Instructables

Make an awesome LED reading light

Picture of Make an awesome LED reading light
I just picked up a good book, but I had no way to read it in bed. My only lighting was the ceiling light, which would shine directly into my eyes. Rather than bear the effort of sitting up to read, I decided to hack together a reading light with parts I had on hand.
 
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Step 1: Design principle

Picture of Design principle
- LED booklights have been around for years. They clip to a book and an LED extends on a flexible stalk to illuminate the pages. But the design has got it all wrong. Why clip an lamp onto a book when you can implant one right into your forehead? Then it doubles as a hands-free night light that goes with you anywhere!

With 60mW of high efficiency cat-like night vision, you could reduce your carbon footprint by using less electricity. You'll need less of your high powered indoor lighting. And by reading more, you'll reduce the electricity consumed by your TV and your computer. By being a bookworm, you'll burn less calories and need less food, which will drive down the global price of food. In time, Zimbabweans may be able to buy more than one egg with Z$50 billion. This could be the solution to all the world's problems. I just hope it catches on in time. ;)

Step 2: What is it?

Picture of What is it?
Ok. Cybernetic implants are still a few years away for most of us. So I've settled for a light that clips onto a hat. Yeah, you can buy something like this for a few bucks, but I had some specific traits in mind (and luckily had the right parts on hand). This light is specifically designed for reading in bed! To that effect, I made it with a Lambertian, wide-angle LED, which I am running at only 1/10 its maximum rating. I also made it as lightweight as possible.

So what you need are:

a piece of foam board, approx 1 3/8" x 3 3/4"
a soft, white, LED with wide angle Lambertian dispersion pattern
a toggle switch
a small lipoly battery
a 20 ohm resistor
a heat gun
a glue gun
SIP header
wire, solder, soldering iron
a baseball cap


Tren5094 years ago
May I ask what book it is?
Debatable Space, by Philip Palmer -- ISBN 978-0-316-01892-0 Published by Orbit Books.
klee27x (author)  Tren5094 years ago
I IRC, it was either a Larry Niven book, or it was a nonfiction book about the Green River Killer. :)
jcdoherty4 years ago
cool project, cool cat. well done.
klee27x (author)  jcdoherty4 years ago
Thanks. In addition to reading, it's also pimp for working on my vehicles in the evenings (when it's not 100 degrees outside). So I had to make a new one when I lost this one!
ChrysN5 years ago
Cool, that looks really bright, love the cat!