Ukuleles are little joy machines. They're easy to play, portable, light, and really inexpensive - you can get a fairly good sounding one for around $40-$50.
This clear plastic ukulele from Kala simply begs to be upgraded with rainbow lights. Craft an over-the top tacky Tiki musical experience for your audience at your next luau.
This LED ukulele goes even further, with loads of customizable animations and a sound reactive mode. Match your animation playlist with your song repertoire, and bring the music to life as your uke pulses along with your strumming.
We've also used the FFT capabilities of our hardware to add note-sensing to this project. Change animation modes or turn sound reactive mode on or off just by plucking a particular note on your fretboard.
And just for giggles, we've added a Guitar-Hero-style "Rockstar tilt" mode -- tilt the neck of your ukulele up during your big finish to trigger a colorful lightning animation.
This ukulele is maika'i loa! (That's Hawaiian for awesome..)
This is a fairly advanced project which took some tight soldering and some tricky maneuvering to get the LEDs in place. I built my ukulele "ship-in-a-bottle" style, placing my LEDs inside the instrument with needle nose pliers and a bent coat hanger. I didn't want to do too much damage to my ukulele by taking it apart, so I took my time and assembled it with care.
It helped a lot to have small hands and a lot of patience. It may be easier for some makers to disassemble the ukulele, put the lights inside and then glue it back together. But my careful method worked! It took me all afternoon.. but it only took me one afternoon.
- A transparent ukulele - Mine is from Kala, the Transparent Ice Soprano Waterman
- Silicone Adhesive - my favorite is Devcon Silicone Adhesive
- Krazy glue / superglue
- A Power Drill with a long extension 3/8" spade bit and a few smaller bits
- Rotary tool or sandpaper for drill hole cleanup
- Soldering iron & accessories
- White Industrial velcro
- Needle nose pliers in various shapes and sizes
- Wire coat hanger or bendable 16g steel wire