Introduction: Laptop Luminosity Enhancer

Tired of not being able to see your screen on that old laptop when you're outside? The Laptop Luminosity Enhancer is for YOU!

Step 1:

So there I was sitting at home with my new laptop that Jordan gave me. I was really stoked about the new laptop because with it I could get a tan. It was a fixer-upper from the days of yore and I bought it a new hard drive and a couple of network interface cards (wired and wireless) to get it going. But what's this, as soon as I got the thing working, I take it outside to my "wireless" campus, and realize that I can't see the screen! This laptop, like most of its time, didn't have a very bright screen. So I could see it was time to break out the old soldering kit and turn that laptop screen into a beacon of luminosity.


hunting knife
twine rope or similar
safety pin
duck tape (do I even have to mention it)

Step 2:

Alright, so here's what I start out with:

Look at it. In all its glory. Beastly.

Step 3:

So to get started, I positioned my box where it is widest in the middle and the two sides on the right and left were the smallest squares (this sounds weird, I know. To see what I mean, look down a few images. Then I cut out the front and the bottom sides. I then cut these guys into strips. I folded them in half, and viola, taped the bottom half of them to the back of the screen of the laptop:

Be sure to use ample tape. You might ask, "Isn't that all that duck tape going to lose its magical potency when the laptop is turned on and the screen heats up?" And the answer is no; duck tape is far more powerful than that. I reference the inside of the role for the following passage:

Caution: Test before using. Some tapes may damage a surface. Not to be used on high temperature surfaces such as furnaces, volcanoes, or the gates of hell.

See, nothing less than 4000 degrees in that list. So we're okay.

Step 4:

Here's what's left of my box at this point:

Oh, and my toe. This is perfect because, as you can see, it folds up just fine and with the front and bottom cut out like I described before (were you listening?).

Step 5:

As if that wasn't cool enough, I folded the other half down and taped down ONLY THE INSIDE section of the folded down part. This, as you can see, is the butt crack of the arrangement:

and for a side view:

Again, notice the tape is only on the inside of the cardboard. There is a reason for this. If you are following along and screwed this up, you might as well punch yourself in the face for being so ignorant.

Step 6:

Now, if you haven't figured it out by now. The box is going to mount on the laptop as follows.

Step 7:

Ignore that gap between the top of the laptop and the box. That's not supposed to be there...

Anyway, you can see how the box mounts on the laptop screen. And since it is attached solely to the screen, it can move/swivel/rotate with the screen. This is great because you will want to be able to move your screen around for good viewing.

Step 8:

Now don't go running out the door with your new and improved laptop yet because where I live the wind is pretty strong and there's nothing really holding those two cardboard sides in except friction. So we'll make a little add-on with that twine and safety pin I mentioned earlier. We'll tape the twine ends on and use the safety pin to connect them. Twine is great for being taped down since it generally is really frayed and all the little pieces stick to the tape well. See:

If you are wondering, that's just a loop with yellow duck tape connecting it instead of tying a knot.

Step 9:

Here's the other end:

Now I know what you're thinking, "Where am I gonna get an oversized safety pin like that?" The answer: steal it. That's what I did.

Step 10:

Now just tape that end on, also, and we'll take a look at the finished box mount:

Step 11:

Now, as, you can, we're ready to go:

That thing ain't coming off! So now that you are ready to go out and get a tan, don't forget about your laptop luminosity enhancer.

Step 12:

You still may not be convinced, however. And I'll address your concerns: Too cumbersome? Nah. It's highly portable. Just fold it up and put it in your laptop carrying case. See, folded, it's the size of the laptop!

That's it under the laptop (an overhang of about 1 inch horizontally).

Step 13: Concluding Remarks

Duck tape is spelled that way. If you don't believe me, you can look it up online. Out of Oxford English Dictionary:

duct tape (perh. an alteration of earlier duck tape s.v. DUCK n.3) orig. N. Amer., a strong cloth-backed waterproof adhesive tape, originally used for sealing joints in heating and ventilation ducts, and (later) for holding electrical cables securely in place, now in widespread general use esp. to repair, secure, or connect a range of appliances, fixtures, and equipment; cf. gaffer tape s.v. GAFFER n.

I've been spelling it that way since I've been using it to secure my own diapers. So for all you suckas out there, beleedat!
Enjoy your new luminosity-enhanced laptops and tell me how it goes!


codongolev made it!(author)2008-09-08

on the duct tape roll-

brand duct tape

so there.

Rimwulf made it!(author)2011-02-26

When it was first invented it WAS called DUCK TAPE then. It was used by the military and it was in forest green (now called army green) and shades of brown and grey. then duct tape company made it silver grey and used to cover spaces in air duct.

And Now We Have Every Possible Color. I Have Clear.

codongolev made it!(author)2011-02-28

ah, 2008. I was so naive then. roughest years of puberty, that.

I really don't care what people call it anymore. duck tape, duct tape.... really, if I called a pen a frindle half the people around me would know what I meant due to the popularity of a certain book at my elementary school all about redefining the ehglish language. but that's not the point, it's merely a tangent. the point is that, unless you really have no grasp on the english language or grammar (I mean that in regards to people who really should have a grasp on the language, ie perfectly competent americans who don't know the difference between your and you're - I don't expect everyone to know my language), I don't care what you call duct tape.

I've actually used real "Duct" tape (the kind with nylon fibers and permanent adhesive) and it's ridiculously strong. I've used it to hold motors onto a makeshift scooter I made once.

twocvbloke made it!(author)2009-07-04

This is why I love my Toshiba Portege M300, it has a reflective backing thing, so aim it toward the sun and you get a clear picture, regardless of whether the backlight is bright or dim... :D My other laptop though has a crappy screen, as soon as if gets past the door, the screen is just blackness (makes me wonder why laptop adverts show people outside with theirs and supposedly using them trouble free, when in reality, even on a dull day it's impossible with most laptops!!!)... :S

Cann0n made it!(author)2008-11-16


conundrum made it!(author)2007-06-27

um. one idea i came up with a while back is to install dual backlight tubes. Most laptops have just one backlight but all desktops have four. other idea is to use the LED's from broken mobile phone and DS screens as a better backlight. regards, -A

wizodd made it!(author)2008-04-17

Most LCD monitors (at least under 22") have 2 not 4, either on the top/bottom or R & L sides. You could add one to a laptop as they usually only have 1--but you'll increase your power drain (worth it if it means you can see the screen!) If I were to do that particular mod, I'd want an on/off switch for the second light. If the inverters are standardized, they just may be capable of driving 2 tubes off one inverter, which would drastically reduce the work involved. In either case, the back light is spread through an acrylic panel and there is very limited room inside the display. It may also be possible to tweak the power on the inverter to drive the existing back light brighter. With an older laptop, merely relamping the display might be enough....

wizodd made it!(author)2008-04-17

Well, the standard shade design for video cameras is black matte and black gaffer's tape--if you haven't tried gaffer's tape, do so. You'll not want to use duck/duct tape ever again. Might be simpler to make a black fabric hook (a la old sheet film cameras,) Velcro one end to the LT and use a drawstring to attach the other end to your head .... Functional & true "techie" style.

Bill+Hood made it!(author)2007-05-19

The guy wears diapers? That's lame!

camscam made it!(author)2006-10-29


slapshot made it!(author)2006-08-15

Functional? Sure. Aesthetics only a techie could love? You betcha. Seriously... this is about the must busted-looking laptop shade I have ever seen. I'm sure that it gets the job done, but it would probably look about 50% less bad by using black matte-board (available at any art shop for about $5) and black duct tape (available at most home improvement stores) instead of the geek-friendly silver (matches tinfoil hats!). That said, good work and fun. :)

radiorental made it!(author)2006-03-31
jforest1 made it!(author)2006-05-04

absolutely, though the weight of the laptop luminosity enhancer may tip the laptop itself over.

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