Introduction: Make Your Own LED Ring for Dremel

Picture of Make Your Own LED Ring for Dremel

Sometimes, when i'm drilling a PCB with my dremel, it shadows all the area below, making my  job too difficult.
A long time ago i saw in Hack a day a light for macro in a camera and I thought it can be a good idea to use a led ring with the dremel to light up the working area under it.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

For making a led ring you will need:
-Nine smd LEDs
-An old mobile charger (4.5-5.5v)
-One 15ohm resistor
- Male and female plug (optional, you can connect the charger dirctly in the PCB)
-The PCB, you can download the PCB stencil.

Step 2: The PCB

Picture of The PCB

First of all, you have to print the PCB, (make sure it is the correct size for your LEDs and the dremel screw).
Then, cut the corners and file the outside edge.
Drill the center hole and make it bigger until tha dremel fits prfectly in it.
Then drill the holes for the female connector and the resistor and you have finished the PCB.

Step 3: Soldering the LEDs

Picture of Soldering the LEDs

Now, you have to stain the places where the LEDs are going to be, (make sure that the inner and the outer copper rings are not in contact). If you have soldering paste, use it.

Then Place carefully the LEDs un the same direction, because they're in parallel. (I've placed them with the anode conected to the outer ring)

Heat up the leads and the tinned areas (or the soldering paste) to solderthe LEDs in their places.

Step 4: The Connector Plug and the Resistor

Picture of The Connector Plug and the Resistor

First of all, insert the socket and the resistor in series with the LEDs and solder them.

Then connect the plug with the mobile charger and isolate them with heat shrink tube or insulating tape.

Step 5: Test Time!

Picture of Test Time!

Now you've finished the ring, is time to test it.
Put the ring in the drill, tighten the nut and plug the charger.

If it doesn't work, turn the plug maybe you didn't connect it correctly.
If it still not working, check the LEDs conection, you could shor-circuit one of them.

As you can see in the photos, it lights up the working area very well, now, drilling tiny holes is not going to be a problem anymore!

Thank for reading and please, vote this instructable for the Lamps & Lighting Contest and the Up! contest.


maKACS (author)2016-01-01

Cool! Definitely what I need to add to my mini router base. Thx for the ~ible.

vazerick made it! (author)2015-01-11

Hello, i saw your project
and liked it a lot, i decided to replicate it, fix some details and adapt it to
my dremmel work station, i used adobe illustrator so i could output vectors
instead of pixels, I desoldered the SMD leds and resistors from a led light
strip I had around, these are 5050 leds with 3 diodes inside, the total current
is 350mA for all the circuit (9 leds), and the input voltage is 5v and each
resistor is 470 ohms, I will leave the vectorised PCB here, that you can print
easily using windows and selecting the “pocket” size, remember to check the
“reframe image” option, keep up with the good ideas, im might add a
little switch later, so i don’t have to unplug it, feel free to use it, share
it or change anything you don’t like it was based on your project after

pinomelean (author)vazerick2015-01-12

Thanks for your contribution.

anool (author)2015-01-06

Awesome! Just like the one I built for my ShapeOko spindle a while ago.

Tachyon (author)2015-01-06

I'd like to combine this design with it's full ring of lights with the magnetic induction power source of Dremel's own light attachment.

rim gritty (author)2014-03-05

best effin thing ever !!! thank you.

kostasmaniakis (author)2014-02-10

good gob my frend .work very well thank you

Rodney7799 (author)2013-11-15

I like your idea so much I searched Amazon for "Dremel Light". They have one that is very similar but with only 2 bulbs and it costs $55 dollars! I think I'm going to make your version. Outstanding work!

J-Five (author)2013-03-19


It sort of looks like a UFO!!

ccoalex (author)2013-03-15

Hi, nice work yet simple but how about power rating of the 15 ohm resistor ( from the image I say it`s a 1W resistor and NOT a common 1/4W ).
What is the voltage and current of the smd led you used?

If someone want to use STANDARD WHITE led should put a 45 ohm (or standard 43 ohm) 1/4W resistor for 4.5V or 95 ohm ( or standard 91 ohm)for 5.5V power supply.

Resistor value is :
R=(Vs-Vf) / If where Vs=SOURCE voltage, Vf=LED voltage, If=LED current (for WhiteLED If= 0.020A=20mA and Vf=3.6V);

"Wattage" P=I*I*R (for WhiteLED @4.5V is 18mW=0.018W and 1/4W resistor is more than enough). Hope this will help you somehow.

pinomelean (author)ccoalex2013-03-17

I used the 1w resistor because it was the only under 400ohm i had on hand.
And because i saw the LEDs were bright enough with it i didn't get a new 1/4w resistor because in my city shop they're about 0,60$ each one, so i try to use what i get from trash.
It was also because i didn't know how to calcule resistor for LEDs.

Attmos (author)2013-03-14

Really cool. I want one. Does it limit your dexterity, range of motion, or how you hold the Dremel in any way?

pinomelean (author)Attmos2013-03-14

Not really, i don't usually grab where the ring is placed.

ElZorro (author)2013-03-12

Now you should make an inductive version like the one that came with my Dremel.

ThaXified (author)2013-03-12

Easy, and effective! Nice!

mayagayam (author)2013-03-11

Great job!

kukubee (author)2013-03-11


Could you please expand a bit about how you made the PCB?

Thanks and you did a very nice job!

pinomelean (author)kukubee2013-03-11

There are a few simple steps in this method :

1.Print out your design on a LASER Printer, An inkjet will not work, Glossy paper is the best to use (or use a page out of a magazine)

2. Place your Board design on your copper clad board & iron it on the hottest temperature for about five minutes, just to be sure all the toner has been transferred.

3. Place your board in cool water for a few minutes, Then rub the paper off. You should be left with the design on the copper clad board.

4. Etch the board. I use one part of hydrochloric acid diluted in five of hydrogen peroxide. it takes about 5 minutes to etch.

5. Once your board is etched, remove the left over toner. There are a few methods to do this. I use a mixture of steel wool (To get the toner off to a rough standard) then clean the board up with acetone to ensure there are no bits of toner on the board.

mmarchesi (author)2013-03-11

NICE! I'll try something similar but I have two questions:
1- why not to use traditional pin in hole led with a general purpose PCB? It should be easier then to use the SMD leds (and maybe cheap)
2- do you think is possible, stantring from a copper board to create the circuitry mechanically directly with the Dremel instead of doing the etching process?

pinomelean (author)mmarchesi2013-03-11

I have never used a general purpose PCB, but i think it'll be OK. About creating the circuitry mechanically directly with the Dremel i think i'ts much more difficult, etching the PCB is the perfect solution.

agis68 (author)2013-03-11

nice and easy project of an afternoon for lighting your jobs with!!!

strooom (author)2013-03-11

Nice! Just got my Dremel today, Will build one for sure. I think I will take traditional LEDs which are not surface-mount, so you won't really need a PCB.

You could also connect them in series rather than parallel, requiring a power supply with a higher voltage (but lower amp rating). I think 12V are easier to find (read: recycle).

danilo.bar1 (author)2013-03-07

nice job!

WWC (author)danilo.bar12013-03-11

This is one of those " I wish i would if thought of that things ".

Verry good!

dgateley (author)2013-03-10

Awesome also for a soldering iron if properly insulated thermally. How's about a kit? Or just a circuit board. I'll pay (within reason.) :-)

pinomelean (author)dgateley2013-03-10

A circuit board, the nine LEDs and the resistor will be 5$, but i live in Spain and i don't know how to ship it, the shipping costs and how to send money...

dgateley (author)pinomelean2013-03-10

Me either, but if you figure it all out be sure and post back. I don't know about intranational usage but PayPal might be your solution for payment.

Orngrimm (author)2013-03-10

Cool idea! I like it and id like to improve on that...
In fact, i wanted to move the LED's on top of the ring you are holding @ and use a smaller / a series of smaller PCBs. I have some ideas on how to make them angled AND circular. :)
This way the PCB wont get in my ways while holding the dremel.
Normally i hold the dremel where the PCB is now fixed...

thinkdunson (author)Orngrimm2013-03-10

find some tiny LEDs and put them inside the screw-on grip!

dulciquilt (author)2013-03-10

You should sell these to folks like myself who don't have the time to make them.

Patrik (author)2013-03-10

Nice execution!

However, since all the LEDs are in parallel, you should really have a separate current limiting resistor for each. Otherwise you'll drastically reduce the lifespan of whichever of the nine LEDs happens to have the lowest forward voltage.

If you put them all in series, you can get away with a single resistor, but then you're working with fairly high voltages. A good compromise may be to make strands of three LEDs in series with a resistor, and then to put three of those strands in parallel.

nerocon (author)2013-03-10

Fracking genious! can't believe I had not already done this.

jdelongpre (author)2013-03-10

You won't get a prize for new technology, but you have MY vote in the Lamps & Lighting contest for a useful instructable. Good work and thanks!

FriendOfHumanity (author)2013-03-10

That is very nice.

coldblackice (author)2013-03-10

BRILLIANT idea and execution! As was once so eloquently put -- "You're the man now, dawg!"

Phildem (author)2013-03-10

Very good idea and realisation !!

jolshefsky (author)2013-03-10

That's a pretty elegant-looking, simple, reliable circuit board!

ringai (author)2013-03-08

Very nice project. Be careful using an open flame to heat up shrink wrap. If you accidentally burn it, you'll need to unsolder the connection to fix it.

About This Instructable




Bio: I love electronics and all about DIY.
More by pinomelean:IN-12 nixie clockLi-ion battery chargingMini line tracer
Add instructable to: