Blog

Combat SAD With DIY Mood Bowls [Instructables How-To]

Since we’re only halfway into winter (at least in North America) and the days show no sign of getting longer anytime soon, we need all the light and good vibes we can get, especially because by the time we leave the office it’s completely pitch-black outside. We feel like light therapy sunglasses would make us more squinty than happy, but these colorful mood bowls from Instructables user HHarry might just do the trick in keeping us pleasant til spring.

This particular mood bowl has an LED controller that can switch back and forth between 16 different colors and four different modes (flash, strobe, fade and smooth), and only costs about $30.

Some of the tools and materials you’ll need include an LED controller, a 1.5 meter RGB LED strip, window foil, screws, a 12v power supply and amp, a wooden board, magnets, hex nuts, paint, wood and super glue, a drill, solder and solder iron, compasses and a paint brush.

Using a compass to make a series of circles, saw four circles with a 20 cm diameter, and one circle with each of the following diameters: 19 cm, 18 cm, 15 cm, and 11.5 cm. Take two of the 20 cm circles and saw out 18 cm circles. Drill a 90 mm hole in the two remaining 20 cm circles and the 19 cm circle. Drill a 6 mm hole in the remaining circles before stacking and glueing all the circles together from big to small.

Now form your bowl either by using a file and sandpaper (hard way), a drill press (fast but dangerous), or a wood lathe (easy way). Then file a groove on the bottom of the bowl so it can stand flat on a table without the cable interfering.

Prime your bowl and then paint in the color of your choice.

Saw another circle 18 cm in diameter out of the clear acrylic and tape window foil to the surface (this will distort the light). Saw a circle 18 cm in diameter out of steel or a simliar material and drill a 10 mm hole in the center of the circle. Drill an additional two 6 mm holes on the edge of the circle facing each other.

Cut the LED strip on the scissor marks, peel back the adhesive tape and attach the strips to the steel disk until it’s covered.

Solder all the connections of the LED strips together and then solder the wires of the LED controller to the LEDs following the color indications. Then glue the infrared receiver to the middle of the disk.

Pull the cord of the power supply through the 6 mm hole. (Note: you’ll have to cut off the plug to pull the cable through, then solder the plug back to the power cord.) Glue four hex nuts evenly spread onto the diameter of the circle and connect the plug to the LED controller. Screw the disk with the LED strips into place and place the magnets on top of the hex nuts. Add some glue to the tops of the magnets and place the acrylic circle on top.

Now adjust the mood bowl’s color to your mood, living space or situation. Happy Winter!

Visit the Instructables How-To for further instruction, more detailed photographs and tips on where to buy materials.

Comments