Introduction: Zip-Lights!

An aspiring artist. Visit me at

I recently broke my night light as I dropped I needed a night light, and after a bit of searching etc, I thought why not make a zip tie cube night light! The light was small but provided enough brightness for me!

I had one challenge to face...the challenge was weather to power it by battery, AC power slot, or by USB...I decided that USB was the easiest because I usually play some music all night long and my pc is on, so I decided to power it via USB!

I needed a way to scare my friend, and after thinking about it, I decided to use this to scare my friend, andit worked! It was midnight and as he woke up to go to the bathroom, I turned the light on from a distance, and as it kept changing colors and brightness, I put up some scary music (Lucky we were having a sleep over, and his parents were not there!) And then he was so scared that he wet his pants!

I turn this on and leave it towards the wall at night which creates really awesome projections of light on the wall!

Some times the zip ties went in too much and I had some minor problems, but they were easily dealt with!

Here is a video of the finished product! Hope you like it!

So lets get started!

Step 1: Materials...As Usual...

Step 2: Making the Bits and Pieces

First to make the cube you need 5 tiny little squares made from zipties...

To make the squares all you need to do is take 4 zip ties and attach them one to another and make a square....repeat 5 times for 5 squares.

Make sure that one square is a little smaller than all the others! This square will be called square A, then make square B which is a little bigger than square A but smaller than the other 3, and square Cs are the other 3 squares!

After you have made the square just snip the excess off on all sides...

Have a look at the images to see what size my squares were!

(Tip: If you pull the zip ties in too much all you need to do is stick a tweezers in the lock from the front and then just pull out the zip tie from the lock, if you need more details on this just comment)

Step 3: Making the Cube

Now that we have made all the bits and pieces we can get started on making the cube!

To make the cube first you will need to take square A and place it inside square B as shown in picture 1, A should be facing front and back and B should be facing left and right....have a look at the picture to understand what I am saying.

Then make a hole in the center on the top...This is where the LED will be hot glued.

Then hot glue them in place...the squares and the LED.

Then take the other three C squares and put one on top of the cube and push it down to the center...then take another C and put it above the center C and then take another C and put it under the center C.

Then glue them in place...

Follow the image tags to see how we start and how we go all the way to the end...

Step 4: Connecting the USB Power Source...

Now that we have finished making the cube all we need to do is take the USB cable and strip off the plastic insulating and you will find 4 wires...

1 Black or Brown
1 Red
1 Yellow or White
1 Green

You will only need the Black/Brown and the Red wire for powering the LED, so you will need to cut out the Yellow/White and the Green wire so that all you are left with is Black/Brown and Red.

Now take the Red wire(+) and connect it to the longer lead of the LED(+)and the Black/Brown wire(-) to the shorter lead of the LED(-).

Now connect the USB and check if the LED lights up, if it does then just take some black electrical tape and cover it up so that its sturdy and well instulated. I first covered it with black electrical tape and then used some heat shrink tubing to cover it off...

If it does not light then make sure the connections are properly made and then tape it up...

Step 5: And You Are Done!

Here are some pictures of the Zip-Lights I made (made a total of 3)...hope you like them!

I will also add some pictures of what I tried to make later with my leftover zip ties...
If you made this or anything else using zip ties just post a comment with the photo of it! I would love to see what you people make with zip ties!

The smooth color transition makes a lot of other colors when the colors are can see in the pictures that the Tri color LED (RGB) is creating about 6-7 colors!

If you have any questions, just comment on this instructable and I will be more than glad to help!

Thanks for reading!

Green Living & Technology Challenge

Finalist in the
Green Living & Technology Challenge

USB Contest

Finalist in the
USB Contest



    • Tiny Home Contest

      Tiny Home Contest
    • Water Contest

      Water Contest
    • Creative Misuse Contest

      Creative Misuse Contest

    47 Discussions

    music choice on vid bad... rest of the project awesome I juxt don't like helium snuffing rodent;)

    1 reply

    I see what u did there ;), but I like the chipmunk music so...well some ppl like it and other don't so...Glad you liked the project :)

    I have a few things i did different:
    - soldered wires (tape didn't work)
    -added plaster of paris base for support and wire protection
    -since i have a laptop i plugged it into a ipad charger

    Just some ideas to help others! Great project!

    3 replies

    i liked the idea of using plaster of paris...will try that out soon...hpw about posting some pics of your zip light?

    dont know if its a good idea- the plaster turned a little yellow around the wires. pics will have to wait due to my memory card not working- will get 1 soon (hopefully)

    Would this work with a usb hub? Like if you attatched more than one light to a hub, then connected the hub to a switch and a battery. I know it would be easiier to connect it straight to a battery without usb, but I want to keep the wire visibility to a minimum, and then if the hub thing works, can add and remove as I please.

    1 reply

    Why not just make 4 of these and connect the 4 (How many ever your hub can support) USB wires to the hub and then just connect the hub to your pc's USB port! They won't be as bright but it will still work! And yes from the hubs wire you can take out the red and black and connect them to + and - of your battery and add a switch on the - side....or the + side but I prefer the - side...

    Good luck! And if it works please post a pic or two on this ible in the comments! Thanks!

    i tried doin this, but my leds got burnt by powering up using usb. pls suggest me a solution

    4 replies

    Are those LEDs rated for 5V?

    Maybe use a 1K Ohm Resistor?

    To give further details on what exact resistor to use you will need to give me your LEDs details like Rated voltage for the LED and how much current etc...

    suggest me a led which doesnt need a resistor please.?

    the LED link I gave in the materials part of this ible does not need a resistor!

    i used a random one. no idea abt the ratings. Which led did u use? u used a resistor too?

    Its Alvin-And-The-Chipmunks Bad day! Here is the link:

    One more of their songs that I like is Don't be late!
    Link :
    Original version of that song :

    Do you like the song?