If you have a broken MacBookPro, or any other broken laptop with a cool backlight on the back of the display, you can build this lamp for yourself. Because of the RGB LED stripes in the lamp you can costumize the light, so that the lamp gives you the light you want in your room. The lamp is easy to build and super cheap, if you got the broken laptop for free. I hope you enjoy it as much building as i did.
What you need for this project:
- the back of a broken laptop
- RGB LED- Stripes with remote control and they should be customizable in length
- a spacer material ( i used white painted wood blocks (20mmX20mm))
- a lot of hot glue and a hot glue gun
- some kind of small pliable wire
- a soldering iron
- reflection-tape, but a CD-will do the same
- a cutter for cutting
- light defusing material
- frame holders (2 pcs.)
Step 1: Cleaning the Lamp Parts and Marking Things
After you gathered all the parts you can start removing unnecessary parts from the laptop back. If your laptop back is dirty as mine you can clean it with a little bit of acetone, so that it looks nice. Some of the unnecessary parts could be: sponge(like shown in the picture), some plastic parts, screws, and a lot more.
So if everything unnecessary is removed, you can also clean the inside of the laptop back with acetone, incase there is any thing left. If there is a stamp with the date on it when the laptop back was assembled you can exchange the date with the date when you have built the lamp, to remember when it where.
When every thing is cleaned you can draw guiding lines where you put the spacer blocks . Also mark the place where you have to place the power supply and the receiver for the remote control. Unfortunately, in my case i had to place the receiver visible on the upper left corner, because the signal was to weak. And do not forget to think about where you want to put the LED stripes, so that you have enough space to glue in the stripes. If you have marked everything your ready for the next step.
Step 2: The LED Lights and Spacer Installation
First you have to cut the spacer blocks. In my case, i had to cut six of them: four 10cm long ones and two other ones, for those the size doesn't matter because there only for hanging the lamp to the wall. When you have cut all the pieces you can, if you want paint them white.
Now while the paint dries we move over to the electric part. First you glue in the power supply and decide where the LED strip will start, look at one of the pictures to know how i did it. Than you can also glue in the receiver for the remote control, but first test the signal strength of you remote so that you can decide where you have to stick the receiver. When thats done you can cut the LED stripes to length, measure out, that the strip goes one tome al around the laptop case as shown in the picture. In my case i had to cut: two 3 section strips, two 2 section strips and five one section strips (four of these are for the apple logo).
Then you can dry fit them, if the fit nicely and cover the area you want to fill with light. That done you can solder them together. If there is a silicone protection layer over the contact points remove it as shown in a picture and than solder the contact points together. Always make sure you solder the correct point together or that the solder joints do not touch each other. You can alway test the connections by plugging in the power and turning the LED stripes on. When you have soldered the contact points together make sure that no wire is sticking up, to make sure that doesn't happen glue everything in place. You can also isolate the contact points with hot glue.
Now we can move back to the spacers and glue them on to the markings. That done you can start soldering the remaining strips together and then glue them on to the spacer blocks as shown in a picture. Please note that you must leave a little bit of space for the cable management. One TIP: First make sure the last four strips work before sticking them on.
Now the electrics are done.
Step 3: Finishing Touches.
Remember the two spacer blocks ? Hope so, because now you have to add to them frame holders and glue the blocks on the same level on the laptop back as shown in the picture. Now you can hang it on the wall where ever you want it to hang.
The last thing you want to do is, to glue some light defusing material over the logo, because it simply looks better than a normal plexi glas logo.
In addition to that you can add some light reflecting material, like a CD or aluminium foil over the spacer blocks, so that the LEDs in that compartment only light up the logo.
I hope you had fun building it and that it looks as cool as mine or maybe even better.