CLIP develops innovative new musical instrument

Photon Smasher

Colchester’s CLIP has launched the Photon Smasher, an innovative new musical instrument which allows you listen to light.

Discover a hidden world of music with this solar panel microphone and learn the physics of light and sound.

Developed over the past year through music workshops with young musicians across North Essex, the Photon Smasher makes electronic music making as simple as waving a light.

CLIP used their local creative network for the design, with Ipswich illustrator George Yarnton designing the fairground inspired artwork. Hippo Screen Printers in Margaretting producing the bespoke screen-printed boxes.

The young musicians who attend CLIP’s workshops helped develop features of the handmade instrument, using it to make music by stacking up flashing lights and jamming along with the resulting rhythms.

The product trailer even features an incredible soundtrack made by CLIP’s young musicians. The Photon Smasher represents CLIP’s first steps into instrument design, the first of many exciting and innovative ideas.


The Photon Smasher is part STEM kit and part musical instrument. Suitable for ages 8 and up, simply assemble the kit and use the included LED to listen to light. Its sound will change depending what light you shine at it, so explore the physics of light and sound to turn bicycle lights into thumping drum beats and light up toys into futuristic synthesisers.

The Photon Smasher costs only £45 and is currently only available to purchase in the UK, directly from the CLIP website.


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View some examples of what the Photon Smasher can do below.