Introduction: RGB Moodlight

Picture of RGB Moodlight

This article describes how to make your own mains powered mood light (Also known as led washing light or rainbow light). It is a harmless device which, if used in the way it was meant, can do no harm to anyone. It can give your dark, damp, computerized room a nice glowing tint.

In action:

Step 1: The PCB and Other Parts

Picture of The PCB and Other Parts
What will you need:
  • A assembled PCB of the mood light, found here
  • A rain pipe
  • Some kind of light diffusing piece of plastic (i used a small plastic container thingy they give you when you get Chinese food (filled with sambal doh).
  • A big light diffusing bowl, of other fishbowl shaped object. or omit that and just let the light shine on your wall, as a projector.

First make sure you PCB looks something like the picture below.

As you can see i mounted a small PCB with three RGB LEDs at a angle of 90 degrees and mounted the sambalgizmo on that. In the original schematics you wont see it this way, it does require some improvisation. and of course you need to slightly modify the schematic for you led(s). but this should be no problem for a novice geek. As you can see on the pictures, I have already soldered a switch on the pcb and clipped on the power, this was pure for testing and have to be removed later. A tip for building: Test after every step you take, or else you will get really pissed and smash that damn thing against the wall, Really.. Believe me.

Step 2: The Fishbowl

Picture of The Fishbowl

Now you can glue the bowl thing on the piece of rain pipe and let it dry for 24 hours. Meanwhile you can build the pcb, if you haven't already.

Step 3: Glueing It Together

Picture of Glueing It Together

After doing that, you can glue the pcb in the pipe using a hot glue gun. Like this:

Step 4: Rectification

Picture of Rectification

Time to make a small rectifier to rectify the power coming out of your transformer (which you will build in later). I used a bridge rectifier and a capacitor to make a a nice little compact rectifier. As seen below.

Connect the rectifier to a suitable transformer and connect the output of the rectifier to the pcb.

Step 5: The Control Panel

Picture of The Control Panel

Cut one of the two wires coming from the rectifier and insert a switch between the wires. Drill holes for the two buttons (The mode button and the power switch) and connect everything.

Step 6: Done!

Picture of Done!

And when it's ready it should look like this :


Jakob2803 (author)2012-07-23

Cool idea man, I am in the process of building one similar to yours! :) (author)2010-12-29

Looks like a PS3 move

lrodriguez3 (author)jj.inc2011-05-10

right like the controls for move

lrodriguez3 (author)2011-05-10

why do u need the rain pipe for

Eric zheng (author)2010-01-04

A remote controller can be added to it for 10m away on,off and color changing control

peterrus (author)2007-06-27

Well, in the second step you can find a link to a site where it is described in detail how to build the circuit that forms the heart of the whole device. I merely made an instuctable how to apply this device.


peteg (author)peterrus2009-05-17

The code used in this project can now be found at

akatsuki666 (author)2009-02-25

you guys are smart. can i hook up a rgb led in parralel with the different colors suck as: green to red , red to blue . and blue to green pls respond ty.

peterrus (author)akatsuki6662009-02-26

This is possible, as long as you don't overload the transistors (if used)

Goodhart (author)2007-09-28

It probably would be a good idea, if it flashes like the middle of the video shows, that anyone with epilepsy or suspects they have epilepsy, should probably avoid this. The slow fading shouldn't be a problem though.

Popcornfilms (author)2007-09-16

i see im not the only one who uses striped CAT5 cable for wire :P

peterrus (author)2007-06-28

Well, Etching is not neccesairy, I didn't do it. I just soldered everything on a prototyping board (very cheap and full of holes) For the rectifier, You can just use everything, as long as the diodes support the current that will be going through them, For the capacitor, same story, take one of 1000uF to 2200uF

filthyanimal (author)2007-02-21


peterrus (author)filthyanimal2007-02-21

Yeah, it's a component that converts AC to DC

filthyanimal (author)peterrus2007-02-22

duh.... i don't get it.

killrsheep (author)filthyanimal2007-05-24

AC is the kind of voltage you get from your wall outlets, it varies goes from around 120V to -120V (60 times per second if you live in America, in europe its different) DC is what electronics usually works with, its a constant voltage that has no frequency (it doesnt vary). A rectifier turns the negative part of the wave into a positive and the Capacitor smoothens the wave so you get a DC like thing it can also be made with diodes, (look for bridge rectifier on the web i cant explain everything here), he used a ready-made one, you can also get rectifiers like this one from burnt PC power supplies (if thats not burnt).

peterrus (author)killrsheep2007-05-25

Thanks for explaining that :) And indeed, the rectifier did just come out of an old PC-power supply.

peterrus (author)filthyanimal2007-03-02

You don't get what?

smegger (author)2007-02-12

Wickid light man! Probs could find all these components at my school and that, cool! Is there any way of making it have smooth gradients between each light rather than having to turn off then go fade back in?

peterrus (author)smegger2007-02-12

It does just that, as you can see in the movie. Also the original designer of the circuit board has a new version which is programmable. Thanks for the comment and show my pictures if you've built on to!

dannyboy (author)2007-02-09

I just discovered this site and this Instructable as well. Thanks for posting this! I'm going to use this project to light a color organ. Here's a video of a color organ DeLorean!

peterrus (author)dannyboy2007-02-10

I am not really sure how you are going to do this, but much succes and thanks alot for the comment!

.ShortY (author)2006-12-06

Very nice project my friend. The colors look really clear, and spread all over. It looks professional.

Wulfbait (author)2006-12-05

I don't see any link!

peterrus (author)Wulfbait2006-12-05

My bad, fixed that. Thanks for the comment!

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