LED Aqua Bead Nightlight




This is a quick tutorial on how to make a beginner LED Nightlight.  I originally made this for my little brother to help keep the monsters at bay.

Step 1: Materials

Large Tube
Small Tube
LED Lights
Wire (anything conductive)
Pipe Cap (fits over large tube)
Lilypad Arduino
Aqua Beads (glass shards, water, etc)
Leather Band
Glue Gun
Small Pliers

You are free to substitute any materials, these are just ones that I currently had. 

Step 2: Steps

To start you’ll want to curl the ends of your LED lights with small pliers. I used RGB LED’s because I wanted a green blue color effect. 

Step 3:

You'll then run a wire from one LED to the next in parallel (positive to positive, negative to negative in a line from one LED to the next. Make sure your positives and negatives line up or the lights wont work.)

Note: With RGB LED's the longest wire is negative. You also test it with a round battery to be sure.

Step 4:

I hot glued my Lilypad and battery to the inside of my lid. The lid I purchased was a black PVC cap, that just so happened to unscrew at the top (Lucky me.) The unscrew-able cap made it easy  to charge. 

You'll then take the wire from the negative side of the LED and rap it around the negative (-) port on the Lilypad and the same goes for the positive LED (+).

Step 5:

Now while testing my lights, they started to feel pretty hot so I placed a resistor in between the positive wire coming from the LED and the positive port on the Lilypad. This will make your light dimmer but it will also be less likely to burn out.

Step 6:

Now because my lid was slightly to big I hot glued a leather band along the inside rim to determine where the lid should stop.

Step 7:

You'll want to hot glue the small tube to the bottom of the large one, if not the small tube will want to float to the top (depending on the material around it.)

Note: check your small tube for any leaks or holes. This needs to be completely dry due to the fact the LED's will be placed inside. Lastly you'll place the aqua beads in between the large and small tube.

Step 8:

After charging your Lilypad, switch it on and carefully place LED's into the small tube. WaaLa, you got yourself an art work by day and monster bashing light by night.

I hope this helped. Feel free to leave any questions or comments ^_^. 



    • Pets Challenge

      Pets Challenge
    • 1 Hour Challenge

      1 Hour Challenge
    • Sensors Contest

      Sensors Contest

    17 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Iridescent shreds from the wedding section at Dollar Tree would work good in this, even though they would not have the water look, they make a nice "diffused" glow.


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Nope, but if you did want to make the lights fade nicely, it would come in handy. Gives you flexibility. But yeah, a simple battery would be fine.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Do you think that algae will form in the water in the future? Did you add anything to the water to prevent that?

    2 replies

    I was worried about that. Honestly I've had nothing but problems with those little beads. Half the time they are on my floor and the rest of the time they are forcing the center tube to raise to the top. So I'm going to replace them for crystal neck-less beads or some broken glass bottles, that way I can still create the water look without actual water. I will also place something along the inside to seal off whatever I place in the middle. Personally I don't want broken glass all around my house. ^_^


    5 years ago on Step 8

    A better way to do this would be after the LEDs are connected and ready to go, and tested to make sure they work, apply a small amount of silicone over all of the exposed metal parts. That will make it water proof. So, if the monsters knock it over, it won't be ruined.

    Also, for looks, I'd add the same thing to the bottom as is on the top. It will look like an hourglass (SORT OF).

    1 reply

    I thought the exact same thing at least with the "adding something to the bottom" bit. The silicone is a great idea though,I wish I would've thought of it at the time. haha ^_^

    Kamisha Kingjimg16

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    With the Lily Pad you could program each port to do something different. Not to mention it makes it easy to charge.

    I originally planned on programming the lights to fade from one color to another but after days with not a signal light on. I came to the conclusion my Lily Pad was broken and just placed the cords on + and - ^_^


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Great idea with the beads! I'd seriously consider SOLDERING those connections however...

    Thought: Hack a cheap solar garden lamp & make this solar powered! Simply lean the lamp over so the small PV panel faces the sun during the day, Check ideas at my "Solar Easter Egg" Instructable => www.instructables.com/id/Solar-Easter-Egg/


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Niceeeee! Will also look unique on top of an office desk. ;) haha