Okay, we have seen some really cool Light Orbs while trying to make this Music Syncing Light Orb Alarm Clock.
We started with Tod’s creation and soon realize that 1 LED will not be bright enough in slightest light conditions though his Light Orb is tight let us say.
So we checked out RGB lights at Hackedgadgets.com. Which is cool and uses 4 Red, 3 Green, and 3 Blue LEDs.
Well during our google search for Light Orb HOWTOs, we came to the Ambient Devices schematic and their technical notes. Well it says that with the right voltage, you don’t need to use resistors.
During our breadboard testing, this proved to be costly. We went through about 20 nice High output LEDs trying to match the forward voltage of LEDs… (Alan, we need more red and green LEDs…hehe)
Well, we tried all kinds of combinations including 3, 4, 5, and 6 LEDs per color. In the end, we found that 100 Ohms with 4 LEDs in series worked pretty well for all the LEDs regardless of their color and forward voltage.
Since we wanted this project to be used with various LEDs, we decided to KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) our way to the end.
After we made the actual prototype and put the Orb on top, The 4 LEDs in series worked great even in lots of light.
So best thing I think here is to test your LEDs on a breadboard first before soldering them. Even if the rated voltage of the LED says it’d work, we found that sometimes logic does not always work. Burn test your LEDs at least for 20 minutes and make sure they are still working before soldering anything…
With that squared away, let’s get back to DIY hacking business here.
We wanted to create a Light Orb that would be a mix of Light Orb, some cheap Piezo music, and an alarm clock. We figured these would do very good Christmas presents for our friends and family.
- 1 Perry Ellis Drawer from Ross $10
- 1 Light Orb thingee from Home Depot $9
- 1 CB280 $43
- 1 CB280 Mini-Proto Board $24
- 1 CLCD420B $49
- 2 IO Tact Switch $6 for 2
- 1 12V Adaptor $9
- 1 4-pin male connector for LCD connection $1.15
- 4 Red High Output LEDs $ 0.80 for 4
- 4 Green High Output LEDs $ 1.00 for 4
- 4 Blue High Output LEDs $1.00 for 4
- 3 50 to 150 Ohm resistors
(We used 100 Ohm resistors but you could probably use anywhere between 50 to 150 Ohm resistors)
Light Orb: about $80 Light Orb with Alarm Clock Function: about $140