Introduction: The ULTIMATE Umbrella

Have you ever wanted an umbrella with lights, a built in sound system, and a smile that takes all negativity out of rainy days? Well then this is the instructable for you! Read on to learn how to make your own ULTIMATE umbrella!

(DISCLAIMER: The author of this instructable is not responsible for any bad luck that comes from opening an umbrella indoors, Have fun!)

Step 1: Gather Materials!

The materials you will need to build your own ULTIMATE umbrella are:

  • An umbrella (preferably a sun shine edition umbrella)
  • A pair of old earbuds (they must work as they are for the built in sound system)
  • LEDs (as many as you want lights in your umbrella)
  • Electrical tape
  • Solder
  • Zip ties
  • A spool of wire
  • A battery holder and a few batteries
  • A soldering iron
  • Wire strippers
  • A pair of scissors

Step 2: Cut Wire

In this step we will cut wire!

To cut wire simply measure lengths of wire about the length of the metal rods in your umbrella, and cut! You will need two wires for every one rod you wish to light up. I chose to light up four rods (every other rod) so I cut out eight pieces of wire. Once you are done cutting your wire out, tape pairs together (one pair per rod) at the end of each of the wires with electrical tape as shown in the drawing above.

Step 3: Strip the Wire!

Next, we will strip wire!

To strip the wire, simply start at the top near the black tape, and push the rubber sleeve down the wire to reveal small bits of metal wire. Make the same number of strips in the wire as you want there to be LEDs. You must make a parallel strip on the opposite wire in the pair. Finally, strip off the end of each wire. Everything is shown in the drawing above.

Step 4: Solder!

Now, we will solder the LEDs!

Start by soldering an LED at the end of the wire. Mark the wire that you soldered the negative lead to with a piece of black electrical tape. Then, solder all the other LEDs in the other slots you striped, solder the negative leads to the newly marked negative wire and the positive leads to the other wire as shown in the picture above.

Once you are done, undo the black tape holding the two wires together and strip the ends. Once the ends are stripped, test your string of LEDs with your battery pack and make sure they light up.

Now repeat step three and four until you have all the LED strings you need!

Step 5: Insulate!

Next, we will insulate our wires!

To insulate your wires wrap electrical tape around all exposed metal to prevent water from leaking in and shorting your lights, after all, it is an umbrella! You can also use heat shrink tubing, hot glue, or silicone, but I find tape the easiest.

Step 6: Install the LEDs!

Now, we will zip tie the LEDs into the umbrella!

Start by zip tying the LED at the end of the string onto one of the little nobs at the end of the umbrella. Then, zip tie the rest of the string down the metal rod in your umbrella with the LEDs facing out. Make sure the two stripped ends are in the middle of the umbrella.

Repeat with all of your LED strings!

Step 7: Wire All the Strings Together!

In this step we will wire all the LED strings together!

To wire the strings together, solder all the negative, and all the positive ends together. I used a few extra pieces of wire to bridge the longer connections.

Step 8: Attach the Battery Holder!

Now we will attach the battery holder!

Simply solder the red wire from the battery holder to any part of the positive wires, and the black wire to any part of the negative wires! Turn the battery holder on to test. If everything went well, the whole umbrella will light up!

Step 9: Insulate Again!

Next, we insulate! Again!

To insulate again, simply wrap tape around the bare metal in the connections you made. Be careful not to tape positive and negative wires together!

Step 10: Install Your Battery Holder!

Simply zip tie your battery holder to an out of the way place in your umbrella so that it can still open and close. Make sure you still have access to the switch to turn it on and off!

Step 11: Install the Sound System!

Now for the easiest part!

To Install the sound system simply zip tie your ear buds pointed up into the umbrella, and run the wire down the handle in such away so that you can sill open and close your umbrella.

Step 12: You're Done!

You are now done the ULTIMATE umbrella! You are ready to spread joy on rainy days! :) If you have any ideas that I could add the the ULTIMATE umbrella, please let me know!

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