How to Put Lights in an Acrylic Guitar

Written by bjorck dimarco
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How to Put Lights in an Acrylic Guitar
Traditional electric guitars have solid hardwood bodies, but acrylic guitars have clear bodies on which to attach lighting mods. (Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

A fascination with customising or modifying (modding) our cars, computers, game consoles and even our electric guitars isn't quite common. An acrylic-body electric guitar is, in itself, somewhat of a modification of a traditional electric guitar, where the solid hardwood body is replaced by an impact-resistant, clear acrylic. Embedding coloured LED lights in the acrylic gives the entire guitar body an ethereal glow.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Screwdriver
  • 10-LED battery-powered light string
  • 9-volt battery
  • Soldering gun
  • 60/40 solder
  • 12-inches speaker wire
  • Momentary switch
  • Resistor
  • 8 LED lights
  • Drill with 1/2-inch bit or utility knife

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Instructions

    Pre-made Array

  1. 1

    Unscrew either your back electronics cavity cover, if you have a tremolo bar installed, or your scratch guard, if you don't use a tremolo bar.

  2. 2

    Turn on the LED string with the switch on the attached battery case.

  3. 3

    Tuck the battery case inside the back cavity or the tremolo cavity.

  4. 4

    Coil the string of LEDs inside the cavity.

  5. 5

    Reattach the back cavity cover or the scratch guard.

  6. 6

    Unscrew the cavity cover or the scratch guard to turn off the LEDs or to put fresh batteries in the battery case.

    Home-made Array

  1. 1

    Cut the 12-inch wire in half for two 6-inch pieces.

  2. 2

    Strip 1/2-inch of insulation off both ends of both wires.

  3. 3

    Solder one wire to the positive terminal on the 9-volt battery. This becomes the positive wire. Solder the other wire to the negative terminal on the 9-volt battery. This is now the negative wire.

  4. 4

    Solder the loose end of the positive wire to the positive terminal on the momentary switch.

  5. 5

    Solder one wire of the resistor to the negative terminal on the momentary switch. Resistors have no positive/negative polarity so either wire is fine.

  6. 6

    Twist the remaining resistor wire together with the positive electrode of the first LED. The positive electrode of an LED is the longer of the two wires sticking out of the bottom of an LED bulb.

  7. 7

    Twist the negative electrode of the first LED around the positive electrode of the second LED.

  8. 8

    Twist the negative electrode of the second LED around the positive electrode of the third LED. Continue connecting all the remaining LEDs in this manner.

  9. 9

    Twist the negative electrode of the last LED to the loose end of the negative wire soldered to the 9-volt battery.

  10. 10

    Unscrew either your back electronics cavity cover, if you have a tremolo bar installed, or your scratch guard, if you don't use a tremolo bar.

  11. 11

    Tuck the 9-volt battery and coil the LEDs into the cavity with the momentary switch positioned on top of both.

  12. 12

    Drill a hole equal to the diameter of your momentary switch shaft in the cavity cover or scratch guard, if your switch shaft is round. Use a utility knife to cut a hole equal to the diameter of your momentary switch shaft if your switch shaft is square or rectangular.

  13. 13

    Pull the switch through the hole and solder it in place.

  14. 14

    Reattach the cavity cover or scratch guard.

  15. 15

    Flip the switch to turn your LED lights on and off.

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