Quick, Temporary, and Cheap LED Diffuser




About: Just a dude who likes making things :)

Not ready to sand/embed your LEDs, but they're too bright to look at? This Instructable is for you!

I'm fiddling around with my Arduino and TLC5940, and I'm getting a headache from staring at them. But, I don't want to sand them down, or otherwise permanently diffuse them, and putting them behind a sheet of paper or typical diffuser won't let me clearly see the specific patterns I'm trying to achieve.

Step 1: Straws to the Rescue!

Amazingly, straws fit atop generic 5mm LEDs perfectly.

What you need:
Straws (Normal, cheap ones. Bendy-style optional)
LEDs you want to diffuse.

Step 2: Obviously...

After cutting, stick your straws onto the LEDs. They should rest nicely on top.

If you're anal-retentive like me, tape them together, so they stand up together.

My inspiration came from Mitch Altman's Trippy RGB Waves He used a straw as a diffuser, and I thought it was a brilliant idea. As such, I'm passing it on to you :)

I also have a copy of this back at Coffeebot Labs



    • Planter Challenge

      Planter Challenge
    • Sensors Contest

      Sensors Contest
    • Classroom Science Contest

      Classroom Science Contest

    13 Discussions


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    It's typical breadboard. You just plug your components into it. No need to solder. Though, it's only good for prototyping; anything beyond that and it's useless and cumbersome.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Basically, each column of holes are connected, so anything you plug into them will be, too -- like soldering a wire to the lead of your LED. The gap in the middle separates the columns into two independent sections. The row at the top is entirely connected, as is the one on the bottom. These provide a way to give easy access to your power supply and ground.