LED Video Chat Light





Introduction: LED Video Chat Light

About: Hi I'm Kriss! I’m a 20-something that likes to build tools, jigs, and other random contraptions with wood.

Pretty basic stuff here, and I don’t know about you but I am CONSTANTLY finding myself in situations where my video chat lighting is terrible! This project fixes that quite nicely, as seen in the before and after shots.

Step 1: Video

A video of this project, if that's your thing. Otherwise, keep reading :D

Step 2: Measure

I measure the outside dimensions of my display and add 1/4" overhang on all sides. Take care to design the frame so it doesn't cover up the webcam!

Step 3: Cut

1/4" plywood is cut into 1/2" strips with a circular saw, and cross cut to length at the mitre saw.

Step 4: Sand

Eliminate pesky splinters with some sandpaper.

Step 5: Joinery

Just running down some joinery options here. From the top down: a butt joint doesn't provide a lot of glue surface, a 45 degree mitre is tricky to get right, but I think a half lap will be perfect (that's the one at the bottom)!

Step 6: Routing

Half lap joints are easy to cut on the router table.

SAFETY FIRST! Don't forget your push blocks.

Step 7: Glue

Just a standard assembly using Titlebond-3.

Step 8: Prepare LEDs

Cutting up an LED strip and sticking it down to the frame.

Step 9: Solder

Since the LED strips was cut up, now it needs to be reconnected.

SAFETY FIRST! Don't forget your soldering smoke absorber.

Step 10: LIGHT IT UP

It's very bright!!

Step 11: Dimmer Circuit

The light was too bright to use, so I create a dimmer circuit. This is cheaper than a commercial LED dimmer switch.

7x 1N4001 diodes in series on a breadboard provide 8 nodes with incrementally decreasing voltage. Each diode presents a voltage drop of about 0.7V (the power supply and LED strips are rated to 12V).

This LED strip is from Lee Valley (4000K 30 LEDs/m).

Step 12: Wrap-up

You're awesome!
Thanks for reading :)

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    12 Discussions

    Your YouTube video was awesome as is your 'ible! Great job! Thanks for being a valuable part of the Instructable community :)

    Congratulations - great design, worth of 1st place!

    1 reply

    I'm quite blown away by it, but thank you!

    If its external supply why isnt it sourced from USB directly

    The LED strip I had on hand was 12V, so couldn't use 5V USB power directly. It's possible to step up 5V to 12V, but I chose to omit that for this project since I have convenient 12V power. Maybe one day I'll make a 5V version :)

    Very cool! I might try to make a variant that can collapse for easy traveling... Also, would like to figure out if I could draw enough power from a USB port...


    2 years ago

    BRIGHT IDEA !!! Thanks for the primer. Now to order parts.

    Cool, How do you choose the brightness setting of the dimmer? Did you keep it in the breadboard?

    1 reply

    I connect a jumper wire to a different node on the breadboard. It's not very elegant, but it works for me.