If Lego building is one of the fortes, you will definitely be acquainted with the Night Mode kits of the Legos as the official merchandize. Apart from several third-party online markets that are providing LEDs, there is a great option to spice things up and save significant amount of money. Yes, it is DIY process to make your own Lego lights and even though it might sound daunting to beginners, in reality, it is not.
Creating your lights will give you more insight on the models that you build i.e. help you customize more and understanding where light will look regal.
Instead of investing your time only in Lego assembling that can get tiresome and boring sometimes, you can get a unique experience with assembling light kits.
There are numerous models from various categories like Friends, City, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Technic and so on. Buying separate light kits for each will cost significantly and you might not even get kits for the sets you have.
DIY lights can be the one-stop solution to kill two birds with one stone. At the same time, youngsters who buy their models by saving their pocket-money or those who work shifts to earn money for buying the Lego sets they are so passionate about, can find a cost-effective solution to lighten up the Lego models.
So, before you get started, make sure you have assembled the Lego set to know where to put LEDs and pass the connecting wires. It is easy and interesting to create your DIY LED lights and the 5mm LEDs are the most suitable options for this approach, although you can go with other pieces too.
The accessories you will need are soldering gun, hot glue gun, electrical connecting wire or sufficient measurements, batteries for the LEDs along with battery holders and a dremel or drill with 4.9mm or 5mm drill bit. Get a small file (something similar to that will do too) or small-sized grinding head (if dremel is used).
Make DIY LED Light Kit In Easy Steps
The first step in DIY light building is to arrange as many Lego pieces of different sizes and colors you require along with plenty of LEDs having different brightness levels and color variations(click to check the more detailed guide from INSTRUCTABLES)
- Now, for the Lego lights¸ drill 2 holes into both marked ends 5mm from bottom of the brick and 4mm from each side of it. Drill 5mm holes on bottom of brick through tube-like structures.
- LEDs need to get stuck atop another brick and so, you have to decrease the height of tube-like structure. Use file or grinders to cut the tube structures up to 5mm height and push the LED through the hole to check whether it is flush-mounted with the brick.
- Long-headed +ve sides of all LEDs should face the same side i.e. holes on bricks. Bend leads of an LED out sideways so that +ve side is on the left and about 3-4mm of it is sticking out on either side.
- Solder 2 short wire pieces 10mm onto its ends at 90-degree angle from leads. Pass the LED with leads from one end so that the leads poke out through holes made on the end of brick. Follow this for the next LED with +ve side on left.
- Carefully so that the brick is not damaged, solder leads together and make sure there is proper spacing if you are soldering outside the brick. Test the connections afterwards.
- For the DIY Lego LED lights, you need to connect several bricks in one circuit. Cut a little piece, strip its insulation off and fold the wires onto oval shape. Put two ovals on both sides of back-hole of brick and solder them respectively to their leads.
- Put glue between brushes and make sure they are not expanding too high. Use drill bit to make holes to attach wires from the next brick.
(Photo is from INSTRUCTABLES)
DIY Range And How It Is Useful For Lighting Up Lego Sets
Lightailing is one of the best suppliers of LED light kits and also DIY accessories for those who want more affordable options for lightening up their models. While the above-mentioned method deals with the light making process, it's of course not easy for many people to do the job.
If you want to make diy lights to Lego sets, you can try the led light accessories from Lightailing. With the accessories from DIY range, you can easily try that out.
Now that you know how to make Lego lights, let’s have a look at the DIY range from Lightailing –
Powering Accessories –These do not come with batteries and you need to arrange them separately. There are small and big AAA battery packs with dimensions of 6.2cm x 3cm x 1.5cm and 6.8cm x 4.7cm x 1.7cm respectively and each of these come with about 23cm long connecting cable. The big AA battery pack comes with dimension of 7cm x 5cm x 2cm. All these battery packs can power over twenty individual LEDs and help you power the lighting components.
The CR2032 battery pack with dimension of 5cm x 0.5cm x 0.5cm has a connecting cable off about 15cm length and will be more suitable if you are connecting less than twenty LEDs with the kit. Being small-sized, it can be easily hidden within the Lego set. Choose 4-port or 7-port USB Hub 2.0 Splitter available in white and black variants with approximately 50cm connecting cable. Using a single Splitter, you can power up several light kits. It not only helps in powering the light kit but also the entire model with a power bank.
Expansion Boards –Available in pack of 3 boards, the expansion boards are among the most important accessories to connect lighting for Legos, connecting cables, power options and various other accessories to create a complete circuit. There is switch for each port for ease of operation.
The 4-port board has G01 adhesive sticker attached beneath it while the 12-port variant has holes on both sides for connecting the expansion board easily over the 1x10 plates. The dimensions of 6-port, 8-port and 12-port boards are 23mm x 6mm, 31mm x 6mm and 50mm x 6mm.
Cables –While powering the hub with power bank, you will need USB power cable that can connect several LEDs. The 30cm connecting wire is attached to it and there is power adapter of below 4 amps rating output –it will run at the minimal voltage of 5V. Available in 1 in 1 to 1 in 7 variants, the USB Extension Cable attached to 50cm connecting cable can be a more simplistic option to reduce the usage of multiple cables.
You can use the Touch Switch to turn on and off the LEDs without using battery holder and tweezers to pick out cables during installation without any damage. The Flashing Board Module will help you adjust the lighting or flashing effect and frequency of the dot lights while the Multiple Function Board lets you adjust lighting and brightness effect.
From expansion boards to strip lights –the 5cm, 15cm and 30cm connecting cables will act like a bridge between several DIY lighting accessories. For RGB ports, you can get 15cm and 30cm RGB connecting cables. The cables are available in pack of three.
Lighting –Dot lights are the tiny LEDs that can fit in between and below the Lego bricks while offering variegated application. 15cm and 30cm warm white, cool white, ice-blue, pink, yellow, green, blue and red LEDs are available for you in packs of three. The 15cm and 30cm slow-flashing red and blue lights will be useful to create various effects.
Red, green, yellow, blue, warm white and white light strips of small and standard size are easy to install. You will also get 15cm and 30cm multiple colored RGB dot lights in red, pink, blue, green etc color variants along with the solid color strip lights of RGB tone. Get the 30cm warm white street light for various Lego City and Creator models once you know how to add lights to Lego.
Apart from these, you can also get the general Remote Control Module that let you seamlessly turn on or off the lights, choose any lights by pressing the four alphabetically numbered buttons and also adjust the brightness according to the surrounding ambience. RGB Remote Control Module is for RGB lighting where you can not only switch on and off the lights, but also change brightness, white level, choose from flash, strobe, smooth and fade effects choose from any of the 12 light variants.
Lastly, of you are still a bit unsure about getting accessories separately and assembling them afterwards, Lightailing is here to solve your issue with the DIY LED Light Designer Kit for Police Car, Creator Building Block and other models. There are Lego plates, expansion boards, connecting wires, battery pack, USB cable and light strips. Just follow the instructions on the manual and you are all set to make your own light kit.