Ever wanted to pimp up your LEGO creations? Well with the advent of micro LED’s, crowd funding and China’s huge and cheap manufacturing capacity maybe it’s time to consider adding that bit of lighting magic! It definitely has been on my radar and being a little bit of a tinkerer I’ve dabbed in wiring up my own LED’s with mixed results.
The above was one of my more successful runs, created using micro LED’s ordered from eBay and soldering to a 3v battery pack. Very basic and cables require hiding, but a quick and inexpensive way to light up one or two key areas. Note – I’m not showing my soldering as it’s pretty shocking – thank god I’m dealing with low voltage otherwise I might burn the house down!
Putting my shonky work to one side, for those who want the impact of more than one or two key lights or don’t have time to tinker there are a variety of options out there which I’ve pulled together below:
Light My Bricks
“Light My Bricks” is a home grown Australian company that started out producing LED lighting kits for a few select LEGO models. Since then the range continued to expand covering DIY kits with expansion options and an ever growing list of pre-set model lighting kits. The Australian website ships worldwide and they have recently signed a reseller agreement with the Scottish Science Shop – “Curious Minds” as the sole European distributor due to the high demand.
Image compliments of Light My Bricks
Next up is an ingenious lighting idea currently in campaign mode on Kickstarter – i-Brix. The smart people at i-Brix have taken the embryonic wireless charging technology and adopted it to power little 1×1 LED LEGO compatible bricks. What’s really impressive is the bricks light up even 8″ away from the specially designed base plate. I have to admit this has got me a little excited and mind racing with all the potential ideas and concepts that I currently struggle with based on a traditional wired system. As of a few days ago they also opened up greater shipping options (previously just North America), so whether you live in Europe or Australia they can now ship to you. I personally love new ideas and like me if you want to back them head over to the link – i-Brix.
Image compliments of i-Bricks
“Light Stax” was an early lighting product that I backed on Kickstarter last year. Light Stax is based on a 2×4 or 2×2 compatible brick that lights up when connected to the base 2×4 brick (battery powered or mains). By connecting consecutive lighting bricks to the next you can light up whole creations. While the concept was great I personally found it didn’t suit my building style (lights placed in various key locations). Also being a purest, while creating a spectacular lighted model, it encouraged builds that really weren’t using much if any LEGO (to get full lighting benefit).
Image compliments of Light Stax
LifeLites is similar to Light My bricks but is geared up more for the DIY market. LifeLites have removed the need to solder and have developed various DIY sets based on a plug and play model that makes lighting any set really easy and effortless. For me personally I’m a big fan of their BadgeLite product!
Image compliments of LifeLites
For those who want to light up a boulevard with street lamps or control the rush hour traffic at Legoville then LiteupBlock is the place to go. LiteupBlocks has a wide variety of LEGO compatible LED’s for street lamps, traffic lights and the spot lights used for Palace Cinema. Like Light My Bricks they also have a variety of pre-set LEGO model lighting kits as well.
Image compliments of LiteupBlocks
Brickstuff is another well established company based out of Minnesota, USA. Their catalog covers a wide variety of LED lighting options for your creations from pre made sets and DIY kits. What’s nice about Brickstuff is the constant improvement and roll out of new products to really create that wow factor. Why settle for just lighting when you can control various effects at the control of a remote. Well worth a browse – especially with free shipping world wide with qualifying orders.
Image compliments of Brickstuff
Well that’s a round up, hopefully you find some inspiration or useful ideas to bring that extra spark of magic to your beloved LEGO models or city. If you’re up for a story and journey why not back i-Brix on Kickstarter, though there is risk it is gratifying knowing you’re supporting someone to bring a cool product to market!
Sorry if I’ve missed anyone in the mix – feel free to drop me a line.