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Picture of LED Computer Case Lighting
I wanted to make my computer case light up, but after reading some bad reviews on cold cathode lights I decided to make my own LED lights instead.
These lights only cost me about $15 to make. I had most of the materials on hand though. The only thing I bought was the LEDs and the drivers.

Custom LED bars for a computer case.
6 Watts of Blue LEDs
300 Lumens
 
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Step 1: Parts & Tools

Picture of Parts & Tools
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Parts:

6x 1W LEDs
2x 3x1W LED Drivers
28" of 3/4" x 1/16" 90 Degree Angle Aluminum (could use 1/2" x 1/16")
Molex Connector
Wire Scraps (about 4 ft.)
4x Pop Rivets
Super Glue
1/8" Expandable Sleeving (optional)
Heat Shrink (optional)

Tools:

Soldering Iron
Drill
Hot Glue Gun
Wire Cutters
Needle Nose Pliers
Pop Rivet Tool


Step 2: Testing The LEDs

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The cheap LEDs I ordered didn't have the polarity marked, so I tested the LEDs with a coin cell battery. It's connected to the test leads with magnets. Then I marked the cathode with a marker.
Don't run the LEDs at full power without a heat sink, they will burn themselves up.

Step 3: Straiten The LED Leads

Picture of Straiten The LED Leads
These LEDs are made to be surface mounted, so the leads are bent down.
The leads need to be straitened and bent slightly upwards so that the wires can be soldered to them without touching the aluminum heatsink.
I used needle nose pliers to carefully bend the leads.

Step 4: Mount The LEDs

Picture of Mount The LEDs
Cut the aluminum into two 12" pieces, the rest of the aluminum will be used to make the mounting brackets.
Mark the center and 2" from both ends.
Mount the LEDs with a small amount of super glue. Don't use the super glue gel, it's too thick. 
Thermal epoxy would work too, but it's expensive.
Make sure the leads all go the same direction.

Step 5: Solder The LEDs Together

Picture of Solder The LEDs Together
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Solder 3 LEDs in series. Then attach about 6" of wire to one end and 18" to the other.
Drill holes just past the LEDs on the ends to pass the wires through.
Secure the connections with hot glue, or silicone to prevent them from breaking.
NateDawggg7 months ago

what case is this?

rocketman221 (author)  NateDawggg7 months ago

The case is a CoolerMaster HAF X.

thanks!

great 'ible def gonna try it on my ThermalTake Armor :D
bjamiel3 years ago
cool ive always wanted to try doing this but im more of a software modder not hardware modder
joshua23973 years ago
Is that the Haf X from CoolerMaster?
rocketman221 (author)  joshua23973 years ago
Yes it is.
jtc105124 years ago
DAMN THOSE ARE BRIGHT!!!! Where did you get those? They are awesome. :D
rocketman221 (author)  jtc105124 years ago
I got the LEDs off Ebay from the seller cwithk.
Pretty good. You could also use EL Wire, which would give you a similar effect, but not have the negative effects that cathodes have. For a look at what Electroluminescent Wire is.
rocketman221 (author)  ElectricFeel4 years ago
I looked into using some EL tape, but it doesn't seem to put out that much light. However I think that some EL wire or tape would go good with the LEDs, maybe around the side window.
You're right in a way. EL Tape is not going to be as bright as EL Wire, but it gives off more ambient light around it. If you use EL Wire, you want that to be seen, rather than hide it in the case. EL Wire looks great around the case as well.
i have that same case and it already has blue led's
Yeah thats the blue edition, it has all blue led fans. Mine is the standard one, only the front fan lights up.
nico844 years ago
sweet ill see if i can do that with my pc :)
ivondudley4 years ago
That's pretty awesome, I like it
zazenergy4 years ago
This is a really great idea. If I had a tower I'd probably try to make similar LED case lighting for it!