Remote Controlled Colorful LED Lights for Aquarium




About: Born as a farmer, studied electronics ,working as a Consultant and a 3D printing enthusiast by night..

Follow the instructions below to add Colorful LED lights around the aquarium before your next house party. And in addition use a RF remote to control the theme of the lights while the party is on with a 4 button remote control attached to your keychain..

This instructable is divided into two part

  1. Basic colorful mix, which would cost you about 24$ and 35 minutes to build
  2. Remote control light themes, which would cost you an additional 19$ and another 30 minutes to build

As part of the build you'll use Adafruit's Trinket which is a tiny microcontroller board, built around the Atmel ATtiny85, a little chip with a lot of power and NeoPixels, you can read all about at the following link .

Now if you want a particular light theme playing or just want an easy way to switch the LED lights on/off, add a RF receiver and use a RF remote, to control the various themes you programmed using the Arduino IDE.

The 4 button on the RF remote control correspond to

  • A is to kill the Lights
  • B is for the blue color theme
  • C is for the rainbow color theme
  • D is for running red theme

Try and change the color theme by experimenting with the code and share an image by commenting below..

Step 1: Thing You’ll Need for the Build

Here are the part required for the Basic build

Addtional electronic componets required, to add Remote Control capability

Tools you'll needed

  • Soldering Iron
  • Solder
  • BreadBoard if you want to test the circuit before assembly
  • Breadboarding wire

Note : The cable that you need to upload the code and power the Trinket is a MiniB USB cable, which is NOT the same as the one used on Android Phone/tables.

Step 2: Soldering LED Strip to Trinket

Get the NeoPixel strip and Trinket out of the anti-static bag

If you plan on doing only the basic build, that is with out the remote control capability, solder the Trinket to the NeoPixel Strip as shown in the circuit digram.

Solder the 5V pin to the red wire of the NeoPixel Strip

connect the GND pin to the black wire

And pin #1 to white wire (Din of the NeoPixel)

Tip: if you plan to use the trinket in other projects, solder the header pins which come with the trinket and then use female jumper wires, like I did, as shown in the picture.

Step 3: Uploading the Code to the Trinket

To upload code attached to the Trinket you will have to download Adafruit's version of the Arduino IDE and install it on you computer. For complete details on how to, follow this link

In addition as part of the setup you will have to download the NeoPixel library from the following link

place the downloaded library in the /Arduino/Libraries folder and restart your IDE.Once you IDE is back up ensure that you see File > Examples >Adafruit_NeoPixel > strandtest, which means you have completed the setup successfully.

Now Download the code file attached

Using the Arduino IDE Open the file (from the menu select File > Open)

Next select the type of programer as show in the screenshot (Tools > Programmer > USBtinyISP)

Also select the board you are using (Tools > Board > Adafruit Trinket 8MHz )

Now press the button located just below the chip on the Trinket, wait for Red light to blink bright red and then upload the code to the Trinket (File > Upload)

Once done in about a second you should see your Neopixel strip glowing..

Step 4: Adding Suction Cups to Hold the LED Strip

Press the suction cups on too the glass of the Aquarium.

Place the LED strip in the hooks of the suction cup

Connect the Trinket to the MiniB USB cable to power it up from a wall socket.

In my case I just need 3 suction cups, as i had a sticky plastic on the glass,which i used to secure the LED strip.

Tip : If the suctions cups look messy,try using double sided sticky foam tape.

Step 5: Breadboarding/PCB Soldering RF Receiver

Connect circuit using hookup wire and a breadboard as shown in the circuit digram, and once your confident about your connections you can solder it on a PCB.

Connect 5V pin to the red wire of the NeoPixel Strip

connect the GND pin to the back wire

and pin #1 to white wire (Din of NeoPixel)

using hookup wire connect the Trinket's

  • pin #0 to D1 on the RF receiver module
  • pin #2 to D0
  • pin #3 to D2
  • pin #4 to D3
  • +5V pin to +5V
  • and GND to GND

Step 6: Uploading the Remote Control Code to Trinket

Download the code file attached

Using the Arduino IDE Open the file (from the menu select File > Open)

Now press the button located just below the chip on the Trinket, wait for Red light to blink bright red

And then upload the code to the trinket (File > Upload).

Ensure that the Arduino IDE at the bottom shows message "Done Uploading"

Step 7: Using the RF Remote Control

Watch Remote control testing video for the themes mentioned below.

A is to kill the lights corresponds to pin#4 on the Trinket

B is for blue color theme and corresponds to pin#3

C is for running rainbow color theme and corresponds to pin #0

D is for the running Red theme and corresponds to pin #2

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    12 Discussions

    Hello. In step 6, it says to download the code file attached, yet I am not seeing a file to download. Is this supposed to be the same file as used in step 3?

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

    Yes that should be the code if you plan to use the RF remote.But if you dont plan on including the remote, just use the strandtest sketch which comes in the example section once you add the Neopixel library folder to your Arduino IDE library folder.

    In addition you can find more/updated info on the NeoPixels at


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Raitis - yes, And per the Best Practices when using NeoPixels with a voltage higher that 6V, you should use a 1000 µF capacitor. Also you should use a 300-500 ohms resistor between Din on the NeoPixel and the pin that is connected to Din..


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Do I understand correctly, that due to the supply (USB), LED strip and the µC being 5V you are able to run the current required through the board without frying anything?


    4 years ago on Introduction

    ChetanK2 thanks for the interest in this instructable, yes the basic build is easy to make and you can get all the electronic components from the .

    If you have a larger aquarium you can chain two NeoPixel strips together, the aquarium you see in the picuture/Video is a 29 Gallon Aquarium: 30″ x 12″ x 18″ – 30 1/4″ x 12 1/2″ x 18 3/4″ ..

    Good luck and post a picture if you make one.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Really liked this. Can I get another one for my home ? :-)


    4 years ago

    Awesome one!... Just what d fishes need to get into d groove for d party

    "Creativity is thinking up new things".I liked the way this aquarium is build especially the lightning system.A number one aquariulm.