Introduction: Awesome Glowing Ceiling Fan Lights

About: Wassup people. I'm da Happy Mad Scientist and I'm a 18yr old [genius] that loves to make freakin cool stuff (eg. night-vision cameras and hydrogen generators). And hey, if said "stuff" goes BOOM, it'…

This is a really cool project. It makes kids and adults say "Wow that is really cool" and it is pretty cheap and easy to make. Most components you probably will have on hand. I thought of this when I saw a little kid asking his dad for one of those little handheld toy fans with candy in the bottom. The mini fan had a series of leds on its blades that would light up and dance around and even display some words. I thought to myself "That would look awesome on my ceiling fan." So here it is, about 35$ for a super cool cieling fan add-on. You can even control it with your cell phone!!!

Step 1: How It Works

I think the correct term for this kind of lighting is "motion blur." Basically, you put LEDs on your ceiling fan with an Arduino Micro or an Adafruit Feather and you spin the fan blades and blink the LEDs. LED strips would work the best and would be the brightest but I didn't have any on hand so I just used regular 5mm LEDs.

Step 2: Parts and Tools

What I got:

-Adafruit Feather 32u4 Bluefruit LE ~30$

-LED - Assorted (20 pack) ~2$

-Low capacity batteries are cheaper but won't last as long.

-Junk wire or new wire. Doesn't matter which.

-Electrical tape.

-Rubber bands


-Soldering Iron

-Wire strippers

Step 3: Building

Building it is quite simple. I soldered some "headers" in so I can use this 32u4 for something else. If you don't know how to solder you could easily make this project work without soldering by twisting electrical components together. With the parts I used I built it like this:

1. Solder the headers on the microcontroller.

2. Cut a ground wire(yellow in my case) at the same length of the fan blade you intend to attach the LEDs to.

3. Strip a 1/4'' section of the ground wire where each LED is supposed to go.

4. Wrap the negative LED lead(generally the short one) around the bare wire and solder.

5. Wrap all bare spots with insulating electrical tape.

6. Run a wire(in my case green) to each positive LED lead.

7. Attach positive wires to pins 1, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13.

8. Wire a switch from the ground to the EN. This allows you to turn it off and on.

9. Wrap in tape. Except for LEDs and switch.

10. Rubberband to fan blade

11. If you want to you can add counterweights in this setup. I didn't find this necessary as it didn't make my fan wobble.

Step 4: Code

My code was not complicated at all. Just turning LEDs off and on randomly is super easy. If you just want it to light up then you might want to use this code in Arduino IDE:

int pin13 = 13;

int pin12 = 12;

int pin11 = 11;

int pin10 = 10;

int pin9 = 9;

int pin6 = 6;

int pin5 = 5;

int pin1 = 1;

void setup() {

// initialize digital pin LED_BUILTIN as an output.

pinMode(pin13, OUTPUT);

pinMode(pin12, OUTPUT);

pinMode(pin11, OUTPUT);

pinMode(pin10, OUTPUT);

pinMode(pin9, OUTPUT);

pinMode(pin6, OUTPUT);

pinMode(pin5, OUTPUT);

pinMode(pin1, OUTPUT); }

// the loop function runs over and over again forever

void loop() {

digitalWrite(pin1, HIGH);

digitalWrite(pin5, HIGH);

digitalWrite(pin6, HIGH);

digitalWrite(pin9, HIGH);

digitalWrite(pin10, HIGH);

digitalWrite(pin11, HIGH);

digitalWrite(pin12, HIGH);

digitalWrite(pin13, HIGH);


Using a cellphone to control the LEDs might require some extra code but it's definitely worth it. I use Adafruits BLE app.

Step 5: Enjoy!!!

Amaze your friends with this awesome build. My camera didn't pick up the yellow or green colors that good but in real life they are almost just as bright. Have fun!!!!

Note: Do this at your own risk. I am not responsible for broken ceiling fans.

Microcontroller Contest 2017

Participated in the
Microcontroller Contest 2017

Make it Glow Contest 2016

Participated in the
Make it Glow Contest 2016