Easy Mood Light




Introduction: Easy Mood Light

Retired technology teacher - 2 kids, I have an Hons deg in Design and Technology - 28 years a...

This is an easy way to make your own $50+ value mood light with a minimum of parts/effort/Cost and electrical or electronic experience. Even soldering can be avoided!.

Total cost could be as little as $2.

Step 1: The Heart of the Mood Lamp

The heart of the mood lamp is the colour changing light. Bright LEd systems driven by complex microprocessor systems are detailed elsewhere in instructables but this uses a commercial easily available colour changing LED from www.Rapidonline.co.uk if you are in the Uk or search fro colour changing LED or rainbow LED in Ebay or google for your country i am sure you can find them. Here they are £0.56 or so each.

The LED contains a red - Blue - Green LED and a minute microprocessor inside a standard 5mm LED package - IT IS SMALL. All you need is to apply 3 volts to the LED to make it work.

Step 2: The Cover/display

The easy/cheaper option first. Find a suitable plastic vase or Glass - it should be about 200 mm tall (5 or 6 inches) at least and translucent that is you can see light through when you look through it but not see through clearly. In the UK we call this frosted.

A 2 AA cell battery holder and a matching battery clip - you can buy or steal one off a dead PP3 9 volt battery.

And of course the rainbow LED (or more than one if you like).

Step 3: Putting It Together

I will assume you can solder things together or get someone to do it for you. IF not you could get this working just by twisting the wires together onto the battery clip (not as good as solder though).

The LED has a flat on the case next to the negative leg - If you find this hard to see then it is the side closest to the small black speck you can see inside the LED - This is the microprocessor chip that drives it.

Solder this to the connector so that when assembled the negative side of the battery (the bottom of one of the batteries) is connected to the negative leg of the LED, you may cut the leads shorter as I did if you want but it will work long or short.

The picture shows it assembled and clipped onto the battery holder -NOTE - Only 3 volts - Thats 2 AA cells. DO NOT use a 9 volt battery it will distroy the LED.

Step 4: Assemble

Now if the LED lights Ok and changes colour Put Glass/Vase LED together and enjoy.

Step 5: More Complicated But Stylish Version

Assemble 4 Rainbow LEDS on a board (I used strip board to do this) Attach a 3 volt battery pack and suitable switch.

Step 6: The Fancy Bit

Gather a number of scraps of clear acrylic, The more the better - i cut tham all to be the same width and shaped like an inverted V for style.

Make a box out of some suitable wood/metal/plastig or find a box that fits.

Put the LEDs in the bottom and the acrylic on top of them and you have instant style mood light unlike anyother.

Step 7: This Is the Finish Article

The cost here was just the LEDs - the rest was scrap materials I had hanging about.



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    138 Discussions

    If I want my circuit to contain 3 LEDs should I wire them up in series and apply 9v, or in parallel and apply 3 volts? Or am I asking the question wrong?

    2 replies

    Assuming your using the same type of LED as I am then you can wire them in parallel. The ic in the LED will operate from 3 volts to 12 volts without any other components.

    I noticed that the flat/smoth sides do not glow with color. Is there another material plastic... or would colored panels work...or very lightly translutent that would radiate the color from the smooth sides

    1 reply

    If you want the smooth sides to glow then the easiest way is to rough them up with fine sand paper. Then they will reflect the inner light.


    This is a very nice project, I liked it so much that I am thinking about creating one for myself. Is the only way to find an LED such as this on line? And where might I find some acrylic like that? This would be a great summer project for me, thank you for the post /r

    6 replies

    The rainbow or colour changing LEDs you can get from the internet quite easily - even ebay sometimes. You don't say where you live so try a search. The acrylic you should be able to get in your local DIY or hardware store. Or you can try begging scraps from a local sign writer. In the UK try www.rapidonline.com and B&Q

    I live in the U.S. So I can probably try Ebay. I will still try a search, though, to see what I can find. If not I am sure I can ask my dad to help me find one... Thank you once again.

    Both home depot and Lowes sell polycorbonate and acrylic window panes. They would be with normal glass window panes. Just cut them up into slices. A big piece cost $18, but the little ones cost about $4.

    I just used some scraps from with windows installation. 5 RGB LED's (From eBay) and a plexiglass pencil holder.

    PICT1713 (Large).JPGPICT1715 (Large).JPG

    The acrylic is clear it is only coloured by te lights. The size is about 6 inches wide, 3 inches deep and max 8 inches high. But the size can be as you want and can find the acrylic to do it. Even a single small section cut to the shape of a flame and lit by a single LED looks good.

    Oh, and before i forget, about how large would you say this light is all together? It looks pretty small....

    I was wondering what kind of a switch would work, because I am really new at all of this and am basically trying to teach myself so any help would be accepted! Thank you!

    2 replies

    Any kind of on off switch will do - I used something like this 

    Depending on your junk box :-) the design can be easily changed.

    Thank you! Are there any instructables that you know of that can teach me some of the basics? (such as wiring a switch) Thatd be very appreciated!

    how did you cut the acrylic? what tool did you use?