Introduction: Minecraft Rainbow Ore Lamp


What is it? Gold Ore? Iron Ore? Diamond Ore? Redstone Ore? What kind of Ore is it?


Bad introductions aside, what I did was hack one of these redstone night lights. They are basically a nightlight that glows at different brightness's when you tap it. But being only red is pretty boring, so naturally being the crazy lights person I am, I decided to add a little bit of Arduino magic and make it RAINBOW!

Heres the rundown:

  • Powered by an Arduino
  • Easy to Make
  • Rainbow

Note this mod causes the light to drain the battery very quickly, be sure to turn it off when not in use.

Step 1: Supplies

Obviously you need one of these redstone light up ore lamps (untested, but the diamond versioncould work)

Other than that:

  • Arduino Nano (I actually used a Pro Mini only because I am out of Nanos)
  • WS2811 LED module or cutoff of a strip (one led is enough, but same as before I am out of singles and used an 8pc module)
  • High Voltage AA batteries (such as some lithium batteries).
  • Wires
  • Plain White Paper
  • Hot Glue + Gun

Overall, the cost for this project is $40 (including the $30 redstone night light).

Step 2: Disassembling the Cube

So first we need to disassemble the redstone ore lamp to get a look at what is inside.

If there are batteries in the cube, take them out now to stop a potential short from happening.

Other than that, start by removing the 4 rubber feet on the bottom to expose the screws hidden beneath them.

Screws unscrewed, take off the bottom plate to reveal the mysterious electronics behind all this magic.

The electronics are pretty simple actually. The black cyclinder taking up in the middle detects tapping, and the IC die hidden under the sticky dot tells the LEDs what brightness to be on depending on the signals it receives from the tapping sensor.

Anyways, put that aside and head on forth...

Step 3: Removing the Red Shell (not a Mario Reference)

Now for the cube to be rainbow, we have to remove the red filter around the grey part of the cube.

The top part has some screws that need to be removed; so after that you can easily just push the red filter from the top with a screwdriver - it should come out with a bit of force.

Once the top is off, you can proceed to knock down the side parts, they should come out a similar way to the top.

Step 4: Cool White Case

Cool white? that's the color the cube is going to be when not lit by LED's. To achieve this, grab a good ol' piece of white paper and make copies of the red shell filter pieces you removed before.

Then get your hot glue gun and glue down the pieces in the corner and the rough center to allow the paper to stay held tight to the grey case.

That's it! The case is done, now all that is left is the magic electronics modding.

Step 5: Magical Electronics Modding (part 1)

Ok, so this step isn't really magical, but anything can be with your imagination right?...

Follow these steps and you should be good for the electronics part.

  1. Disconnect all the red LED's in the corners and move the wires out of the way.
  2. Hot Glue the Arduino to a suitable spot on the bottom piece.
  3. Connect the Negative terminals from the batteries to the Arduino
  4. Connect the positive terminal to 1 side of the switch, with the other side going to the LED's positive terminal and the Arduino's VCC terminal
  5. Where the two connections for the switch used to be, now just short the two connections with a wire.
  6. Connect Data pin 9 on the Arduino to the Data IN on the LED's.
  7. Connect Analog In 3 on the Arduino to the right leg of the black cylinder thing located here:

7. Connect the batteries' ground to the LED's GND.

8. Connect the Arduino's GND to the LED's GND.

Step 6: Code Upload

Connect the Arduino to a computer and upload the code available here:


You need to (yet again) have Adafruit's Neopixel library installed for the code to work properly. You can get that here: Github

And that's it! You're done! Your cube should now light up and change colors when you tap it. If you want to change the colors it becomes, just go into the code and change the RGB values in one of the many colorwipe functions inside the 16 switches.


If you are reading this far then that means you have some kind of interest in this project. Please vote for it in the contests that it is entered in so that it can rise to the top and so that everyone can see it!


Arduino All The Things! Contest

Participated in the
Arduino All The Things! Contest

Leftovers Challenge

Participated in the
Leftovers Challenge

Make It Glow! Contest

Participated in the
Make It Glow! Contest