DIY Exploding Wall Clock With Motion Lighting




About: I am creating step-by-step, do it yourself project videos. My goal is to create something cool or useful from wood, plastic materials, electronics, etc. As I am huge DIY enthusiast, expect variety of differ...

In this instructable / video I am going to show you step by step how to make creative and unique looking wall clock with integrated motion lighting system.

This quite unique clock design idea is orientated to make clock more interactive. When I walk by the clock, I always raise my hand to activate its lighting! It maybe sounds silly, but every time I do that, I feel somehow very satisfied! :)

But if you don't want this motion lighting system you can just make the clock without it, because even without the lighting, this clock looks really cool!

Provided Amazon links are affiliates



Templates and Circuit:

You can follow me:

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Preview of the Finished Clock

Some different angles of the finished wall clock.

Step 2: Power Consumption

Total power consumption when clock's lighting is on - 30.2 mAh.

Powered by two Li-Ion 18650 batteries in series giving 8.4V (max charge).

Although RGBW LED strip needs 12V, with 8.4V (or even with 6.4V, when I tested)

Red channel glows very bright compared to regular white color LEDs. So single Red color is quite good solution for simple lower voltage lighting.

Step 3: Starting Point

Glue my made template (210x210mm) on 18mm thick wood board and drill 11mm depth hole for the router bit to fit in.


Step 4: Routing Spots for the Electronic Items

Route all spots for the electronic parts with depth as written on the template.

Step 5: Cutting Cubes

Now we can start cutting all "exploded" parts. Not all parts can be cut with a jigsaw, so for those use fretsaw.

Step 6: Sanding All Pieces

Sand all cut pieces with 120 and 220 grit sandpapers.

Step 7: Drilling Holes

Drill holes for the clock mechanism and for the HC-SR501 motion sensor. For the sensor, drill hole size as sensor itself and then drill thinner hole, that the sensor would trigger at more direct and narrower angle.

Step 8: Starting Gluing Cubes

Place something beneath the main part of the clock and start gluing small cubes. Use my made "exploded" clock template to know where to glue and mark off cubes one by one on the template when you glued it.

Step 9: Marking Spots for the Leds

When all glued parts dried up, cut 50 cm of unprotected RGBW LED strip and mark spots around the clock's back where you'll need to glue small blocks for the RGB LEDs. Usually white LEDs on a strip are RGB and yellow ones emits white color (which we won't be using), but check your strip to make sure.

Step 10: Cutting and Gluing Small Blocks for the Leds

Glue my template and cut small blocks. Sand them and glue on the marked spots around the back of the clock.

Step 11: Applying Finish

Apply any finish you like. I applied one coat of white color paint. It is good idea to paint back of the clock with bright color for better light reflection from the LEDs.

Step 12: Circuit of This Build

Circuit of this build for who knows what their are doing.

Step 13: Start of Step by Step Soldering of the Electronic Components

Solder one side contacts of the DIY 18650 battery box with a short wire. In other side solder two ~15cm long wires and bent connector on both sides that the box would fit perfectly in the routed spot. Add electrical tape inside the box and mark polarity of the batteries.

Step 14: More Soldering

Shorten transistor's legs and solder the "base" leg of the transistor to the middle connector of the sensor. Then, solder two short wires to the RGBW LED strip's connectors of your preferred color (negative wire (-) goes to R, G, or B color).

Step 15: And More Soldering

Solder two extension wires to the positive and negative connectors of the sensor.

Then solder negative wire from the LED strip to the "emitter" on the transistor.

And then solder three positive wires together: one from the sensor, other from the LED strip and last onefrom the batteries.

Step 16: Final Soldering

Finally, solder negative wires from the sensor and from the LED strip to the "collector" on the transistor. Add electrical tape around unprotected wires.

Step 17: Preparing Led Strip for Gluing

Cut away non-sticky tape under RGB LEDs on the strip and place sensor and the batteries in place.

Step 18: Led Strip Gluing and Finishing Lighting System

Put some super glue on the previously cut spots and then glue the LEDs to the small blocks. Secure wires with hot glue. If other components doesn't hold well secure them too. Add Li-Ion 18650 protected batteries.

Step 19: Final Touches

Add the clock mechanism, tighten it, and add clock arrows. Put in one AA battery for the clock and add some more electrical tape on the sensor to prevent from accidental short circuit if you hand the clock on a metal hook or a nail.

Step 20: You Made It!

I hope this instructable / video was useful and informative.

If you like what I do, you can support me by liking this Instructable / YouTube video and subscribing for more future content. That means a lot! Feel free to leave any questions.

Thank you, for reading / watching!

You can follow me:

Woodworking Contest

Participated in the
Woodworking Contest



    • Indoor Lighting Contest

      Indoor Lighting Contest
    • Make It Fly Challenge

      Make It Fly Challenge
    • Growing Beyond Earth Maker Contest

      Growing Beyond Earth Maker Contest

    14 Discussions


    8 months ago on Step 20

    What a fun project! I didn't attempt to add the lighting, but the clock itself is great!
    BTW, rather than trying to cut everything from one piece of wood, I found it much easier, faster and more accurate to cut the small pieces separately. After I cut out the main (center) piece, I used a miter saw to make end cuts off of a wide board, at the widths I needed for each size of the squares. (There are 4 sizes of squares in your plan.) Then I cut each of those pieces into the squares I needed.

    1 reply

    Reply 8 months ago

    Thanks :) Oh yes, the way you discribed is easier. But just wait for the step where you need to sand all those small blocks ha ha! It's your patience test!


    1 year ago on Step 20

    güzel çalışma tebrikler

    Penolopy Bulnick

    1 year ago

    I love this clock! The design is awesome and the lighting color goes with it perfectly :D

    1 reply

    Huge thanks! I even myself didn't expected that the lighting will glow that evenly around the clock. :D As I used not many LEDs, I thought it will be some spots where light would glow noticeably darker.


    1 year ago

    You should pull the tabs out of the battery box for the 18650's. They slide right out. They are large enough, that it's pretty easy to melt the slots that hold them in place.

    2 replies

    Reply 1 year ago

    I mean when soldering them, you should pull them out to solder them.


    Reply 1 year ago

    I haven't even though about it. I guess that's proper way of doing it.

    For me nothing melted, as I soldered quite quickly, but if someone will hold soldering iron too long, plastic definitely could melt.

    Thanks for the tip! :)


    1 year ago

    Some ledstrips won't work under 8V, this is specially right for blue and/or white leds which are in serie of 3 needing at least 9V.

    1 reply

    Reply 1 year ago

    Mine Red color LEDs in RGBW strip works even with 5V. But at that voltage you can barely see them. For me lowest acceptable lighting was at 6V.

    Now I tested with Blue color, and yes, they don't glow at lower voltage.

    Thanks for the feedback! :)