Nick Holonyak was the first to invent a light-emitting diode that discharged visible light in 1962. Previously, Jame R. Biard and Gary Pittman developed an infrared LED Projects in 1961. Nevertheless, LEDs have come a long way.
You can consider them one of the most revolutionary and accessible technology pieces to come out of the 20th century. They are so accessible that they are a staple part of most beginner electronic kits.
You do not need to be an electrician or engineer to work with LEDs. In this guide, we highlight this fact by presenting you with a list of a few of the most straightforward LED-based projects. An LED PCB assembly may encounter problems. However, the projects in this guide are easy enough to execute at home.
The Best LED Project Ideas
Common and Cool LED Craft Project Ideas in Life
LED projects need not only be educational. It is possible to make useful day-to-day crafts that serve valuable but straightforward purposes. In the guide section, we explore how you can spruce up your house or everyday-life using LEDs.
If you are trying to create a romantic setting for Valentine’s Day or your anniversary, nothing gets the mood going like a well-lit dinner table. Furthermore, centerpieces can also work for other special occasions such as family meals, get-togethers, and work functions.
There is no need to light a candle. Creating a centerpiece could be as easy as using a glass cylinder with a modified LED light strip.
LED Flower Bouquet
Normal plants wither away and die, while artificial plants are boring. Why not integrate LED lighting into your plastic or paper plants? This is what this project entails.
Magnetic LED Refrigerator Lights
You can use LED dots or light strips to decal your fridge. This project will make it easier for you to find your fridge in the dark while also giving it a distinct look.
LED Decorated Fishbowl
Not everyone can afford large lighted aquariums for their aquatic pets. For people working with a limited budget, it is still possible to keep fish as pets. You can use a small fishbowl. However, more specifically, you can make the entire setup yourself using a plastic flower pot, a glass vase, clear glass rocks, and a car LED dome light.
Simple LED Paper Circuits
This project is so simple that a child can do it. You can create all types of paper circuit projects using LEDs. For instance, you can make unique postcards, birthday cards, mini-cardboard windmills, and stickers.
In addition to all the stationery you will require to make the paper portion of the project, you will also need a coin-cell battery, surface mount LEDs, copper tape, and brass brads.
Arduino LED Projects
For those looking for more challenging projects, this section is for you. For instance, to add a bit of automation and make your projects more enjoyable, including an FPGA or microcontroller might help. In this section, we will explore how you can add Arduino products to your projects. In turn, this will allow you to make them more advanced. Additionally, we will also explore a few Arduino project ideas.
Best Arduino LEDs for DIY Projects
In this section, we will cover which LED types you will need to execute successful lighting projects.
Digital RGB LED Light Strip:
One of the best lighting tools you can combine with your Arduino microcontroller is a light strip. There are so many great projects you can execute using a strip with an Arduino board. Arguably, the best option to match with your Arduino microcontroller is the Adafruit NeoPixel Digital LED Strip. If you combine it with the right materials, you can submerge it in water. Furthermore, you get 60 LEDs per meter of strip. Generally, we make LED light strips from the same material we use to make PCBs. This makes the LED strip robust but flexible.
RGB LED Ring:
These days, LED rings are quite popular among social media influencers. If you are making Tik Tok or Instagram videos, using an RGB LED ring can give your videos an unmatched vibrancy. Generally, the best LED-rings to use with your Arduino microcontroller are WS2812 5050 RGB LED rings. They commonly have an outer diameter that measures 86mm. Furthermore, they are chainable. All you need is a single microcontroller connected to a single pin to manipulate the entire chain. Once again, Adafruit sells exclusive 24 RGB LED Neopixel rings. These are arguably the best match for Arduino microcontrollers.
RGB LED Dot Matrix:
What makes RGB LED matrix panels so appealing is that you can display all types of images with them. This allows you to create a batch of interesting projects. The wiring is surprisingly uncomplicated. Of course, this depends on which brand you decide to purchase. Adafruit provides you with quite a few options. For instance, you can get a 512 light 16x32 grid or a 1024 light 32x32. Furthermore, there are no wires to solder, and you can chain the panels together using the IDC connectors.
You can also integrate other great tools into your microcontroller LED lighting project: chainable RGB LEDs, LED modules, mini-LED sticks, LED bars, and 0.8-inch 16 segment LEDs.
Best Arduino LED Drivers
If you intend on doing power-efficient projects, you will need LED drivers. Additionally, drivers also protect your LEDs from thermal runaway.
- LED Strip/light Driver: These drivers can help you manipulate an RGB or single-color LED strip's intensity when you use it in conjunction with a microcontroller. They generally feature 4-pin interfaces where you can plug your Arduino microcontroller.
- LED Matrix Driver: If you plan to chain your RGB LED Dot Matrices, you will need to ensure that you have an LED Matrix driver. As such, running them without it may be detrimental to your project. Not only does it ensure power delivery, but it also allows you to control your matrix chain.
LED Project Ideas with Arduino
This section lists five of what we deem as the best Arduino and LED-related projects. Whether you’re a novice or hardened veteran, at least one of these projects should inspire you.
Dynamic Christmas Tree Lighting:
You can execute this project using a simple LED light strip. It might sound a little over-simplistic, but it is not. In addition to the LED light strip and Arduino microcontroller, you will combine an adjustable PIR motion sensor along with a loudness sensor.
The final product will have movement-based animation change as well as loudness based color and frequency change.
Light Up Shoulder Bag:
You can create a miniature shoulder bag that lights up periodically or when you act. You will obviously need to knit the bag or make some alterations to a bag that already exists.
Additionally, you will need an Arduino Uno Rev3, Base Shield, and other resources to execute the project. It can be quite a complex project. For further instructions and more details, you can visit Arduino’s official project hub.
Arduino Bluetooth LED Controller:
Some of the projects we have listed in this guide may seem a little challenging. Here is a simple educational one that can help you test your coding abilities. As such, it should help you get acquainted with some of your microcontroller’s core capabilities. Additionally, the components you will require to complete this project are affordable. All you will need is an Arduino Uno, a generic LED, a 221 Ohm resistor, an Android phone or tablet, and an HC-05 Bluetooth module. In this project, you will learn how to turn an LED on and off through your Android device’s Bluetooth. It is a great project for beginners. You can visit the official project page on Arduino’s project hub.
Hot Glue LED Matrix Lamp:
This is another practical project you can make using LEDs and sixty glue sticks. However, while this is a cool project, you will require a 3D printer to execute it properly. Additionally, you will also require an addressable LED strip, the Arduino Nano R3, a 10k Ohm resistor, a 330 Ohm resistor, and a small push button. For a more detailed component list and further details on the project, you can visit the official Arduino hot glue LED Matrix Lamp project page.
Audio Spectrum Visualizer:
Most of us love music. Sometimes music is better when there are visuals to accompany it. That is the principle behind this project. It allows you to not only hear the beat but to see it too. You will be making a 32-band audio frequency spectrum visualizer. Our favorite aspect of this project is how low cost it is. The components you’ll be required to use include a soldering iron, 32x8 LED matrix display, two 100k Ohm resistors, two 100 nf capacitors, three 4.75k Ohm resistors, 10k Ohm resistors, a 12 mm pushbutton switch, and an Arduino Nano R3. Once again, for more project details, you can visit Arduino’s official project hub page. It has everything you will need to execute the project, including the source code.
Top 10 DIY LED Strip Projects for Beginners
Recessed, Surface Mounted and Decorative Wall Lighting Using LEDs
LEDs afford a great variety of luminous decorative ideas. Wall mounting strip ideas are not just for aesthetic appeal, but they can also provide you with some dim lighting. Furthermore, it can give your home a touch of modernness and class.
You can control the intensity and color of your LEDs using an LED light controller. Alternatively, you can make your own DIY LED controller using a microcontroller or PCB.
Backlighting in LCD Screens with LED Light Strips
Seemingly the best way to play games or watch movies is in the dark. However, this is not necessarily good for your eyes. Adding a little backlighting may be healthier, and it also helps you create an atmosphere. Additionally, you don’t need a lot of LEDs to execute this project successfully. Generally, what you will need is a single color strip. You can add an RGB strip if you plan on changing colors, but we believe that a single color strip would be better.
Vehicle Lighting Using LED Strips
We know that your car has its own interior lighting. However, you can perform a little light modification by adding neon LED light strips. Additionally, you can power these light strips using your car’s engine. The best way to execute this project is to use a silicone LED neon strip for the inside of your car and a 3015 color strip for the outside and under lighting.
Holiday Lighting Using LED Strip Lights
LED festive decorations to go well together like shoes and socks. It only makes sense that your first foray into working with LED strip lights uses them for holiday decorations.
Kitchen Cabinet Lighting Using LED Strip Lights
The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in a home. In most cases, it is where we store and prepare our foods. According to the Independent UK, the average modern adult human spends at least an hour a day in the kitchen. So why not make your stay in the kitchen a lot more pleasant using LED strip lights to decorate the cabinets.
Ceiling Lighting with LED Strip Lights
There is no better way to modernize your flat, apartment, or home than using tasteful and classy ceiling lighting. You can give your home the theatre look by simply adding some LED strip lighting to your ceiling.
Bicycle Design Lighting with LED Strip Lights
You can add lights to your bike’s wheels or frame to show off your quirky personality or for more practical reasons such as night-riding.
Party Lighting with LED Strip Lights
Using LED light strips for decoration can either be long-term, such as ceiling lighting, or it can be transient. You can use LED strip lights to life to parties and get-togethers.
Vanity Mirror Lighting with LED Strip Lights
You can create the Hollywood mirror effect by adding strip lights to your mirror. Likewise, you too can feel like a Hollywood star as you are applying your makeup.
Camp and Boat Lighting with LED Strip Lights
You can use LED strip lights to decorate your tent and camp chairs. It is particularly great for creating a romantic outdoor experience.
Whether they are in the form of strip lighting or bulbs, LEDs can offer you flexible lighting options. In this guide, we explored various projects that you can execute at home. If you need any help or are interested in our products, please do not hesitate to contact us. As always, we hope you have found this guide to be helpful. Thank you for reading.