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OK, so maybe it was more of a mod than a hack, but the end results were the same. My iNecklace was now pulsating a beautiful purple instead of the stock white. I’m not so sure purple would have been my first choice, but it’s my wife’s favorite color and she loves it.

I started out with every intention of desoldering the micro-sized LED in the necklace and replacing it with one from my unwieldy pile of SMD LEDs that always seem to get mixed together against my best intentions. My iron was hot, tweezers in hand, and all I had to do was open the back and get to desoldering that stock LED. Then it hit me, literally hit me. Well, it was more of a poke, but it grabbed my attention nonetheless.

My daughter, looking over my shoulder as I unscrewed the back of the necklace to gain access to all of its little bits, notices something, taps me, and says, “Can’t you just color that, Daddy?” She was pointing at the white plastic diffuser. She was onto something.

“Yes, yes you could, but that; that’s too…” And that’s when I turned off my soldering iron, and got out the Sharpies. Sometimes a second set of eyes, as young as they may be, can be a great asset when tackling a new project. In this case, it saved me a lot of time and the end results were nondestructive, which I preferred.

Now the necklace can be changed to almost any color in a matter of minutes. It, in fact, it was a far better solution. And that’s how my hack turned into a mod. If you’re interested in modding your iNecklace, I posted up a how-to in Make: Projects. Hope you like it.

iHacked the iNecklace

Marc de Vinck

I’m currently working full time as the Dexter F. Baker Professor of Practice in Creativity in the Masters of Engineering in Technical Entrepreneurship Program at Lehigh University. I’m also an avid product designer, kit maker, author, father, tinkerer, and member of the MAKE Technical Advisory board.



  1. Jim Kosinski says:

    Another option that’d be just about as easy and offer a vast array of color options would be to use a piece of a lighting gel.  Thin enough you could probably use in conjunction with the existing diffuser.  Now where is my LEE filter swatch book???

  2. Scott McCain says:

    Ah, the minds of our youth.  Sometimes it takes an uncluttered view without assumptions to see the big picture.  Kids are great at that, their innocence and lack of jadedness helps them see things that we, as adults, ignore or overlook.

  3. Great example of why we should share our projects with diverse minds.

  4. Timothy Gray says:

    Theatrical gels also will do this well.  order a sample book from a distributor and you will have enough for most of your life.

  5. Jeremy Hettenhouser says:

    Very cool.  My own daughter (4) is excited about helping daddy “learn” the trade.  “I’m good at Electronics!” she once proudly exclaimed.

    1. Anonymous says:

      My 7yo daughter is similarly excited about nearly anything I take on.  She’s even asked for her own set of tools for Christmas!

      blowing the stereotype, however, my son has no interest in anything but the finished product.  He’s the “consumer” in the house while his little sister and I are the “makers”.  I hope she maintains this interest as she grows up.