Raised Desk Shelf With Multi Coloured Led




This is a raised desk shelf I made because the old one was ugly and I needed more space for all my hobby stuff. So I decided to make a cooler new raised desk shelf with multi coloured led spots and drawers. The LED's are from adafruit and are being controlled by a bareboned Arduino uno, the drawers are from ikea and I made the desk shelf together with my handy father.

Step 1: Materials

You will need the following materials

for the desk:

1) Empty led spots. I got mine from where I work but you can also buy cheap led spots in the store and take the normal led's out.

2) Flora RGB Smart NeoPixels version 2 from adafruit.

3) An arduino. I recommened a small one since you will need only one digital output. The one I use is a bareboned arduino uno.

4) two MOPPE mini dressers from IKEA.

5) copper pipe. 2.5cm in diameter (1 inch)

6) wire

7) paint (optional)

8) wood for the shelf

9) brackets for holding the copper pipes in place


1) drill

2) saw (an electric saw works best)

3) sanding machine and sanding paper

4) measuring tape

5) wood glue

6) a brush

7) soldering iron and solder

8) screws for the brackets

9) wire stripper

Step 2: Mini Dressers

If you want to you can paint the dressers. A ground layer is recommended, otherwise you might see a litlle bit trough the paint. Do not paint the inside of the dresser because that will cause the drawers to slide less easy in and out.

Step 3: Led Spots

Flora RGB NeoPixel leds are pretty simple to connect together. first you will need to download the NeoPixels library at https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-neopixel-uberguide/arduino-library. To fast download the zip file click on 'click this link'. Then import the Adafruit_NeoPixel.h file to your libraries in the arduino ide. Drill a hole in each led spot in the side so you can pull the wires trough for connecting the led's together. Stick the led's with a double sided tape to the bottom of the spots. As in the pictures is shown, a red wire goes from the 5V+ of the arduino to the first led to the next and so on, in serie. Same story for the blue/black wire for the ground and the white wire for the input pin (I use pin 6 on the arduino). The arrows indicate if the connection point is an input or an output. Make sure that there is a 1000uF capacitor between the 5V+ and ground on the arduino! You risk to damage the first led if you don't put it there. Also put a 300 to 500 ohm resistor between your arduino digital pwm output pin and led input pin. Don't connect them yet (only for testing), connecting the whole thing together comes in step 5.

Step 4: The Shelf

The shelf exist out of two wooden shelfs glued together. The top part has no holes, slots or anything and is just smooth. The bottom part is the one with holes and slots to house the led spots and copper pipes. I know that it is weird to use copper pipes to pull the wires trough but the risk of damage is so small and the power is so low that it doesn't really matter. I also use small rubber rings on the ends of the copper pipes to protect the wires. The holes in the shelf need to be the size of the led spots and the slots the size of the pipes. These sizes are based on how big your own desk is but you can get an idea by looking at the pictures. The bottom part must be a little bit bigger than the top so that after you glued them together you can sand the bottom part untill it has the shape of the top part. I designed my shelf with a long flat side on the back and a curve on the front which cause the left side to be deeper than the right side. Important is that the left and the rigth side are the size of the length and wide of your IKEA dressers, you don't want anything to stick out. For the left side I used a wide dresser which I placed with the drawers heading to the right side of the shelf and on the right side I used a smaller dresser with the drawers facing the front of the shelf. You can also see that the slot begins on the left side, my arduino is placed in the IKEA dresser, so you need to drill a hole on the top of the dresser into the slot so that the wires can go trough the hole into the slot.

Step 5: Putting Everything Together

I liked this part the most :) Screw the brackets into the slots, 2 brackest per copper pipe is enough. Click the pipes in the brackets. Pull the wires trough the pipes and connect them as explained in step 3 to the led's in the spots (see the pictures). For powering the arduino I used an 230V to 5V plug for in the socket (dutch sockets supply 230 V).

Step 6: The Code

I had a hard time programming because I don't have very much experience with writing programs so the code is written together with my neighbor who has way more experience with programming than I do.

special thanks to my father and neighbor for the help.

I hoped you enjoyed this instructables and good luck building it yourself.



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    10 Discussions


    3 years ago

    With 5v the wires can be exposed with no danger. The pipes look nice though they can't be seen I imagine.


    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    Thanks! When sitting at the desk you can not see them. But it just looks better than yellow pvc in my opinion.


    3 years ago

    Well done!

    I would recommend plastic tubes io. Copper: they are cheaper and in some countries running electric cables through metal tubes is forbidden! A sharp edge may damage the isolation of the cable and cause a short-circuit

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    Thanks. You're right about the copper but the change of damage is small because is use rubber tube ends. I also choose copper because I liked it for the design.


    3 years ago

    great can I know your labour if he can tutor me programming

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    Hey aomokeji,

    I'm not sure if my neigbour wants to give lessons. Next to that arduino programming is actualy pretty simple and there are many ways to learn this from the internet. The arduino lessons from adafruit are a great way to learn arduino programming. Hope this is helpfull :-)


    3 years ago

    Great project, it's nicely finished which so many others aren't. I wouldn't use copper pipe tho, expensive!


    3 years ago

    Oh my gosh I am so selling my old desk