How to re purpose a the RGB LED color cycling circuitry from a Glade LightShow air freshener.
I was in the process of creating a red, green , blue color cycling circuit based on a PIC microcontroller when I spotted the Glade LightShow air freshener.
I wanted to know if it could be hacked up and used for other purposes. I found a couple of online coupons and when it went on sale in the store, I got 2 for $3 a piece.
WARNING!!!! If you run this with the wall plug, PLEASE let it cool down first. The resistor inside WILL BURN YOU.
Step 1: Rip It Apart
I started by drilling out the plastic rivets on the bottom of the airfreshener. This is not nesscesary, but makes it easier to open. If you don't have a drill, just rip
the darn thing open with a screwdriver.
Step 2: Remove the Circuit Board
Ok, once open, feel free to cut the cord. My first one had a 5V AC power supply, the second one was 9V DC. Either way, I was not interested in the power supply.
Remove the circuit board and discard everything except the circuit board, power supply (good for some other project), and the bottle of smelly stuff.
Use the smelly stuff to make your car smell better.
Step 3: Make the Mods
Now desolder the big square resistor (the white ceramic 5W square on top). You can simply snip it off, but I chose to desolder it.
Next, I removed the switch that turned on the air freshener. This also is not necessary, but kept me from trying to use the wrong switch to turn it on.
Step 4: Now Add Power
I played around and found two alternate contact points for the 5V + and -. My goal was to eliminate the circuitry that went to the 5W resistor and heated it up to make the perfume
I soldered a battery pack of (4) AA batteries to these connections. Note that I am using rechargables so the total voltage is only 4.8 ( 4 * 1.2V ).
Now, pop the switch once to make it come on. Again to make it cycle slowly, again to make it freeze, and again to turn it off.
I also made one of these and used the 5V from my USB port to run it. With a maximum of 3 LEDs on at a time, the current should remain well under 100ma. It worked nicey.
I also used one in a Halloween prop and it has been running fine turning on/off using relays for several hundred times.