Picture of How to make cheap but very powerful LED bulbs
It's been almost a year since I started to "LEDify" my home, with results more or less encouraging, but only an accident made ​​me find the best solution so far.

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Step 1: Motivation

Picture of Motivation
How often happened that you or someone in your family, by mistake, to overthrow the desk lamp? If you are like me, this has happened many times...  For this reason, the last time my offspring slammed my desk lamp one more time, with an innocent "UUPS!", I exclaimed Enough!

Warning! CFL bulbs contains a small quantity of mercury and this is a very toxic substance.
If by accident or intentional, you have broken an CFL bulb, it is advised to ventilate the room as good as possible, in order to dissipate the toxic vapours.

I decided that I have to replace the CFL bulb from the desk lamp, with something more shock resistant...

But that could withstand the treatment of a 10 years child and at the same time to make enough light to work at desk in good condition, to be reliable in operation and decently priced? If only a few years ago, there was no a solution to this question, the answer is now clear: a power LED.

Step 2: Materials

Picture of Materials
As I already had some Cree MX6 Q5 LEDs with 3W power and maximum light output of 278 lumens used in some older projects, I decided to use them for this project too. The LED will be placed on a 5cm x 5cm heat sink recovered from the chipset of an old computer motherboard.

For simplicity, I decided to use a switching power supply of a mobile phone, perhaps together with an electronic adapter that would give me the necessary voltage and current to power the LED. For this purpose I have chosen the power supply of a defective mobile phone Siemens A52 having, according to the manufacturer, an output voltage of 5V and a current of 420mA.

An socket from am old CFL bulb should protect all the electronics.
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Hi Great project, I really like the lamp cover you used in the bathroom version. Just curious - did you make that painting/pattern or find it somewhere (if found...where?)?


tudurache (author)  prototyping_science3 months ago
I'm glad you liked the project.
The lamp cover (together with the lamp itself) that I have used was bought from one of the local stores here in Romania (Dedeman: but you might find something similar in other places...


Mr. Vikas Malwa

email id:-

contact no.:- +918059997770

interesanta idee! totusi nu se incalzesc prea tare radiatoarele alea mici de chipseturi?...

tudurache (author)  Timofte Andrei25 days ago
Cu radiatoarele de chipseturi nu am avut probleme, oricum LED-ul e alimentat la sub 2.5W si la puterea asta temperatura nu trece de 60 grade. Deja de am de mai bine de 2 ani si merg fara probleme. Mai degraba alimentatorul telefonului pare sa fie sensibil la caldura... am niste becuri cu leduri chinezesti de 10W la care mi-au crapat alimentatoarele. Radiatorul desi e de CPU incalzeste si alimentatoarele si asta le cam afecteaza... e vorba de proiectul de aici:
randy.agosto2 months ago
Is there any diagram of your design for us to uderstand more easily?thank you sir.

Cut the phone end of your mobile charger. Solder the red wire with the + terminal of LED. And respectively the black wire to the - (negative) terminal.

Connect the phone charger to power socket and enjoy the illumination.

tudurache (author)  randy.agosto2 months ago
Well... it's not realy a diagram... only the LED and the phone charger... connect "positive" from the LED with the "positive" from the phone charger, and the same with "negative". No other component is required :)
TonyT41 month ago
hamedshh1 month ago
hamedshh1 month ago
N2OShot1 month ago

Bravo tudurache and thank you for sharing.

Rajeshs41 month ago


MarkS132 months ago

Thank you for taking the time to make your website available in english.

PuttarajuR4 months ago

As i have 1W LEDs with me, can i connect 3 Leds a charger as parallel line. Pl reply.

tudurache (author)  PuttarajuR4 months ago
It's not recommended because the LEDs could be slightly different in parameters and the current will not be evenly divided between the three LEDs. However if you have to do this, you could connect in series with each LED a 2.2ohm/1W resistor.
dudes5 months ago
Dude, you have got to look into LED drivers, they are really quite cheap, more compact, and safer for the LEDs.
tudurache (author)  dudes5 months ago
Dude, it's all about recicling... if I can use that I already have, then why spending money for LED drivers?
I doubt that those are more compact and safer than a phone charger... I know many dudes that keep them powered for years and none of them caught fire or even broken.
And they certainly are more expensive than a regular phone charger. If you already own a phone charger (cost is 0), the LED driver shoud be more expensive by... you count how many times...
Mine already works for 3 years and I didn't have any problems so far...
dudes tudurache4 months ago
If you already have a phone charger then absolutely use it. But as for the LED drivers being bigger and more expensive, that little circuit on the heatsink in the first picture is the driver I bought. They are definitely smaller, and I got it for about a buck, so around the same price for a low-end phone charger. However, I did not mean to put down your 'ible, in fact I actually love the idea. And made one myself, pictures 2+3. And I use it a lot. So great idea, and great result, but for those of us who don't have a bunch of phone chartered laying around, LED drivers are an idea.
tudurache (author)  dudes4 months ago

You're right, if you don't already have a spare phone charger instead of buying one, it's better to buy an dedicated LED driver. But almost anyone has some spare phone chargers, and using them saves the money and the environment.

Hi Tudurache

I love your work and ideas! Recycling from old electronic parts is genius. I have a quick query, do you think it would be possible to power up to 15 Watts worth of LEDs? I have many 14 W 2D lights that have failed drivers in them, I don't know which component within the driver has failed and really want to be able to replace or repair them. Any ideas??

aboelkasem6 months ago

Good afternoon for all bodies

It's a nice project I will to make this lamp

Thank you for all

MooMeat428 months ago
personally I find the color of the Q5 LED to be much too green without much blue to even it out. But then again I have blue CFLs for the main source of light in my room
nice bulbs.
zubain8 months ago

Its an awesome idea to use the cell phone chargers to directly power the LEDs without using wasteful resistors. Can you please advise the best configuration using 1 W LEDs. Do you think that I can directly connect 2 x 1 W LEDs in parallel to a cell phone charger?

tudurache (author)  zubain8 months ago

1W LEDs requires about 300mA but phone chargers generates usually more than 700mA... so connecting 3 or better 4 * 1W LEDs in parallel should work, but in order to equalize the LEDs characteristics it's recommended to connect in series with each LED a small value resistor... about 0.5 Ohm or 1 Ohm (1W) should be ok.

aarenz9 months ago

Not sure about LED's and electronics but was wondering what it would take to have substantial power supply central place in a house and wire all led lights around house. Would love to remove most outlets and replace with USB connectors to power charging and LED based lighting. You are saying something about the maximum output of the power supply burning out the LED if it is over the rated level for the bulb.

tudurache (author)  aarenz9 months ago

It could be done, but you'll still need a constant current source, for each LED bulb, and this could be more expensive than a phone power supply that you probably already have lying around.

Hinesdarrel10 months ago

Very informative and useful post by you. This can be a very useful to make a cheap but very powerful LED bulbs. There are so many electronics store which offer the best LED bulbs or lights. To get more information you can visit .

avedwal10 months ago

u r to good

tudurache (author)  avedwal10 months ago

Thanks my friend :)

en_rov11 months ago

This is amazing. I am just wondering, for safety concerns, how hot does the cell phone charger/power source integrated in the bulb get? I would like to upgrade my desk but am a bit afraid of fires/shorts. Thanks!

tudurache (author)  en_rov11 months ago
Well, I don't see any problem... most of the cell phone chargers contains themselves some protections (short circuit, over temperature) and they are reliable enough (in our office we have few of them plugged non-stop for almost 3 years) and the bulb base is also heat resistant...
There were almost 2 years since I have made my first LED bulbs and all of them worked perfectly since.
en_rov tudurache10 months ago

Thank you for your reply, I am definitely making this. I havo found this leds, do you think thry would be suitable? I need to light well my desk, so I would like a proper lighting. Thanks in advance

tudurache (author)  en_rov10 months ago

You are welcome! The LEDs are ok, you should use a phone charger with maximum current less than 700mA (maximum current allowed by your LEDs), otherwise the LEDs will have a short lifespan.

vdjondo11 months ago

I great this page.
I was looking for this kind of article as I was planing to do my own testings.
How about using the Balast that allready where in the bulb ? Wouldn't they give enough power to your leds ? How about with small consomption led like 3mm classic white led ?
I feed a Led Page where I copied the adress of your present page. Please like it and share.

tudurache (author)  vdjondo11 months ago

As far as I know, the ballast from the CFL bulb gives an initial spike of high voltage in order to initiate the discharge inside the fluorescent tube... it CAN NOT be used to power the leds.

Dear Sir,
I seened your led light bulb projects & was very impressed, please guide me to make a LED Headlight bulb for my Bike- Bajaj Platina 125, it has a 12v 35w/35w halogen lamp & uses a 12v 5LB battery, please guide me if i have to use lense or direct LED or have to make projector or something, also its great if i am able to have a full round angel eye in my head light dome, i am from india, and here leds are just begined to introduced in home lighting, but in auto their is no sign of led head lights here, so kindly plz provide me link for the shop where i buy the parts without any bulk order, sorry for my bad english, waiting for your reply, and Thanks in Advance!

My E-Mail for your reply :

the linked is in another langauge . that i dont under stand.
PokeyJoe1 year ago
I love LED and flashlights, I've LED'd my SUV. But something you may need to be aware of, at least in the US. If you DIY something and it causes a fire.. Weather it's a DIY light, a rewired furnace fan, a replaced cord on an appliance..your insurance companies response is that you are out of luck. And believe me they are looking for any reason not to pay. If the item that caused the fire was not a UL approved product, or has been modified in some way, you are assuming the liability. And that includes import products that have a RoHS or SA stamp but not the UL. USA must have UL. Now, I have bought a few of these ( but ONLY use them in a hand shop light. So just use your head. (great source btw, another is (
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