Arduino Based Lightsaber With Light and Sound Effects




About: I like to create things, handmade weapon, arduino projects, science and some crazy staff! Also I like to capturing videos about my projects and I have YouTube channel - MadGyver!

Hello jedi! This instructable is about making a lightsaber, that looks, sounds and performs like one in the movie! The only difference - it can't cut metal :(

This device is based on Arduino platform, and I give it a lot of features and functions, it was a very big job and I used all of my programming skills, but it was worth it!

So, let's talk about features! Also you can watch a short review in my video, in which I show all effects and functions of GyverSaber system and also there are two professional jedi fighting with my lightsabers in the end of video!


  • Smooth turning on/off with lightsaber-like sound effect
  • Randomly pulsing color (you can turn it off)
  • Sounds:
  • MODE 1: generated hum. Frequency depends on angle velocity of blade
  • MODE 2: hum sound from SD card
  • Slow swing - long hum sound (randomly from 4 sounds)
  • Fast swing - short hum sound (randomly from 5 sounds)
  • Bright white flash when hitting
  • Play one of 16 hit sounds, when hit:
  • Weak hit - short sound
  • Hard hit - long "bzzzghghhdh" sound
  • After power on blade shows current battery level from 0 to 100 percent

Battery safe mode

  • Battery is drain BEFORE TURNING ON: GyverSaber will not turn on, button LED will PULSE a couple of times
  • Battery is drain AFTER TURNING ON: GyverSaber will be turned off automatically

Control button:

  • HOLD - turn on / turn off GyverSaber
  • TRIPLE CLICK - change color (red - green - blue - yellow - pink - ice blue)
  • QUINARY CLICK - change sound mode (hum generation - hum playing)
  • Selected color and sound mode stored in EEPROM (non-volatile memory)

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Step 1: Materials and Components

I always buy electronic staff on Aliexpress, but you can find same modules on Amazon, eBay, etc.

Electronic components:

Materials and instruments:

  • Polycarbonate tube (light diffusion, 32mm)
  • 2 stubs for this tube
  • Some tubes for hilt (I used PVC sewage pipe and tubings: 40mm for hilt, 32mm for PC tube mount)
  • Steel wire
  • Common instruments for soldering and cutting plastic

Step 2: Wiring

I decided to make this project on prototybe board, 3x7cm, you can see all schematics and some ugly-looking-wiring =)

IMPORTANT! Before wiring, connect DCDC step down converter to 12V DC power source and adjust output voltage to 4.5V!

Step 3: Hilt

I use sewage pipes for hilt, but these are russians sewage pipes, so I think you need to improvise.

Step 4: Batteries

I use 3 lithium batteries (ordinary 18650 from laptop battery). At first we need to put them inside 40mm tube (hilt), and we need to heat the tube for it. But at first we need fix batteries together by tape and thicken them with 2 layers of paper.

So heat the tube, put batteries inside and cool down the tube as fast as you can! Lithium batteries very don't like high temperature. Then pull them off and you will see perfect battery case.

Step 5: Soldering Batteries

As I said, lithium batteries don't like high temperature. So use flux and powerful soldering iron (100W) to solder batteries very quickly. So, connect them in serial.

Step 6: Blade and LED Strip

I have 75cm blade, so I cut 75+75=150cm piece of strip. LED strip will be folded twice around wire, so use double-side tape to fix all, and you will get double side LED strip with wire inside.

Strip needs some supports along the blade tube, I used 3 supports made of nail in thermal shrink tubes, and attach them to strip with thread and super glue.

Drill a holes in stubs for wire, wire will be strained between two stubs and fixed by 3mm screw, but not right now.

Step 7: MPU6050

I connected MPU6050 using old IDE flex wire, because it is good idea to place MPU as close to blade as possible. And I just glue it in low stub of PC tube :)

Step 8: Hilt Buttons

Make some holes for buttons and charging port, and a few holes in bottom for speaker. Also I painted hilt with black paint.

Step 9: Final Wiring

So, connect batteries, pull off wires for switch and charge, solder it all and fix in their holes. Also, solder speaker wires too.

Step 10: Speaker Fixing

I fixed speaker using a ring of 40mm tube and some nails =) It is brutal and very strongly.

Step 11: Programming

You can find Arduino sketch, libraries, SD sound files and a lot of instructions in project page on GitHub, but I attached sketch and archive with all project files here, in Instructables.

Simple guide:

  • Open GyverSaber.ino and tune:
  • Number of microcircuits WS2811 on LED strip (note: one WS2811 controls 3 LEDs!)
  • Turn on or turn off blade pulsation
  • Hardly recommend measure real resistance of voltage divider resistors
  • System can work without battery monitoring, just deactivate BATTERY_SAFE. BUT IT IS NOT RECOMMENDED
  • Flash arduino
  • Upload audio files to SD card
  • Enjoy!

MicroSD info:

  • Size < 4G
  • Format to FAT
  • Copy audiofiles in the root

If you want add your own sounds, convert them to .WAV:

  • 8 bit
  • 16-32 kHz
  • Mono
  • Use online converters or Total Audio Converter

WARNING! If you are flashing assembled scheme, you must power up it! Arduino will not work correct with connected DCDC converter!

Step 12: Tuning

I made GyverSaber fully customiseable so you can build your own saber with different blade length and other parameters, just take a look on sketch settings.

Step 13: Final Screw

So, lightsaber is almost done! Just one last screw, which fix blade to tube. I made some drawing with all saber body construction.

Step 14: Results

So, DIY lightsaber is ready to fight! You can watch some tests with spins, swings, object hits, chandelier crash (oops!) and also two real Jedi, fighting with GyverSabers (yes, I made 2 of them!!!) in my video review on this DIY lightsaber and it's functions and features.

Sincerely, MadGyver.

Arduino Contest 2017

Runner Up in the
Arduino Contest 2017

3 People Made This Project!


  • Indoor Lighting Contest

    Indoor Lighting Contest
  • Make It Fly Challenge

    Make It Fly Challenge
  • Growing Beyond Earth Maker Contest

    Growing Beyond Earth Maker Contest

123 Discussions


Question 5 weeks ago

I connected everything but have a lot of noise, the sound effects are soft in comparison. Soundmode 1 is trembling the speaker like made, it's unbearable. in Soundmode 2 there is a lot of noise. Also the MPU6050 is only working when I connected everything to USB and after flashing. if I reset the arduino with USB connected the MPU6050 is working again, but if I do the same without USB the MPU6050 stops working, even though it's getting power. I allready have changed everything without results, are there any sugestions?

3 answers

Answer 8 days ago

I have same Problem. My Sound is very noise. Change Amplifier, sd card and Reader without change of problem.


Answer 26 days ago

I faced the same noise issue.At first i had think that this is a electrical noise.But one thing caught my attention.At idle "HUM" sound generated and this works through "toneAC.h" library.Than when another sound effect(*.wav files) plays, this noise has been stoped for a while.I had delete "HUM.wav" for finding the source of noise.Than suddenly noise dissappeared!!!This is our problem my friend.
This is the final state;


Reply 9 days ago

I am having the same issue. I bought enough supplies to build 4 of these but so far have not been able to get it to make any sound other than what seems to be overloading the speaker. I have built two just in case I had done something wrong the first time. Both are having the same issue: the lights work, flicker and change on command, but it seems that they both don't have motion sensitivity at all because the sound is terrible and I am still not sure if it is the mpu6050, the sd reader, the sd card, the amplifier, or the programming. it does not respond to movement, just has an extremely laud machine gun sound coming out of the speaker, and the speaker gets really hot. I would really REALLY appreciate any help to get the sound to work.


13 days ago

Why is in Pin10 for Chipselect from SD-CARD Module in Programm?? Connected is CS to D9 from Nano...... confused


27 days ago

Little bit unstable and buggy this Project


Question 4 weeks ago

Hi, I never used rechargable batterys for diy and I am worried about safety. should I use bms for the battery charge? or this is safe without?


6 weeks ago

I have the same problem, Clash is only working when I power up everything after connection with USB and have uploaded the code. Clash only works from there when USB is connected. Also the speaker resonates furiously and harsly like a machinegun. You can reconize some sounds in the background, even if SD-card is removed.


Question 2 months ago

Salve,io faccio tutto il montaggio bene ,ma gli effetti sonori si sentono solo con l accensione e lo spegnimento,con imu niente.ho una sd da 1gb.qualche consiglio?grazie.

1 answer

Answer 2 months ago

Maximal Space from SD-Card not over 4 GB to use


Question 6 months ago

Hi why not connect The amplifier to the 5v output of the Arduino instead of the step down 5v

1 answer

Answer 5 months ago

I think steep down gives 4.5 or less to the ampli board and gives those to a voltage divider who supplies voltage to a digital input in the arduino board.


Question 5 months ago

Best regards mate...a great job yours. One question...I have as power source three 18650 batteries to have 12 v, but my stepdown board only gives just 4 v. I think this is not enough to supply ampli board and digital input pin in the arduino nano,....then I have to recalculate the voltage divider?? some idea about, mate!!!;)

Sock Puppet

1 year ago

This is a great project - your code is very elegant. I have it working with a WS2812S strip on 5V.
I've tied A6 high as I'll have battery protection in hardware and I couldn't select more than 16 leds otherwise.
The BRIGHTNESS allows me to keep the current to a reasonable level for my single 18650 with a mod in the hit_flash for a brighter effect.
Again, fine code, great project. Thank you.

1 reply

1 year ago

if i dont use 3 18650 and dcdc step down should i need to put 51k and 100k resistance still?

1 reply

Reply 6 months ago

You resolve the problem how convert to 5v


Question 9 months ago

Error in code! Please help!

Error message:
[Arduino: 1.8.7 (Windows Store (Windows 10), Board: "Arduino Nano, ATmega328P (Old Bootloader)"
Build options changed, rebuilding all
In file included from C:\Users\Brendan\Documents\GyverSaber\GyverSaber\GyverSaber.ino:106:0:
C:\Users\Brendan\Documents\Arduino\libraries\FastLED/FastLED.h:17:21: note: #pragma message: FastLED version 3.001.005
# pragma message "FastLED version 3.001.005"
C:\Users\Brendan\Documents\GyverSaber\GyverSaber\GyverSaber.ino: In function 'void setup()':
GyverSaber:194:17: error: 'setAll' was not declared in this scope
GyverSaber:245:20: error: 'setColor' was not declared in this scope
GyverSaber:246:35: error: 'voltage_measure' was not declared in this scope
GyverSaber:254:33: error: 'setPixel' was not declared in this scope
C:\Users\Brendan\Documents\GyverSaber\GyverSaber\GyverSaber.ino: In function 'void loop()':
GyverSaber:269:15: error: 'randomPULSE' was not declared in this scope
if (nowColor >= 6) nowColor = 0;
GyverSaber:270:11: error: 'getFreq' was not declared in this scope
GyverSaber:271:16: error: 'on_off_sound' was not declared in this scope
setAll(red, green, blue);
GyverSaber:272:11: error: 'btnTick' was not declared in this scope
eeprom_flag = 1;
GyverSaber:273:14: error: 'strikeTick' was not declared in this scope
GyverSaber:274:13: error: 'swingTick' was not declared in this scope
if (btn_counter == 5) { // 5 press count
C:\Users\Brendan\Documents\GyverSaber\GyverSaber\GyverSaber.ino: In function 'void btnTick()':
GyverSaber:303:26: error: 'setColor' was not declared in this scope"HUM.wav");
GyverSaber:304:32: error: 'setAll' was not declared in this scope
C:\Users\Brendan\Documents\GyverSaber\GyverSaber\GyverSaber.ino:311:32: warning: ISO C++ forbids converting a string constant to 'char*' [-Wwrite-strings]
digitalWrite(BTN_LED, 0);
C:\Users\Brendan\Documents\GyverSaber\GyverSaber\GyverSaber.ino: In function 'void on_off_sound()':
GyverSaber:326:27: error: 'voltage_measure' was not declared in this scope
C:\Users\Brendan\Documents\GyverSaber\GyverSaber\GyverSaber.ino:328:29: warning: ISO C++ forbids converting a string constant to 'char*' [-Wwrite-strings]
GyverSaber:330:18: error: 'light_up' was not declared in this scope
EEPROM.write(1, HUMmode); // write mode in EEPROM
C:\Users\Brendan\Documents\GyverSaber\GyverSaber\GyverSaber.ino:336:32: warning: ISO C++ forbids converting a string constant to 'char*' [-Wwrite-strings]
if (((millis() - humTimer) > 9000) && bzzz_flag && HUMmode) {
C:\Users\Brendan\Documents\GyverSaber\GyverSaber\GyverSaber.ino:353:28: warning: ISO C++ forbids converting a string constant to 'char*' [-Wwrite-strings]
GyverSaber:355:18: error: 'light_down' was not declared in this scope
PULSE_timer = millis();
C:\Users\Brendan\Documents\GyverSaber\GyverSaber\GyverSaber.ino:370:26: warning: ISO C++ forbids converting a string constant to 'char*' [-Wwrite-strings]
strcpy_P(BUFFER, (char*)pgm_read_word(&(strikes_short[nowNumber])));
C:\Users\Brendan\Documents\GyverSaber\GyverSaber\GyverSaber.ino: In function 'void randomPULSE()':
GyverSaber:394:46: error: 'setAll' was not declared in this scope
C:\Users\Brendan\Documents\GyverSaber\GyverSaber\GyverSaber.ino: In function 'void strikeTick()':
GyverSaber:405:15: error: 'hit_flash' was not declared in this scope
swing_timer = millis();
GyverSaber:418:15: error: 'hit_flash' was not declared in this scope
C:\Users\Brendan\Documents\GyverSaber\GyverSaber\GyverSaber.ino: In function 'void batteryTick()':
GyverSaber:572:25: error: 'voltage_measure' was not declared in this scope
C:\Users\Brendan\Documents\GyverSaber\GyverSaber\clear.ino: In function 'void setup()':
clear:2:6: error: redefinition of 'void setup()'
void setup() {}
C:\Users\Brendan\Documents\GyverSaber\GyverSaber\GyverSaber.ino:191:6: note: 'void setup()' previously defined here
C:\Users\Brendan\Documents\GyverSaber\GyverSaber\clear.ino: In function 'void loop()':
clear:3:6: error: redefinition of 'void loop()'
void loop() {}
C:\Users\Brendan\Documents\GyverSaber\GyverSaber\GyverSaber.ino:268:6: note: 'void loop()' previously defined here
nowColor++; // change color
exit status 1
'setAll' was not declared in this scope
This report would have more information with
"Show verbose output during compilation"
option enabled in File -> Preferences.]

1 answer

Answer 6 months ago

It's compiles with no error
Check if you put the lybraries folder in the Arduino installation folder


Question 6 months ago


How would I change the code to work with 1 or 2 18650 batteries or AAA/AA batteries, and
5V WS2812B LED strip? This would really help. Thanks!