Mobius LED Lantern




We describe how to build a color-changing lantern out of two interlocking mobius strips. The lantern will not illuminate your space enough to read by, but you will can use it as a decorative lighting feature to set the mood for parties or everyday.

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Step 1: Collecting the Materials

You will need the following materials:

-- thick semi-translucent Mylar
-- transparent fishing line or string
-- tricolor LED, e.g. RGB-1WS
-- 10-100 ohm resistor (value varies, Resistor Calculator)
-- Arduino board (or other microcontroller) and USB cable for programming
-- battery (7.2V Li-Ion 6600 mAh)

Step 2: Programming the Microcontroller

Program your Arduino board using the attached code.

Note: You do not need to use an Arduino board, but you can use any other microcontroller.

Step 3: Preparing the Board

-- tape the battery pack to the underside of the board (make sure to insulate the battery)
-- tie fishing line to the three connector holes on the board
-- tie the three lines together in the center above the board

Step 4: Making the Housing

If you do not have access to a laser cutter, use the attached files in pdf format to print a template. Cut out the two strips of mylar.

If you have access to a laser cutter, download the attached dxf files and cut out the two strips of mylar.

Step 5: Assembling the Lantern

-- connect one mobius strip with the interlocking tabs
-- slide the second strip through the first strip and connect the tabs
-- punch a hole for the fishing line
-- slide the arduino into the center of the lantern
-- draw the string through the hole as the top and fasten with a tight knot

Step 6: Getting a Sense of Scale

In this image you can see approximately how big the lantern is and how it creates an ambient lighting effect. You can adjust the look of the lantern by wrapping the strips of mylar tighter (these are approximately 24"). The lamp shown in these images is 12" by 8".

Step 7: Enjoy Your Lantern

Congratulations -- you've built a color changing Mobius lantern! You can enhance this system by adding sensing or other lighting features.

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    12 Discussions


    9 years ago on Step 2

     What code?
    Can you attach it?
    The link is to the Arduino site, but not a code, if they have one available.



    9 years ago on Introduction

    May I ask if anyone was able to get the Microcontroller code for this project? Looks great!


    10 years ago on Introduction

    awesome...just one thing, couldnt uyou also do this without the arduinoe interface with and RGB LED...

    4 replies

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    He is using a RGB led. It has 4 nodes, that is, 3 anodes and 1 cathode. Or do you mean something like BlinkM.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    hmmm...i guess he is...but i mean a self contained, regular sized LED that goes through the not sure of the name.....sort of like this:


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Those 'scrolling color' LED's still have 1 anode, 1 cathode. The ones you picture are essentially the same as susannes.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    yea....i guess they do....i couldnt find a pic of the style i had, but the look like normal LED.....but either way, i guess the arduino is brighter...and plus, the more complicated the better!lol...