After being invited to exhibit the desk at Maker Faire, I decided to ramp it up a bit. So I took all the ideas that had been floating around in my head since version one and put it together. This version has an embedded server in it and can receive event notifications from the network. It no longer requires a computer attached and is completely stand alone. By the way, here's a link to the first version: http://www.instructables.com/id/LED-Glass-Desk/
To start, you'll have to choose your desk, picture frame, box, or whatever you want to use. Take some measurements and decide how many lights you'd like to include.
I used an Ikea Galant desk, which just happened to have the perfect frosted surface to diffuse the lights. That is really the most important part of the project.
Assemble the desk according to the normal instructions. We can easily work with the completed desk from underneath.
Additional Parts: Arduino Uno Ethernet Arduino Power Source (http://www.adafruit.com/products/63) Addressable ws2801 or lpd8806 (I used http://www.adafruit.com/products/683) Power supply for LED strip (http://www.adafruit.com/products/352) peg board or foam core 100 zip ties padded double sided tape hinges velcro
By the way, all my electronics for this version came from Adafruit.com. They were extremely helpful on their forums and I was able to get everything I needed in one order from one place. You can get one or more of the light strips and just connect them in serial.