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As an artist, I have lighting needs for various mediums. For drawing, i prefer warm light and for color and sculpture I prefer cool light. So I created an attractive LED light that can do both.
The overall cost of this is about $250 (the bulk of this is the LED and switch technology).
However, This should last about 50,000 hours and doesn't get blazing hot while you're working by it.
It's also energy efficient and draws about 10 Watts of power on a 12V plug in adapter.

And so... I present... the White Balance Light!!!

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Step 1: The Supplies

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The LED supplies: 
I was able to purchase all of the LED supplies online at
Dual Slide Switch
Two one foot sections of White Balance Strip lights
Plug in Power Supply
4-Wire extension Wire

All of the components for the structure of the lamp, I got from various locations
Piano Lamp Shade (works best with the strip light)
Flexible Lamp arm (from a previously owned broken lamp)
Lamp Bracket (from a harware store)
Light Switch Face Plate ( Hardware Store)
Wooden Base (A wooden serving tray from IKEA)

Step 2: Assembly

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Firstly. I mounted the lamp arm into the base and then fed the 4-wire extension cable into the flexible arm.

Step 3: Wiring & Connections

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This is the tricky part.
Some soldering is necessary but maybe you can find an easier way to it!
The strip light has a sticky backing and sticks in easily. I used two strips for added brightness.
Be sure to try out the functionality before you get too far into assembly.

Adhere the strip after soldering the connections.
Attach the switch and make sure all connections are secure,
Screw switch and Switch plate into place.

Step 4:

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Once everything is in place, enjoy the freedom of choosing your own light temperature in whatever configuration you choose.
This is only a suggestion for this set-up, but use your imagination and you'll find something that will work for you.
Good luck!
mariana.abdo15 months ago

would this project work with an LED bulb or must it be an LED strip?

cheers mariana

"Yes." You could do it with a color temperature LED bulb, if you can find one they're not hard to find either, LimitlessLED, EasyBulb, and MiLight are all names for the same bulbs. The thing is that they are standard E26/E27 or bayonet bulbs running on mains power. If you want it 12v for safety or other reasons, you have to go with strips.

What you *can* do to save a little money ov the pricy three wire VCT strip is buy a WW strip and a CW strip. I routinely see these for $10-12, often with 12v wall wart and an IR remote controller you won't use. :P Splice the two + wires together if your controller doesn't have two terminals and just put them parallel to each other. so you need 20mm plus a little slop instead of 10mm and slop, big deal.

If you like the MiLight idea, they do make a MiLight LED strip controller—and you can get a flat wall-plate-looking remote for the MiLight VCT stuff (strip controller or mains LED bulbs) off eBay. Everything else you can find on Amazon. I'd share links to stuff I know works together to save you a little research , but I don't wanna step on any toes and risk being regarded a spammer.

BTW, the temptation to buy waterproof LED strips… I'd resist it. Harder to get the silicone off the cut points than it looks like on YouTube in my experience.

billhorvath2 years ago
Nice work! This is a great project, but in the interest of transparency, you should disclose that you're an employee of Elemental LED in step 1.

Good luck in the contest!
jaybeesy (author)  billhorvath2 years ago
It is true, I am an employee. I hope you don't fee you've been tricked or duped. I feel my creativity goes beyond my choice of work place.
No skin off my teeth -- I knew that going in. I also really like the project and Elemental LED, and there's nothing wrong with recommending your employer's products if you're passionate about using them. I'm just suggesting that you make that clear up front, so it doesn't come back to bite you in the butt later. :)
jaybeesy (author)  billhorvath2 years ago
Thanks for your concern.
melknoy2 years ago
The reason this is so expensive is...there is only one manufacture of this type of LED. The switch is a LED dimmer. the trick is that the LEDs respond to the dimmer by changing color temperature instead of output level.
There are quite a few manufacturer's that make these LED's. The strips themselves have two circuits to them, one for the higher and one for the lower kelvin temperature LEDs, the two circuits are individually dimmable; thus the ability to create your own color temperatures. The led's themselves cannot change color temperature.
I like it... hadn't seen those white balance strips before. 2200K *AND* 5500K LEDs. Sweet!

Regarding the high cost, remember that sometimes time is money.
I know it would take me more than $99 (and that's at something like a $1/hour rate) to come up with my own driver, LED strips, etc.

Ya gotta admit, it's a great idea/concept.
Great idea this reminds me of the old ilford cold head lamps that you could control the contrast on for an enlarger without using gels.
chuckyd2 years ago
I thought artists, particularly those working in color, prefer natural Norht light, which is neither cool nor warm.
jaybeesy (author)  chuckyd2 years ago
This is true, but a little control never hurt.
jaybeesy (author) 2 years ago
Thanks everyone for the kind words and honest feedback. For my first instructable project. I feel like I've received a lot of attention and I'm pretty jazzed about that. I've entered this into the Instructables GreenTechnology contest. I hope I can get your vote.
Keep building, friends!
crudders2 years ago
Seems excessively expensive. I'm sure you could have used a microcontroller for a just a few bucks.
That's all that is in those nice controllers, but the quantities are low. Prices will have to come down as LEDs become more common.
godzy crudders2 years ago
Yeah, 250$ seems a lot of money for this project. I'm pretty sure you can do it for less.
DeeRilee2 years ago
As an artist, I can appreciate a light that doesn't cook you while putting out the light you need.

Also.....nice looking fixture...well, done!
onemoroni12 years ago
Being in printing years ago there was a problem with "product match" to get the printed image of a product (dress, car, etc) colors to match the actual product in real life. There was a lot of effort to insure the lights were daylight grade in the negative "dot etching" stage to pull proofs of the the image to be as accurate as possible. This would have been a great advantage back then. Just a few thoughts. Peace
wouldn't it be easier to use two t5 fluorescent tubes, one daylight and one warm white, then use a 3 position switch to choose between them? I am not saying that it would work as well, but it would be much cheaper, probably costs 50$.
That's a really cool (and warm) idea!