We've got an office nook that has some high powered (>200W) halogen lighting overhead that is too much for simple working on the computer at night but I don't like having the LCD monitor as the only light especially as our keyboard isn't lighted. Faced with such a conundrum I came up with the pictured LED table/desk lamp. It is based on an old pottery drinking glass that my father made years ago that I have been using as a vase. I drilled a hole in the bottom side to thread a power cable in, and then zip tied an LED, heat sink
, and driver to the top of a scrap of wood with holes drilled in it for the zip ties. Held thusly, I hot-glued the wood block to the bottom, tied a strain relief knot in the power cable to prevent it from being pulled out, added one of those dangerous/chintzy inline rotary switches to the AC cable, and then rigged up a shade holder. The shade holder is made from extra 12 ga wire I had lying around from a solar panel wiring project, bent to wrap around the top lip of the vase/glass and then arch upwards to a loop that cradles a paper cone. I just used a regular soldering iron and solder to solder the wires together. This is more controllable than using a torch and let me do the joints separately without melting each other. The cone splashes light outwards gently as otherwise the LED shoots mostly straight up. The effect is perfect for the intended purpose of providing low level task lighting for computer work. The LED is a Cree XRE warm white
that I had laying around from another project and is being run at 700mA and approximately 125 lumens. The driver is a basic AC to constant current DC supplied by Dealextreme.com
. This is essentially the same setup as in my LED appliance bulb replacement
, but with the heatsink from my LED bi-pin halogen bulb replacement
All in all, not a bad result. I do wish I could find a better switch though.