13 Fun DIY Projects for Diffusing LEDs to Tackle This Summer – MakeUseOf


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Bending or diffusing light has been known to trigger deeper emotions such as relaxation and nostalgia as seen in the use of candle lights, campfires, and glowing mason jars.

With diffusing LEDs, you can produce similar effects in various creative hacks. Here are 13 cool ideas to get you started.

1. Stego Spikes

The spiked back of a stegosaurus presents the perfect inspiration for an LED project for anyone who has some interest in the herbivorous dinosaurs of the Late Jurassic period. Such a costume can make excellent use of diffusing LEDs.

Additionally, it’s well-suited for special occasions, say, Halloween. Remember, you'll need an Arduino microcontroller to change the RGB LEDs using a WS2801 library.

2. EEG Brain Cap Costume

An EEG brain cap costume mimics the typical scanner that neural surgeons use to capture an image of the vascular system of the human mind. You can use this hack to set up such a cap with diffusion LEDs.

While your project won't go as far as sending any electromagnetic waves into the brain of the wearer, it's still a cool project that uses a microcontroller to change the intensity of the LED lamps.

3. Unicorn Horn

While there are many ways of creating a unicorn horn, the LED option is one of the most interesting ones since it glows or shines in the dark, which is what most people imagine a mythical horse would have.

The unicorn can be made from any brightly colored, transparent, or translucent material such as paper sheets. A suitable headwrap will provide the required support. You only need a handful of diffusing LEDs since the horn has to be light enough. This is the perfect gift for a kindergarten kid.

4. Bandolier of Light

A bandolier of light is a cool project that you can set up to mimic the Cyber Tank Girl costume or have a military inspired look for the next Halloween. This project is quite easy to hack because you only need 3D printed parts, access to a sewing machine, and basic DIY electronics such as diffusing LEDs. On completion, you can choose manual or automatic lighting controls.

5. Cyberpunk Spikes

Fancy wearing your own Cyberpunk-inspired 3D shoulder spikes? What better way to express your creativity than merging LED hacks with the overall cyberpunk theme?

Remember, you may wear the spikes on your shoulders as a belt or in the form of a bracelet. If you program the LED with a microcontroller, you'll get even more functionality as you can change the colors from your smartphone.

6. Chameleon Scarf

A chameleon scarf can be a great way to showcase your DIY skills in a night party. The project presents many interesting ideas such as having the diffusing LEDs change colors to match your outfit, and so on.

For this functionality, you'll need a Flora color sensor to scan the color of your clothes. You can present this as a magic trick where your pass the scarf to friends to match what they’re wearing.

7. Tiny TARDIS Pendant

You can build your own TARDIS pendant with lights that pulsate so that it looks as if it’s coming from a house lamp. You'll need to have a 100uF capacitor, a BC108 transistor, a diffusing LED, a Veroboard, two resistors, and a 555-timer chip. The completed pendant can be tweaked, letting you to change the speed of the pulse as desired.

8. Glowing LED Gummy Candy

Want to trick your friends with diffusing LED lights? Try this glowing gummy candy. If done correctly, each of the LEDs will look like regular delicious gumdrops on a plate. The most important part of the project is setting up the circuit correctly and connecting the feet of the LEDs so that the silicone mold on which they'll stand looks edible as well.

9. LED Coat Buttons

Glowing coat buttons can make your clothes stand out in an outdoor night activity. This project can also be useful for highlighting your movements in a dance choreography as you probably saw in the Step-Up 2 movie a few years ago. Remember, you'll need Flora NeoPixel LEDs to ensure that the colors of the buttons are adaptive.

10. Sparkle Skirt Project

If you have a sparkle skirt in your closet, then you probably know that its shiny effect depends on an artificial source of illumination, such as daylight. With diffusing LEDs, you can create a similar sparkle at night or in a low-light environment. The circuitry needs a microcontroller, a compass module, and LED lamps. You'll also have to do some light sewing to get it working perfectly.

11. LED Mason Jar Lantern

Mason jar lanterns produce a relaxing and warm glimmer of light that blends with a crackling fire once the sun goes down. For this DIY hack, you need LED lamps, batteries, and a 3D-printed quartz jar. The LED project is great since you don't need to worry about candles or kerosene tarring the jar.

12. DIY LED Ping Pong Balls

Ping pong balls are still some of the greatest inventions for decorating a tree, especially during Christmas. The hack is quite simple to pull off since you only need a strand of diffusing LEDs, ping pong balls, and basic hand tools. Once completed, you'll discover that ping pong balls give houses, walls, and fixtures a livelier look.

13. Laser Cut Acrylic LED Display

Acrylic displays are beautiful works of art for any business that needs signage at night. Their popularity makes them an excellent DIY project. While using laser cutters, you’ll gain experience with precision tools as you further explore your creativity in developing new font styles.

Diffusing Light is Therapeutic

The LED projects discussed above are quite affordable and easy to implement even if it’s your first time working with electric circuits. You most likely have most of the tools and materials needed to get started as you can use old electronics. With diffusing LEDs, you can quickly turn your imagination into a useful project.



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About The Author

Robert Minkoff
(19 Articles Published)

Robert has a knack for the written word and an unquenchable thirst for learning that he applies wholeheartedly to every project he tackles. His eight years of freelance writing experience spans a range of web content, tech product reviews, blog posts, and SEO. He finds technological advancements and DIY projects quite fascinating. Robert is currently a writer at MakeUseOf where he enjoys sharing worthwhile DIY ideas. Watching movies is his thing so he is always up-to-date with netflix series.

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