Introduction: Glass Stone LED Tube (WiFi Controlled Through Smartphone App)

Hello fellow makers!

In this instructable I will show you how to build a WiFi-controlled LED tube which is filled with glass stones for a nice diffusion effect. The LEDs are individually addressable and therefore some nice effects are possible in the end. And the best: The firmware for the microcontroller comes with a super-easy to use smartphone app for Android and iOS devices!

The following parts were used:

  • Software
    • WLED (as firmware for the Wemos D1 Mini)

Step 1: Print the Parts

You will need three 3d-printed parts:

  • the tube stand
  • the tube lid
  • the helper part for centering the aluminum profile

I printed all of these parts in Geeetech Copper filament, which you can find on Amazon.

You can find the .stl files on Thingiverse.

Important: Print the base and top part with minimum 4 perimeters and minimum 30% infill.

Step 2: Install WLED & Test Your LED Strip

Take your Wemos D1 Mini and install WLED onto it. Follow the Instructions and install the firmware.

NOTE: Use the WLED firmware for the D2 (= GPIO4) pin, not the standard one for the D4 (= GPIO2) pin!

---> use the xxx_ESP8266_ledpin4.bin file

Test your LED strip to make sure that every LED is working.

Step 3: Prepare the Glass Tube and LED Strips

  1. Take your general purpose glue and glue the lid the to the glass tube. Let it dry for min. 24 hours before touching it again!

  2. Take your aluminum profile, and drill 4 holes into it (~4mm diameter) as seen on the second picture. The holes will be used for the cabling of the LED strips. Make sure the holes are not covered when sticking the aluminum profile into the base part.
  3. Cut the LED Strip to length, so that you end up with 59 LEDs per strip (4 strips in total). Before cutting, make sure that there is enough room for the cables to go into the holes you drilled earlier.
  4. Tape the LED Strips to every side of your aluminum profile with the double-sided adhesive, which is already preinstalled on the back of the LED strips.
  5. Solder the wires you ordered to every LED strip and push the wiring through the holes in the aluminum profile you drilled earlier. You can make the wires approx. 7-9cm long. They will be cutted to length lateron.

Step 4: Fill the Tube With Glass Stones

Before continuing with this step, make sure that the glue you used for the tube lid in the previous step has dried completely!

  1. Take your tube and place it with the lid to the floor (Careful - the tube can easily fall and break. Always make sure you hold it tight)
  2. Take the Aluminum profile with your LEDs, and place it in the glass tube, so that it snaps into place with the notch in the lid.
  3. Take the helper part you printed earlier, and push it onto the glass tube to align the aluminum profile with the LEDs. Make sure that all the cabling is pushed through the inside of the aluminum profile / the center of the helper part.
  4. Tilt the tube sideways and carefully fill it with your glass stones. It's important to do this carefully to not damage your LEDs!

  5. Leave some air at the end, take off the helper part and make sure that the base fits without problems and sits flush.

  6. If this is the case and you pushed all your wiring through the base part, glue the base onto the LED tube with general purpose glue. Let everything dry for at least 24 hours before proceeding further.

Step 5: Electronics Installation

Now it's time for some soldering!

  1. Take your hot glue gun and glue the Wemos D1 Mini into place as seen on the picture
  2. Solder three wires to the Wemos: (Black - GND // RED - 5V // GREEN - D2)
  3. Take two long wires which will be used for the power supply.
  4. Solder the following wires together:
    1. All GND wires (Wemos, LEDs, Power Supply) - Black
    2. All 5V wires (Wemos, LEDs, Power Supply) - Red
    3. All Data wires (Wemos, LEDs) - Green
  5. Use some hot glue to fix everything in place.

  6. Take the two cables intended for the power supply and screw them to either the power supply screw block from the partslist. Depending on your power supply, you have to use either the male or female screw block.

Step 6: That's It!

You now have a supercool LED tube light which can be controlled through your smartphone! :)
I hope you enjoyed this instructable and you can build your own tube light now.

Further steps:

  • Control your light through your Smart Home by using the WLED integration for Home Assistant!
  • Sync different WLED lights together with the built-in sync feature!
  • Sync your lights to music by using LedFX!
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