Introduction: Stackable Ambient RGB LED Cube Lights

In this Instuctable I will show you how to produce your own Battery powered Stackable RGB LED Cube Lights.

They provide portable RGB mood lighting to any environment. Their compact design allows for a multitude of different applications. Make more than one and you have you own interactive art work right there in your living room.

Step 1: What You Will Need.

You only require a few items here. The RGB components of this cube are optional and standard LeD's look brilliant also.


+ Hot glue gun.
+ A RGB pre-made circuit, or standard LeD.
+ 6 glass tiles (preferably ones with a white backing already). These are found at most stores selling standard tiles. They are used as border tiles. I used 45mmx45mm but it's your choice, the principal is the same.
+ Sheet of thin white paper(If you couldn't get white backed glass tiles).
+ Battery suitable to run your LeD's (preferably rechargable).
+ Clear sticky tape.
+ Nail polish remover.


Ok, once you have your items lets move onto the next step


Step 2: Preparing the Tiles

Now we need to prepare the tiles. Obviously if you tiles came with netting connecting them you will need to remove it and any residue.
Use your nail polish remover in a well ventilated environment to remove the left over glue.

If your tiles did not come with a white backing then cut your white paper into correct sized squares and apply it the the back of the glass tiles. Fix it in place with you clear sticking tape for now...

I doubt anyone will have this issue as I have not seen any see-through glass tiles as yet...

Now your tiles are prepared, let's stick them together.

Step 3: Cube Construction

Hot gluing the sides

Basically we want to start by connecting the first tile to the second by applying two decent dots of hot glue to each corner as we go. continue this process until you have reached your last piece. Once you get the hang of this it won't take you long.

Attaching the base

How you attach your base will very much depend on what tiles you were able to obtain. I only run mine for limited amounts of time so I choose to simply use small dots of hot glue to attach the base. When you need to change batteries ease the base away. The glue will release as long as you don't go over board.

Step 4: Start Modelling Your Units

One is never enough, spend the rest of he afternoon making a dozen more and create your own interactive display.

The endless different combinations you can create, produce some simple amazing lighting effects.

Well, I hope you liked them and hope they bring some ambient Cube Light effects to your dwelling as well.

Comments

author
cboarder (author)2008-08-17

and also...is the tile that you used like clear or frosted or what...thanks

author
Lftndbt (author)cboarder2008-08-18

Most generic glass tiles that you will find at a hardware store will be frosted.
This is because obviously you do not want to see through it completely to the glue behind it.

The colour of frosting they use will be determined by what the tile is marketed at...

At the hardware store I work at we have, black (like my How To Catch A Fallen Star), blue,white frosting (like these pictured here in the Ible).

author
Nagarok (author)Lftndbt2010-01-27

How much does the frosting matter to the cube? 

author
killerjackalope (author)2008-08-05

Idea Use neodymium magnets on corners as contacts and have a power cube... That would make the system pretty interesting...

author
Lftndbt (author)killerjackalope2008-08-05

Yes, that was one of my first concepts. Although nifty, the magnets obviously leave you with big black dots where they lie in the corners etc. Not so asthetically pleasing unfortunatley. They would also then resemble other cube projects available at the moment on Instructables. Didn't want to encroach to much on others ideas. I may try it again on larger glass tiles where not to much of the light surface area will be obstructed by magnets / contact points. I do have a keyboard worth of surface contact points just waiting to be slapped on some of these though. Thank for your comment.

author
a918bmxr (author)Lftndbt2009-06-03

epoxy coated neodymium arent black they are silver. magnet4less.com has a large selection of magnets for cheap

author
killerjackalope (author)Lftndbt2008-08-06

Aye, maybe if they were just on tops and bottoms it'd be better looking, it's a nice project though, if you do consider it the tiny hundred packs of little discs are good, they are very slim but enough to hold something like this together.

Contact points work well too though, you could borrow an idea from the LED chess set tetranitrate made, it's pretty nifty design...

author
Lftndbt (author)killerjackalope2008-08-06

Yes indeed.

author
dowd95 (author)Lftndbt2009-05-02

What if u got some sheet metal and put it on all the corners? The magnets could hide underneath.

author
SandLizard (author)2009-04-26

Beautiful. But where is the on/off switch?

author
corsi (author)2009-04-03

ok these are awsome and i just have one question......... how do you turn them off?

author
akatsuki666 (author)2009-02-25

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

author
Lftndbt (author)akatsuki6662009-02-25

Yes you can. It is possible with a 555 timing circuit or microcontroller, yet I am thinking you should probably just buy pre-made units with three LeD's in each and remove the undesired LeD. That gives you the timing already and you don't have to deal with controllers.

"you guys are smart."

Te he he, I must be really smart for one person then. LoL ;-)

author
Canadarocker (author)2008-10-15

Nice, looks great.

author
DirtMcGurt (author)2008-09-22

Where did you get the pre-made RGB circuits? That's the hardest part if you ask me.

author
Lftndbt (author)DirtMcGurt2008-09-22

From novelty shops. I just find cheap chinese toys etc which have harvestable circuits boards. I found these mood ball things. $4.00AU and ripped the guts out.

author
HeWantsRevenge (author)2008-08-05

great instructable...solar powered outdoor versions sound fun...thanx

author
Lftndbt (author)HeWantsRevenge2008-08-05

I had not thought of the outdoor application yet. Yes as someone that sells exterior lighting I can say their design is some what lacking. These would look great nestled in some bushs outside. Thanks for your comment.

author
joejoerowley (author)Lftndbt2008-08-14

I would just take a pre-made solar lantern and swap the amber/white LED(s) with a RGB LED.

author
Lftndbt (author)joejoerowley2008-08-15

But then you would have a RGB garden lantern that has already been done to death... We were thinking the Cube design would look good outside.

author
joejoerowley (author)Lftndbt2008-08-17

I was thinking the cube would look good too. Sorry I forgot the part about removing the parts from the lantern and putting them in the cube. Thanks Joe

author
Lftndbt (author)joejoerowley2008-08-18

Then that would make perfect sense. That would be a very effective way of giving the solar powered rgb effects to the cube... Thanks, I may try that.

author
joejoerowley (author)Lftndbt2008-08-18

Sure. Let me know how it goes.

author
Lftndbt (author)HeWantsRevenge2008-08-14

Any luck making solar powered versions?

author
cboarder (author)2008-08-17

Hey...one question...do the cubes change color automatically or are they stuck on one color??

author
Lftndbt (author)cboarder2008-08-18

The unit pictured is RGB unit which automatically switchs colours creating the pinks and purples etc when blending the Red Blue and Green LeD's.... You can also use a LeD coloured or not.... The How To Catch A Fallen Star Ible is done with a standard LeD...

author
Doctor What (author)2008-08-10

These are awesome looking. I'll have to do this this weekend.

author
Lftndbt (author)Doctor What2008-08-14

Did you end up making any?

author
Doctor What (author)Lftndbt2008-08-14

It's not quite the weekend yet... I have to wait until I get paid of course!

author
Lftndbt (author)Doctor What2008-08-15

I am lucky enough to work in a store that sells them , so I normally buy them when they are reduced.. Definatley post some pics here if you would like when you are done. That's if you do try them. ;)

author
Lftndbt (author)Doctor What2008-08-11

Awesome, cheap and quick to make. What could be better to do on the weekend? LoL I'm trying to get a slideshow of the black tile version up. Sadly the slideshow is published yet hasn't appeared after two days...

author
qwertyboy (author)2008-08-11

Could you use glass frosting spray instead of paper? i think that would look a little better.

author
Lftndbt (author)qwertyboy2008-08-12

Yes definatley!! Although I'm not sure they sell see through tiles at all.. since if they were see through, then you would see through to the ugly compressed board generally used in bathrooms. Most come with a semi transperant frosting already applied. If you were thinking of using pieces of glass cut into square then yes by all means spray them. Paper was just a crude way to get the effect if you couldn't find frosted ones.

author
Lftndbt (author)2008-08-11

This is it done with grey black tiles and a LeD.

How To Capture A Fallen Star

author
Lftndbt (author)Lftndbt2008-08-11

.

DSC00495.JPGDSC00507.JPGDSC00509.JPG
author
Ian01 (author)2008-08-10

Idea Put three light sensors in each one, one each of red, green, and blue. Make these somehow subtly influence the timings of the LEDs. If you put a bunch of these cubes near each other, they should spontaneously form some sort of pattern.

author
Lftndbt (author)Ian012008-08-11

Interesting. I like that idea... At the moment you can obviously do basic colour drains and fills by off setting start times.

author
stonehenge360 (author)2008-08-05

very cool use of glass tiles! i like how they look - great job.

author
Lftndbt (author)stonehenge3602008-08-05

Thanks! The tiles seemed like a good option, as they as both cheap and easy to obtain.

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Bio: I work in a D.i.Y style superstore. I am not sure if that is a good thing or not, but it certainly perpetuates ... More »
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