Have you ever wanted to read at night but are frustrated by wasting energy with those 50 or 60 watt lamp light bulbs. If you are like me, you bought a few dozen CFL's. But when you realized that the light given off by those bulbs is too harsh and unnatural (even the so-called 'Sunlight Simulator' bulbs), you decided they had to go. So you decided to try a clip on LED book light. But like me, you were probably frustrated with the thin, dim glow and having to move it every time you turned a page. For years I put up with this. Until I found a website called Instructables. Instructables gave me the inspiration to build my own LED lamp. Sure, you could buy an LED bulb. But the el-cheapo bulbs flicker and the ones that don't are too expensive (they start at 30 US dollars). I set out to build one for less than 10 dollars. Sadly, thanks to expensive shipping rates (and I live in the U.S. too!), it ended up being a little more. But in the end, it was worth it. The entire array, including all 8 (yes, 8) LEDs and 4 resistors draws a grand total of 1 watt per hour! That's a savings of 59 watts over the incandescent lamps I used to use and 29 watts over the CFL that replaced the incandescent bulb! And the light is bright but not too bright and is easy on the eyes. So, on to how I built it.
Step 1: Materials
From allelectronics.com (www.allelectronics.com)
White Ultra Bright 5mm LEDs x 8 (I went ahead and ordered 100 for other projects around the house since they were so cheap) Category # LED-121
270 ohm, 1/4 watt resistor (I ordered 1,000 to use when I build the LED lights for my house to run off of; no really I ordered that many!) Category # 291-270
10 packs of 75 foot long rolls of 22 gauge solid core wire (no really, I did buy that much).
On to tools.
Note: you can buy however many LEDs, resistors, and wire you want. I bought so much because it was on sale for really cheap. In the end, I'll save money.