Tips & Tricks: Dimmer

This humble bit can be transformed into the funnest invention controller! Here are some ideas;

1.Use chipboard

Chipboard is a good material to use to turn the dimmer knob into a larger dial. It is easy to find, easy to handle, cheap and strong. One thing you should remember is that the knob on the dimmer is actually a D-shape, so make a hole on the chipboard accordingly.


2. Use a popsicle stick

You can use a popsicle stick as a lever by attaching it to a Dimmer. Make a D-shaped hole in the stick and slide over the dimmer knob.


3. Add on a styrofoam ball

Poke a small hole in a styrofoam ball and place it on the dimmer knob. Make sure the styrofoam ball fits snuggly, otherwise it won’t turn the dimmer.

styrofoam ball

4. Use corrugated cardboard

Never throw away those cardboard boxes! We found that the middle section of corrugated cardboard is the perfect shape to fit onto the dimmer knob. Write a direction on the cardboard or cut it into funky shapes for people to turn.

corrugated cardboard

5. Add a straw

Simply add a straw to extend the dimmer knob by several inches! Use this easy hack to create all sorts of wacky controllers for your inventions.


6.  Sculpt with clay

This is a great solution if you want to make a customized character controller. Start by sculpting a knob out of clay. While the clay is still soft gently press it over the dimmer, so the knob leaves an impression in it. Then remove the clay and let it harden before using it as a dimmer knob. We recommend using air bake clay, or oven dry clay since they will last longer than clays that don’t harden.


7.  Add a Bottle Cap

Turn your bottle cap into a knob for your dimmer module! Bottle caps are a perfect shape and size for knobs. In order to attach it fill the underside with curing clay (we like to use Sugru) and make an impression of the knob in the clay. Let it dry and then pop it on to your module! What other round shapes could you use as knobs?

bottle cap

8. Use a paper plate

Sometimes you don’t even need the dimmer module to be visible in order to manipulate it! Center a paper plate over the knob and attach it to the dimmer module. When you rotate the plate it should rotate the dimmer. Place the plate in a box and cut a hole in the side of the box big enough so part of the plate extends outside the box. Now your circuit can be completely hidden, but you can still adjust your dimmer from outside the projects.

paper plate

More Tips & Tricks

Tips & Tricks
Tips & Tricks: littleBits + Lego®

Now you can connect littleBits to LEGO®! With the Brick Adapter and motorMate, we’ve made it easy for you to integrate the two sys...

Tips & Tricks
Plastic Parts

You might have already played with the plastic parts that come in your kit. There are different plastic parts and accessories that...

Tips & Tricks
Friday’s Tips & Tricks: The Slide Dimmer and Dimmer Bits

Today, we will explore two awesome Bits at once: the dimmer and the slide dimmer. They look quite different but their functionalit...