LED Guitar





Introduction: LED Guitar

This LED guitar has a 555 circuit that allows the leds to pulse at a desired rate, or stay on all the time.  Its only powered off a 9V battery that i've concealed in the back panel where you would change the strings (so its somewhat easy to change)   This could make for a visual "beat", or strobe when playing.

Step 1:

First i had to make a new front panel for the guitar to hold the extra swiches and POT.

Step 2:

Next i cut out the new piece and cleaned it up.  Also I etched one side to create a fogged effect for the backlighting.

Step 3:

Here is a quick schematic of the design.  Pretty basic 555 timer design, which can be changed for various results.  I put together a small cludge board with each color led on it.  So there are four boards all together for a total of 16 LEDs.

Step 4:

Each color can be turned on independently, or have them all on at the same time.  Combining colors gives you combinations of colors inbetween.



    • BBQ Showdown Challenge

      BBQ Showdown Challenge
    • Water Contest

      Water Contest
    • Creative Misuse Contest

      Creative Misuse Contest

    11 Discussions

    I don't know if what you built is right, but your circuit shows the capacitor connected the wrong way around - The negative should be to 0V, not the positive.  This could well be Hazz's problem which I've told him about on a forum. (The capacitor leakage would increase which would result in the oscillator slowing down and stopping.)

    2 replies

    You are correct soooo sorry , usually the default for the cap symbol has the straight line in meaning negative (or 0V) it should be neg not pos ... I'll change it ,.. Thanks n sorry again

    Agreed - my new solderless breadboard finally arrived, I just set it up with the capacitor as you said (AndyGadget, not Duck210) and it finally works! Thanks Andy!

    As much as I wanted to do my own leds, in the end it was beyond my ability, so I copped out & bought some humbucker backlights from this website (posted here in case others are technically incompetent like me!) www.guitarleds.com

    sick dude this is awsome dude it would look good on my flying v guitar!!!

    I have finally made the circuit.... but the flashing of the LEDs seems to just gradually slow until it is solidly on, regardless of the setting on the potentiometer

    sorry, hope this pic is a little better.. . .

    A kludge board is nothing more than a generic breadboard used to solder parts onto which can be found at any local hobby store. The 555 timer chip is pretty popular too and its data sheet can be downloaded just about anywhere (just google it)

    Thanks for checkin my guitar out and good luck!

    3 replies

    I've deleted the ones I answered myself to make it easier for you. Here are the questions I still need help with:

    The variable resistor - how would I wire that up?
    Does it matter which way round the resistors go?
    Surely looking at that circuit, you would get one kludge board lit up at a time, rather than one colour - where have I gone wrong looking at it?
    Finally , I can't find any 50ohm resistors - where did you get them?.

    Sorry about all my comments and questions, but I really do want to do this!

    Thank you once again! :-)

    Haha I figured the first two out myself, and I'll just have to find out the third when I get all the parts, and the fourth... I found some 100ohm ones okay and I read on the forum somewhere two 100ohm resistors in parallel = 50 ohms resistance.

    So turns out I didn't need quite so much help as I thought!

    Thanks anyway!

    Hello Duck.

    Is there any chance I could have a hand with setting up a circuit like this? I can't quite make out most of the labels. I am a beginner in electronics and I have pretty much no idea how to use my 555 timer chip or even what a kludge board is. Even just a higher resolution image would help.

    Please respond to a fellow guitarist, strat owner and electrician.

    Thanks in advance,
    H4ZZ :-)