Introduction: LED Light Globe Hack

Hack an LED screw globe and make it portable.

I recently got my hands on an LED globe which came with a remote.  After a lot of use in the kid’s room it finally stopped working.  I think the reason why is that they have a dimmer in their room and the LED globe didn’t seem to like it too much when it was dimmed. 

Instead of just throwing it away I decided to see what was inside, and if there was any way that I could hack it to make it portable.  Well there was a way and here’s how to do it.

So if you ever have a need to turn a room blue, or like the look of the red light district – then this project is for you!

Enjoy

Step 1: Parts to Gather

Parts:

1. LED Globe – Ebay
2. 9v battery
3. 9v battery terminal - These can be purchased at any electronics store (or scavenged from a broken toy)
4. Wires
5. Toggle Switch – Ebay
6. Box.  This could be anything that the battery can fit into.
7. Heat-sink.  I used a video card one from an old PC - Ebay
8. Screws


Tools:

1. Soldering iron
2. Pliers
3. Wire cutters
4. Sharp scissors
5. Screw driver
6. Phillips head
7. Drill
8. Hot glue

Step 2: Pulling Apart the Globe

This is the fun part!

Steps:

1. Un-screw the bottom of the globe.  You can see that I tried to cut mine off first before I realised that you can just un-screw it!

2. Carefully pull out the insides.  Most of this is capacitors so be careful as they could still contain a charge.  Cut the red and black wires.

3. Ply off the plastic diffuser with a screwdriver

4.  Unscrew the circuit board from the heat-shield and lift up.

Step 3: Adding the Heat-sink

Next step is to add the heat-sink.  The LED’s can be quite hot and the LED globe is virtually one big heat-sink.  The heat-sink that I used was from an old PC.  It used to have a little fan in it which was used to cool the processor.

Steps:

1. Clean-up the heat-sink and remove any dust or glue present.  If it is the same as the one I used you will also need to remove the fan inside the heat-sink.

2. Drill a hole in the middle of the heat-sink for the red and black wires on the LED circuit board to go through.

3. The circuit board has 3 holes in it where it was attached to the globe.  Use one of these and drill another hole in the heat-sink and use a screw to attach.

Step 4: Modifying the Globes Diffuser


Steps:

1. Use a pair of sharp scissors to trim the diffuser

2. Once you are down to where the diffusing actually starts on the globe stop cutting and see what the fit is.

3. If the hit is Ok, use hot glue to glue it to the circuit board.

Step 5: Attaching to the Box

Steps:

1.  Fist if necessary, stain your box to give it a more finished look

2. Next step is to attach the heat-sink to the box.  I used some screws from an old servo and screwed it into place

3.  Hot glue the screws into place.

3. Make sure that the wires from the circuit board are threaded through the hole in the top of the box before screwing down..

Step 6: Add the Switch and Battery Terminal

Steps:

1. Solder on one of the 9v battery terminal wires to the correct LED circuit wire and use heat shrink to cover the exposed part

2. Drill a hole in the side of the box and attach the toggle switch.

3. Attach one of the wires from the LED and one from the battery terminal to the toggle switch.  The reason you need to add the switch is the LED’s continue to consume power even when turned off with the remote.

4.  Attach the 9v battery and test.

Step 7: You’re Done!

You should now have a very portable, bright LED light. 

The LED’s are so bright that they can change the colour of a room! 
I love these things.

Comments

author
agr00m (author)2016-10-01

So you just plugged the 9v battery into the 120VAC input and it worked?

author
Dark Bottle (author)2014-06-28

Neat!

author
Voxthesergal (author)2013-10-23

How long does the standard 9V last? I'm thinking of modifying the use rechargeable AA's instead.

author
aeyre1 (author)2013-07-15

what i mean to say is when i turn on the switch on the side it just starts flashing through colors. what should i do?

author
AtomicCobalt (author)aeyre12013-08-13

Try making sure the battery in the remote is not dead, or the paper is not separating the connection if you have not used it before. Also, distance matters; too far away and it won't send the signal.

author
jreese5 (author)2013-07-17

Would love to see another method of control other than the Commercial remote. Overall I like this conversion.

author
glorybe (author)2013-07-16

I do wonder about the need for a heat sink. It would be interesting to measure the temperature inside the box both with and without the heat sink. I also wonder if some larger, ni-cads or Li-ion batteries wouldn't be a better choice. Those 9V batteries are expensive.

author
lonesoulsurfer (author)glorybe2013-07-16

I did hook-up the led's without the heat sink and those puppies do get hot. You could probably get away without having one but i think it looks pretty cool with it.

Re-chargeable batteries would be a good idea - you could add a plug into the back of the box to charge them.

the 9v battery I used was about $5 so not too expensive really.

author
abraxas1 (author)2013-07-16

Great Instructable!
is there an award for best accompanying music? this should win.
who's on the flute?

author
lonesoulsurfer (author)abraxas12013-07-16

Pretty damn funky! It goes for an hour and 40 minutes!

author
aeyre1 (author)2013-07-15

I'm confused.. i got mine to work but the remote simply will not work. it just started on its cycle and won't change to the color i want... did i just rip out something i wasn't supposed to?

author
lonesoulsurfer (author)aeyre12013-07-15

Hey there,
Not too sure why that would be happening. Have you tried to remove the battery and attach it again? Make sure its a new 9v battery. There isn't much you can rip out as the circuit board is one complete part with just a couple of wires sticking out the back.
Are you using the same light as I did? If not, maybe you need 2 9v batteries to get it running right. Check your wiring again and make sure that nothing is short circuiting.
Hope you can get it to work!

author
mathesen1097 (author)2013-07-08

This is super awesome! I had an idea just like this but it uses LEDs powered by an Arduino.

author

Thanks.

author
miamitreasure (author)2013-07-08

Nicely done, I am adding this to my list of my next 'fun projects' !!

author

Cool.

author
Tarun Upadhyaya (author)2013-07-08

Cool Idea, was it the same LED bulb that you won in the Lamps & Lighting contest :)

author

Yeah is was! Good memory Tarun.
I won a couple of them so I think I might hack that one as well.

author

Awesome :). I remember things I admire, I just loved your PIR airplane hack.

About This Instructable

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Bio: I've always liked pulling things apart - it's the putting back together again that I have some issues with.
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