Lite Brite Acoustic Electric Guitar

My dad (who taught me the basics in all of my enterprises) had a junky acoustic lying around with a broken top. I had gotten the idea of a light up guitar in my head at some point, and asked if I could use it as an experiment. Thus began the Lite Brite guitar.

Originally, I thought about drilling a grid of holes (like a Lite Brite screen) into the top of the guitar. I realized that:

1. That would be a lot of work, and it wouldn’t turn out well. Some holes wouldn’t be perfect and wouldn’t hold Lite Brite pegs well. Geometrically, the placement wouldn’t be perfect and it would look sloppy.

2. Drilling so many holes in the top of the guitar would destroy the bracing underneath and render the already cracked top utterly destroyed; there would be no support for the tension of the strings.

So, I decided to get rid of most of the top and create an acoustic electric with an adjustable archtop piezo bridge. The top of the guitar would be replaced by actual Lite Brite screens. The bridge isn’t even in contact with the screens. I devised other “creative” means of supporting the string tension.

And that’s what I did.

Acoustically, there isn’t much sound. Plug in through the Fishman piezo system, and it sounds like a million bucks. I was very careful to place the bridge correctly for intonation. It’s a build that took some quirky problem-solving at all stages of the process, but it works! The final guitar features:

*LED interior lighting
*Fretlord Fretlightz LED at the nut
*Paua abalone position markers
*Fishman piezo pickup / control panel / tuner
*Grover tuning machines
*Behlen stringed instrument lacquer finish
*Rosewood fretboard
*Rosewood bridge
*TUSQ saddle
*Camel bone nut
*Vintage Lite Brite screens
*Vintage Lite Brite modified box art on back of guitar

One problem I thought of later on: usually during a performance, there will be strong lights on the performer; this will mostly negate the charming Lite Brite effect. If you could get a nice dim coffee house, you might be able to really create a “moment.” Regardless, I like the idea and will try to find the opportunity to play or sell it.

Here is some footage of the guitar at work:

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