LED Cloud Light





Introduction: LED Cloud Light

This bright and versatile cloud light can be large or small, color changing or white, and hung from the ceiling or stand alone! Made mainly from paper lanterns and cotton batting, the cloud is easy to assemble and lightweight. Lights are small and battery operated so that the cloud may be hung from the ceiling or stand-alone (and it is fully portable)!

Step 1: Gathering Materials

To make the cloud body you will need:

-one large oblong paper lantern

-two small oblong paper lanterns

-cotton batting

-hot glue gun & glue

Step 2: Creating the Cloud Body

Assemble paper lanterns according to directions. Tear small pieces of cotton batting out of bag and hot glue them on to lantern body. After gluing each piece, hold in place for 5-10 seconds to ensure it will stick. Continue covering lantern body in cotton, leaving each end open so you can insert lights later. Repeat this process with each paper lantern.

Step 3: Assembling the Cloud

Once all three lanterns are covered, allow them to dry overnight. Then use white string to tie the lanterns together (for our paper lantern, we tied the string to the wire frame inside). You can tie the sections together in unique ways to create the cloud shape you want!

Step 4: Securing the Ties

Apply hot glue to each string knot to secure the ties between sections. Allow the glue to dry, and then move your piece around to ensure its the shape you want. If it isnt, you can cut the strings and reattach pieces.

Step 5: Lighting the Cloud

To light the cloud we used LED color changing fairy lights. They required AA batteries and could be turned off and on with a switch. Insert one strand each into the three sections of the cloud, secure the battery box on the inside using tape, and switch on your lights!

Step 6: Building a Frame

To make your cloud portable & free standing, you can build a frame out of PVC pipe.

You will need:
-seven lengths of PVC pipe: two the same length for the sides (~4ft), four the same length for the base (~1ft), one for the top bar (~3.5ft)
-two joints
-two tees

We used 1" pipe and spray painted it silver. Assemble pieces as shown to create frame.

Step 7: Putting It All Together

Using white string, attach the cloud to the PVC frame by tying knots through the metal frame in each lantern. We used one piece of string per each lantern, depending on the weight of your piece you may want to use more. Optional: secure knots using hot glue

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19 Discussions

nice,it a good idea!


2 years ago

Nice, it reminds me of a cloud I made for my daughter to hang above her tipi. It is using a Particle Photon to enable a connection to the cloud, pun intended, connected with a couple of hundred LEDs in a strip. I also added some voice control through connecting it with Amazons Alexa. So I can say "Alexa trigger rainbow and the whole things starts pulsing and so on.

2 replies

So. Cool.

This looks awesome. How is it powered?

a usb power plug, the usb cord is used to hang it from the rod.

Very clever, and use full for so many ideas/projects.

The usefulness of todays technologies is the ability to do things safely; that would be impossible or at best, very cumbersome, with the old types (i.e. incandescent bulbs and 120V AC extension cords)

Good job. Good Instructable too.

Cotton is highly flamable, even some sparks can set it on fire, and with that amount it would be a big problem if that was to happen, so I wouldn't let it unsupervised, even a small short in a battery could be a disaster, I've seen you used polyester, which is quite flammable too, but at least it is a bit harder to ignite compared to cotton.

2 replies

2 AA batteries do not have the amperage to arc

A battery can easily output enough current when shorted to get wires red hot if they're thin enough.


2 years ago

My wife and I made precisely these clouds a few years ago as gifts for many friends. Paper lanterns covered in polyfill, then I would suspend an Arduino pro mini in the middle and pwm control each color's pin on 3-4 RGB LED's (normal 5mm ~20ma RGB 4 lead LEDs) to do fades and colors, including the thunderstorm suggested by DGW in the first comment. They would run for days on end on 4 AAA batteries, or I would add a DC input for friends who wanted to plug them in continuously. Many of them are still working now, though personally I have moved on to bigger and more complex animations with hundreds of LED's (luckily I don't have to pwm drive them all anymore!).

The only addition I suggest is that if you go the Arduino route, do like I did and add an IR sensor so you can change colors/speeds/animations while it's hanging up by the ceiling on the other side of the room!


2 years ago

A wonderful project! What if you put several colors of LEDs in the cloud and ran the wires out to a control box instead of using batteries. Maybe use an Arduino to control it. Then you could set up programs such as warm hues of red and yellow, or cool hues of purple and blue for night AND a Thunderstorm: dim white and purple with occasional brilliant flashes of white. For those use white 10 Watt LEDs (Marlin P. Jones). These require a heat sink for normal use but would not be needed if you just flash them milliseconds at a time.

If lights were enclosed in clear heat resistant plastic tubing i would feel safer....or at least allow plenty of airflow around bulbs

1 reply

LEDs like this do not get hot, certainly not hot enough to ignite anything

awesome i like this for my grandsons room we did glow stars and planets this would be a great milky way.


I love it. It is in my future. Thanks. Have you seen the Ardent Mobile Cloud Platform shown at Burning man a couple of years ago? It was bigger but yours is prettier. Consider fadeCandy to show interesting LED colors.

All hail the glow cloud!!


2 years ago

you can paint the cotton gray and add a flickering yellow light like a fake candle and put it on a model tank or other vehicle for a fire affect,

This looks great. I have been considering making something like this as a nightlight for my daughter's room.