Instructables

The easy light up, animated table. No electronics skills needed!

FeaturedContest Winner
It is easy and super cool to make. Yeah, Yeah, I know that there are some other Instructables out there on how to build a light up table, but this one is different. The table is based off of mrgalleta's Instructable, but you don't have to have any electronics skills to build it.

Like I was, you are probably thinking, "Wow, those tables are so cool, but how am I ever going to be able to build one? I don't know how to work with micro controllers, IC's, and other complicated electronics" That is why I decided to build this table.

First off, I have no micro controller programming skills, so the table needed to look cool while still having the ability to do some animations. Second, I am very lazy and impatient, and did not want to spend a whole day soldering a hundred individual led's to a bunch of wires. Third, this project needed to be a relatively quick project that i could work on while i was at home during a break from college. Finally, as I am in college, and the table needed to be cheap.

Here is the finished project with the "random" animation feature turned on:

 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up
ravewings4 months ago
This animated light up table is very similar, but also battery powered: http://youtu.be/P1o5ji-guiY
aaron9898 months ago
This structable Sucks! Way to not go into the most important part... lights!
Because its plexiglass does that mean I can kick it over and use it as a shield?
krzysztof213 years ago
Cool
mob13 years ago
Just picked up a frosted glass top table at garage sale (yard sale,if your an American) for $5, start project tomorrow.
Where can I get the foam for mounting the leds into (Sydney,Australia) or can anyone suggest an alternative ?
Would heat be an issue ?
Great instructable,easy to follow, Im inspired !
z28racer3 years ago
Just a question about the lights from Deal Extreme. If you switch them to one mode and them unplug them from the wall and them plug them back in later will they be in the same mode? Or just stay off until you hit the button again. I want to order a similar set from DX. but only if they will work when connected to a timer.
Excellent instructable! I love that it's something I could make without Josh's help.
mary candy3 years ago
uhulll
you won!
xanxor3 years ago
GENIUS!
BOOJAN3 years ago
i want to build something like this years ago, and i have forgotten about it untill now, but i was wondering sinde i doubt that i can find those diffuser sheets can i put white plexiglas instead of diffuser sheets and clear plexi??
You can buy 'opal' plexiglas / perspex, then you would not need a separate diffuser sheet.
mosesman08 (author)  yellowcatt3 years ago
yellowcatt is right, you could use opal Plexiglas instead of the diffuser sheets, you would get soft edges on your LED boxes. I personally like the boxes to have a hard edge, and that is what the thin diffuser sheets allow you to do. If you use the opal Plexiglas, each box will have edges that fade out creating more of a blend between boxes instead of the sharp lines.
thanks for the replays guys, i will try to find that opal plexiglass....
The opal plexiglas/perspex is available in different grades offering various degrees of diffusion, it should not be too much problem to track down, it is used by sign makers in some illuminated signs. Another idea would be to use 'frosted' plexiglas/perspex.
CobaltBlue3 years ago
This is totally mind-blowing and it will be even more so when I challenge my nemesis to a game of chess on a table like thissss, mwah-ha-ha!! 8x8 though, with a null border. What a brilliant idea!
andyp6753 years ago
Love it already looking forward to build a coffe or couch table with your idea for the lights. this is really awsome and i like your instructions i hope im gone be able to put something like this together in here.

Awsome idea thanks Andy!
Oh snap, simplicity at its best. Awesome
mary candy3 years ago
nice nice niiiiceeeeee
richms3 years ago
The whole circuit is at mains potential, I don't really like the idea of using the button off the circuit board exposed like that, since you are directly touching the switch, unlike the design in the case.

A mains rated push button would be a good idea, some older ATX computer cases had them to replace the old style latching ones, big clunky power switches.

Other than that, nice instructable. Like the final result.

Did you try 2 leds in some squares to get some colour mixing happening?
mosesman08 (author)  richms3 years ago
I can see where you are coming at from a safety standpoint, but the switch should only be at +5V max not the 120Vac. The push-button is there to bridge two contacts on the IC to signal the change in the pattern. The main I/O switch is a mains rated toggle switch though.

As far as the colour mixing is concerned, I did not try it. It should produce a nice effect. The only problem is not being able to directly control each LED colour with the setup I have now.
rcisneros3 years ago
Okay that's freaky. I did a similar thing with a tic-tac-toe format with the exact same parts from the exact same stores. Small world.

BTW. You're project looks great.
mosesman08 (author)  rcisneros3 years ago
Thanks!
DX is an awesome store (as well as the others). If you wouldn't mind, I would like to see some pics of your table. It seems like a cool spin on a normal table.
Sure. I used the 30 battery operated lights and then chopped the extra leds off. It's not a table. it's more of a stare at it for 5 minutes. A table seems much more practical. I'll post a pic asap.
i LOVE THIS i have been searching the site for 4 months now for something like this which required little to no electrical skill! im gonna work on mine next summer when i have time!
Really cool idea, I am not the greatest with microprocesors, or anyother complicated piece of technology for that matter, and this seems like a great and simple idea.
You do not show a picture of the lights
mosesman08 (author)  janetsgarden143 years ago
Yeah....  Sorry about that. Either I didn't take a picture of them before I glued them in, or I just can't find them, but there are several pictures of the lights at the website I bought lights from http://www.dealextreme.com/photogallery.dx/sku.16212~seQ.5 . Let me know if you have any more questions about them.
jen77143 years ago
It looks very nice. I would totally love this in my dining room :)
mosesman08 (author)  jen77143 years ago
Thanks!

You should try making one (and I think it would be used a lot judging from your Instructables)!
henryvrgl3 years ago
I like the fact that he/you took Christmas lights and did this. Totally there with you on the lazy / impatient thing.
mosesman08 (author)  henryvrgl3 years ago
Yeah, using the lights made the project a lot easier, plus they included animations!
jid46113 years ago
awesome
jecaestevez3 years ago
I like it
agis683 years ago
man you confuse me with the biscuit! did you ate it after all?....clever idea to use it to absorb the liquids.....I liked the project... very simple in electronics and little complicated in construction, but I will try it for my coffee table...5/5
mosesman08 (author)  agis683 years ago
Haha, no I did not eat the biscuits... I would have gotten a lot of fiber though... They work by swelling when they come into contact with water based glue thus "locking" the two pieces of wood together along with the glue bonding them together.

Hope your coffee table build works well!
RadBear3 years ago
Cool.
Pro

Get More Out of Instructables

Already have an Account?

close

PDF Downloads
As a Pro member, you will gain access to download any Instructable in the PDF format. You also have the ability to customize your PDF download.

Upgrade to Pro today!