Arduino - Simple Led-underglow Effect (With Pyramid Frame)

Introduction: Arduino - Simple Led-underglow Effect (With Pyramid Frame)

In this Arduino-Instructable you will be learning how to craft a breathing underglow effect using Arduino, without having to make any permanent modifications (like doing solder work) . A very simple and easy craft for anyone that has never used Arduino before.

You will be working using a breadboard and you can make other types of objects to give an underglow using this construction. In this instructable I will be building a simple and quick wooden pyramid, as it was supposed to become something bigger for a school project.

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Step 1: Starting Up - Requirements

First of all we will start by building the LED circuit that actually lights up!

You will need :

A Arduino board, this can be an original UNO, or a chinese unit. The unit on the picture is a GEEKCREIT. Arduino is open source.

A Breadboard - On the picture is a larger breadboard than what you get with the starter-kit. Most breadboards are half the size of the one on the picture. This will work as we only need half of the room as seen on the picture.

8 LEDs - These can be any color, but blue is slightly more visible than the other starter-kit colors.

8 330ohm Resistors - You can see resistors based on the colored stripes. The 330ohm has the colors : Orange, Orange, Brown, Gold or Yellow at the other end.

9 Cables, short cables are suggested. The colors do not matter but can help you differ them from each other.

USB-Cable for the Arduino board, these are mostly included.

Step 2: Installing the First Bunch

We will be using a lot of cables.

First of all, you need a cable in these slots :

GND - This is the grounding - Install one end in the GND of your arduino, the other end on the blue minus sign, this is the negative layer of your breadboard as shown on the schematic.

Step 3: Installing the Rest

The first thing you do, is insert a LED. Important to know is that the longer end of a LED, is the positive side, where the lesser end, is the negative.

Put a 330Ohm resistor as shown on the schematic. Put the short side (negative) of the led on the side where the resistor is placed, the resistor's other end is on the same negative line as where you put your GND cable. On the positive side, you will enter a cable and let it end on the slot of 7, repeat this and you will fill up to slot 13 and you will end up with something very similar to the second picture.

Step 4: Coding Up the Lights

You will have something that looks like the first picture.

Now you have to download and install the Arduino software which will let us code the board.


Once downloaded, you will see a coding interface. Connect your Arduino to your PC/Laptop.

First things first : We will tell the script to use the numbered slots 7 to 13. with int LED1 = 13, LED2 = 12 and go on until 7, as shown on top of the first picture.

Next, we will set a pinMode (LED1, OUTPUT); - Keep doing this until LED8. This tells the Arduino to use the slots as a digital output.

To make the led light up, we will make a digitalWrite (LED1, HIGH); followed by delay(75); This will tell arduino to light up LED1 and wait 75 milliseconds for the next action. Now enter the same action, but with LED2 and so on.

When you have LED8 sorted out, insert a DigitalWrite (LED1, LOW); with a delay of 75 and make a similar row as with the HIGH ones. Now you have told Arduino to light up each LED one after another and wait for eachother to blink on and off.

Now go to your software and find the Upload button, the Arduino will blink first and your LEDS will make a little wave of things! Congratulations, you have build a waving LED-arduino, playing anything above this will create a light-breathing-pulsing effect of LED.

Step 5: The Pyramid

Now this is a quick guide, as it is a demo-object to demonstrate the LED effect you have created. This is not a necessary step, but if you don't know something or can't wait to find out how it looks, you can follow this guide.

You pick up some wood of choice, I took MDF and sawed out 3 even-triangles with a length of 20 centimeters. From the wood you got left, make little "feet" for under your pyramid.

Once the triangles are made, you can glue these together using wood-glue, in this example I have used epoxy, careful as this is very strong glue. To spice things up, I spray-painted the pyramid in red after I glued the little feet under the pyramid and trimmed them to look like not sticking out.

In the end, putting the pyramid over the led gives you a cool red pyramid, with some blue led breathing underglow effect!

I hope you have gathered more confidence and courage to explore more with Arduino.

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    3 years ago

    That looks neat :) It would make an awesome night light!