thank you for your comment.

Artificial Intelligence (author)2008-05-12

I have all the parts I need to make this. Never thought about make something like this. It's cool and simple. Thanks

Nice to hear. Thank You!

Paulcet (author)2008-02-27

Where does one find the 'automatic' RGB LEDs?

WattSekunde (author)Paulcet2008-02-28

I bought them on 25 x 5mm 3-Chip RGB Rainbow LEDS - RGB slow(!) for 9.99 EUR.

GorillazMiko (author)2008-02-27

Pretty cool! It is as if you diffused the LED. ;-) And wow, look at the related Instructables.. most of them are all black in the back!

WattSekunde (author)GorillazMiko2008-02-28

Thanks! No, I decided to buy and use water clear LEDs. So I can decide later to diffuse them via semitransparent paper or sanding the LED themselves. Yes it's tricky to get nice pictures from the bright LEDs and the surrounding area! The digicams don't have enough brightness dynamic range. I'll try to add a short movie...

Pyrowuzzup (author)2008-02-27

thats a good idea reusing the touch light body. do rgb leds always start on the same color or do they go out of sync with eachother?

joejoerowley (author)Pyrowuzzup2008-02-27

My RGBs start at the same color and then eventually go out sink after a while.

Pyrowuzzup (author)joejoerowley2008-02-27

Eventually theyll probably get em where they all stay synced.

WattSekunde (author)Pyrowuzzup2008-02-28

Thanks! They start all with red. after a few seconds they run more an more out of sync. Same as joejoerowley wrote. But they run only a simple color scheme: R -> G -> B -> R+G -> G+B -> B+R -> R+G+B -> then start again with R and so on... The color changing is always after nearly 3 seconds and needs less than a second. Then its around 2.x seconds stable. With three LEDs out of sync you get a more colorful and continuos changing light effect.

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