Introduction: Convert Fiber-Optic Decor to Neopixel LED

This was the second project I made based on the New York Cityscape LED Project. These fiberoptic tchotchke lights are traditionally powered 120V which runs a small incandescent lamp (through a converter) & a motorized color wheel. This design is inherently noisy & inefficient, so the objective is to upgrade to a quieter 5V microcontroller with individually programmed 5050 WS2812B RGB LEDs.

This was a much simpler project as the fiberoptic bundle is already conveniently Jewel-size (approximately 25mm) which inspired the simultaneous upgrade to the NYC-scape project. The whole upgrade cost less than $15 for the Jewel, controller, & electrical connectors:


  1. Adafruit Jewel
  2. Digispark Attiny85 controller
  3. 3D Printer with filament (I use Printrbot, but any will do)
  4. Single headers & jumper wires
  5. Soldering equipment

Step 1: Step 1: Disassembly & Take Measurements

The flower was a simple disassembly - only 4 screws for the base & 3 for the color wheel assembly. I took measurements of the color wheel assembly, for the purpose of recreating the geometry for the LED holder - mounting holes, assembly height, & x-y location of the light source. I created a model in Solidworks for the new LED holder, which was then printed in PLA.

Step 2: Step 2: Solder Header Pins to Jewel & Controller

Next, carefully solder header pins to IN, PWR, & GND on the back of the Jewel. The LEDs are clustered very close together, so make sure not to singe the 5050 pixels when soldering from the front.

On the controller, I used a combination of straight pin & 90° headers, but it's up to you and your mounting scheme.

Step 3: Assembly, Program & Test

Next, I put the base back together, with LED holder, Jewel, & controller, & wired it up.

(Note: I already had a Neopixel program loaded on my Flora, so I did an initial test with a Flora then switch over to the Digispark for final programming / integration).

Because I just wanted the flower to run a rainbow cycle, programing was simple based on the Neopixel library strandtest example

Step 4: Finish

Last I reassembled everything together, plugged it into a (remote-controlled relay switch) USB outlet, & Voila! A magical flower that Belle & Lumiere would be jealous of. Even plays music!

First Time Authors Contest 2016

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First Time Authors Contest 2016