Music Reactive LED Lights

Coded using Arduino IDE, this colorful LED strip lights up to your favorite music.


Jennifer G.

Area of Interest

Software Engineering



Mission San Jose High School



Final Milestone

I shortened all my wires to make the circuit connection more stable. Then I hot glued all the electrical components into my box and drilled some holes in it to fit the microphone and power plug. Finally, I screwed on the lid and completed my project. Over the course of working on this project, I learned a lot about circuits and coding, from learning how a breadboard works to coding with Arduino. My biggest challenge in completing this project was implementing the Bluetooth module and figuring out how to combine the code for Bluetooth with my music reactive code. My favorite part of this project was creating all the different settings after I figured out how to combine the codes. I created ranges for the hue and saturation to make color schemes. It was fun experimenting with numbers in my code and seeing them translate into color schemes. This project sparked my interest in electrical engineering and the overall experience was really enjoyable and taught me a lot.

Bill of Materials

Second Milestone

I got a Bluetooth module and wired it to my Arduino. Then, I grabbed Bluetooth code from online and combined it with my music reactive code. The resulting code lets you control the LED strip with user input. Some challenges I faced include interpreting the code and figuring out how to add in extra settings. I didn’t have a lot of coding experience so I needed help from one of the instructors to interpret and combine the code. I also added in extra settings like different color schemes by making different cases for each setting. The process was a little confusing but I eventually got everything in order when I organized the code. It was really exciting to see my code upload successfully and try out all the different settings. Next, I can either keep adding in more settings or move on to the final milestone for my project, which is soldering all the wires and putting the electrical components into a box. 

First Milestone

I connected the Arduino Uno, LED strip, microphone, and power source using wires. I also added a DC-DC converter to convert the voltage of the power source from 12V to 5V because the LED strip and Arduino used two different voltages and I only want to use one plug. I grabbed the code from someone who completed a similar project and uploaded it onto Arduino Uno using Arduino IDE. I ran into a small problem with the libraries but I fixed it by downloading the correct library and making sure the name matched the code. When I plugged in the power source, the LED strip lit up to the sounds picked up by the microphone. My next step is to add modifications (delays, brightness, color, etc).

Starter Project

The Minty Boost converts the 3V from the batteries into a 5V output in order to charge your phone. The current flows from the batteries through a boost converter, an inductor, a diode, capacitors, then the USB output. The boost converter opens and closes a switch, which redirects the current. The inductor stores energy in a magnetic field and when it experiences a change in the flow of current (when the boost converter closes the switch), energy builds up. Then, when the boost converter opens up the switch, the built up energy releases and goes into the capacitor, which stores this energy and eventually releases it into the USB output as 5 volts. The boost converter opens and closes the switch countless times and very frequently to sustain this voltage. The purpose of the diode is to make sure the current only flows one way, from the batteries to the USB output, and not back to the batteries. Some resistors are also put on the circuit board to control the voltage and make sure it doesn’t get too high. Last, all the electrical components are soldered onto a circuit board to complete the Minty Boost.

Minty Boost Schematic Design

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