LED lighting has never been more popular. It’s easy to see why there are savings to be made by switching to LED bulbs, in your house. Along with saving money, there are smart systems like Phillips Hue or DIY using LED Pixels. There are many smart lighting options. to choose from, providing you with endlessly creative and colorful ways to light up your home.

Today we will focus on the humble RGB LED strip. They cost just $23 for five meters of RGB LEDs (or less than $10 if you want to wait a bit for them to arrive straight from China). Both of these links come with a power supply and a remote control.

led strip

The strips are low power, easy to shorten and easy to attach with the sticky back. Many of these ideas are «plug and play», while some need a little more work and create a microcontroller (like the Arduino).

Looking for inspiration to light up your life? Went!

Custom Ambient Lighting

LEDs make great alternative lighting, and with a little work you can make it look stylish too. YouTuber Great Scott! Created this detailed guide to creating backlight wall panels.

In the same vein, YouTuber DIY Perks offers a tutorial video on how to make wall lights.

Both of these projects use warm white LEDs, RGB LEDs can be used instead to add a splash of color.

YouTuber techydiy created an illusion mirror using LED strips. His video shows how to build an elegant wooden case along with LED wiring.

Another great place for LEDs is in the kitchen. This video from the DIGS channel shows more practical aspects of installing them and how good they look!

You can use LED lights to grow plants indoors. In this video, YouTuber RepensTheTurtle walks you through a simple build design.

Combine that and a monitoring system. for the ultimate automatic cultivation setup!

Make It Smart

Using LED strips in combination with a microcontroller gives you much more control. It also adds a level of difficulty. Controlling LED strips is a great project for Arduino beginners. for beginners.

In this video, YouTuber Gadget Addict explains how to control an LED strip with an Arduino.

If the Raspberry suits your controller better, here is a great simple guide for the Pi. Be sure to read our Beginner’s Guide guide guide too.

pi mosfet dodnungde
Image credit: dordnung.de

It’s worth noting that you should use logic level MOSFETs like the IRL540N with microcontrollers.

With this extra level of control comes some cool options for projects. Using an Arduino and a PIR sensor you can create an LED sun light with activated nightlight movement.

sunrise alarm

The night part of the above project has another application. Jazzcat123 used a similar scheme to add motion-controlled LEDs to their pantry.

Make it part of your media system

If you have a Logitech Harmony remote, you can control your LED strips. manage manage using it.

Using a computer or media center to watch shows is becoming more and more common. Using Arduino and Processing, you can match the screen colors. With LED strips for great effect.

Light up your workspace

Along with lighting your home, LED strips are useful in the workplace as well.

This video from Darbin Ovar walks through the process of assembling a simple desk lamp.

In the same vein, Well Done Tips uses a piece of aluminum to create a bit more light in a larger work area.

Shelf lighting in your workshop makes life easier. Instructables user Roy Leon created light shelves for his bar. If you need it to be more durable, try replacing the glass with thick, clear acrylic.

lightup bar shelves
Image Credit: Roey Leon via Instructables.com

For a portable solution, the Natural Nerd Channel has a manual for tripod-mounted work lights.

Instructables user Leviathan17 built a more permanent outdoor light for $15. The guide covers building a hull as well as adding motion activation.

LED Spotlight
Image Credit: Leviathan17 via Instructables.com

Light up your life!

So far, we have looked at the practical use of LED strips. Now let’s look at some of their fun uses!

This sparkling multicolored dog collar embraces both fun and practicality. User Instructables built it out of the box using basic components (namely a 555 timer chip). No microcontroller required!

Looks like they also ran into the problem of someone not staying put to get a photo opportunity!

collar led
Image Credit: Ready to use via Instructables.com

If you are a cyclist, this Study Guide is for you. Tater Zoid installed LED strips on his bike, making it both safe and attractive.

If you are someone who uses your computer every day, why not decorate it? Here are ways to make your computer glow with LEDs make your computer glow with make your computer glow with and YouTuber Jok will also find a guide for you:

Make your clothes shine

Do you like bright clothes? How about taking it one step further?

This guide from the manufacturer SexyCyborg will walk you through assembling a backlit skirt.

backlit skirt
Image Credit: SexyCyborg via imgur.com

It works via Bluetooth and a battery pack, although you can change it to use the IR receiver that came with your LED strip.

Autodesk University has created interactive lab coats using LED lights and sensors attached to an Arduino.

The project includes code to help you make your coat responsive to whatever sensors you choose to attach.

Along with your new jacket, how about shoes? Créative-Mélina has an easy guide to shiny shoes. Perfect for adults who would like to buy lightweight shoes for kids!

diy led shoes
Image Credit: Créative Mélina via Instructables.com

Taking it up a notch, the sheet metal chemist created the Tron suit using a simple yet brilliant design of leather and LED strips. Great for a fun night out stuck in the computer fighting for your life.

costume throne led
Image Credit: sheetmetalalchemist via Instructables.com

Finally, we couldn’t get past the cool stuff that lights up without turning on the lightsaber.

Eric Nieto created his own Jedi lightsaber using LED strip and some machined parts.

While Eric made most of the body of his saber out of metal, you could create something similar using PVC pipe at home. Great project to keep you busy waiting for the next Star Wars movie.

What will you do?

These 22 ideas are just a start. Now is the perfect time to experiment, considering how cheap and easy these fixtures are to set up. Any article about LED strips will be just the tip of the iceberg. The only limit is your imagination, so order today and enjoy.

Are you going to make your own home lighting? Are you planning any LED strip projects? Let us know in the comments section below!

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