Instructables
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This project came about because I have a decent amount of LED projects around my house and my friend asked me if I could turn one of those into a light he could put behind his TV!  But he has his TV hung on the wall and didn't want to have any wires hanging down or anything that required being plugged in.  I took a look at his TV, and it, along with most new flat panels, have a couple USB sockets on the side.  And I thought PERFECT I can just use the 5 volt power out of the USB port!

This is a really simple project that looks great!  You can use the idea of this project for many different ideas and areas-- not just for behind the TV!
 
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Step 1: Parts and Tools needed

Picture of Parts and Tools needed
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To start off, grab the materials and the tools for the project.


Materials Needed:

USB cable (cannibalize it off of any old or broken electronics)

Container (any container that you like, choose one that fits your project!)

Solder

Wire Black/Red

Resistors (correct resistance for a 5-volt power supply and your LED's. If you are not sure check out the LED calculator)

LED's  (any color you desire)

Spray Paint  (whatever color or texture you want!)

Hot Glue


Tools Needed:

Soldering Iron

Wire cutters

Drill


Drill Bits

Hot Glue Gun

Paper

Pencil


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wicked job love the effect.

lkilbride made it!7 months ago

This
is a really nice little project. I found 3mm LEDs against a flat wall (as
opposed to an alcove) wasn’t quite bright enough, so I tried again with 5mm
LEDs and was much happier with the result.

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Zwuckel1 year ago
Hi,

Are your chosen LED with 20° radiation? I want to try to copy the nice effect.

Basti.
seligtobiason (author)  Zwuckel8 months ago
I am not sure if it was a 20 degree spread on the LED's but that does sound about right. Either way I think 20 degree would work good!
YT WKD9 months ago
just finished this project. was very easy and very fun. although i should of checked my tv had a usb port before i started haha. its now running through constent xbox 360 usb port
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seligtobiason (author)  YT WKD8 months ago
That looks great! I am glad that you found it easy and fun, that was my goal!
envenum1 year ago
made this and it works great but not as bright as how yours is maybe because i used red leds? was gonna try another one with 5mm instead of 3mm but the calculater says i need 12ohm resisters how come the 3mm used 68ohm resisters then?
seligtobiason (author)  envenum1 year ago
the size of the LED shouldn't change what kind of resistor it needs, it is all about what voltage and ohms the LED needs. How are you figuring out the resistor needed?
ALF.1 year ago
Where do you get the leds?
seligtobiason (author)  ALF.1 year ago
There are many different places to get LED's, I found the cheapest way is to buy them off of ebay. Not always the best quality, but nice and cheap and good for the little projects.
EET19822 years ago
I finished your project. It was fun building it. As we discussed before I only have 1 USB port. So I got a small Radio Shack project box, switch and a 9v battery. Worked perfectly. Thanks again for a great project!
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seligtobiason (author)  EET19822 years ago
That turned out great! Nice work, I am glad that you built one and enjoyed it!
EET19822 years ago
Hi how are you? I am in the process of duplicating your awesome back lighting. Unfortunately when my t.v. is turned off I get 0v from the USB port. I only get the 5v when the t.v. is on. Was your t.v. just wired differently or did you have to do something different to get it to work. Thank you in advance for your help.
seligtobiason (author)  EET19822 years ago
I see your dilemma, I have three USB plugs on the side of my TV and two out of the three are constant 5V... so I didn't do anything fancy to rewire it to get it to be on when the TV was off.

My suggestion would be to use a power supply instead of using the USB for power OR get a adapter for the USB to plug into the wall such as the adapter that comes with iphones etc...

Sorry I couldn't be more help, and please let me know if you have anymore questions!
Thank you for the reply. I think I'll hook it up to a nine volt battey. I'll play around with the leds and resistors to see how bright I can get without blowing them. Again thank you for the reply. I love this instructable. Great job!
edwin9942 years ago
Oh My!!!!!!!
this is damn nice....nice man^^
frameup2 years ago
this is great !!

sir do u think its a good idea to put switch ?
seligtobiason (author)  frameup2 years ago
Yes! I actually ended up adding a switch... much easier to turn off and on.
PugOfChunk2 years ago
Hey this is an amazing idea and im gonna do it for my Gameroom during the summer. Quick question though....is there a way to power it through the wall outlet? causeeee i dont have many computers or usb outlets :( and i want to me able to wire it easier

Thanks in advance and sorry if i sound stupid haha (Im new to LED's and electrical projects)
You can get hold of usb plug sockets, I work in a hotel and people are always leaving them.. just go to reception and say you left one ages ago and they'll probably give you one
I have finished a project like this one a couple years ago when Phillips first came out with the idea for the back of their TV's. My TV at the time didn't have USB on it, so I used an old phone charger that plugs into the wall...

Just cut the end off it that would attach to the phone and use it as above. Most phone charges are around 5- 5.5V and work perfectly for LED setups!

GO for it!
Yea! i was thinking of using a iphone charger than converts usb to the outlet! just put some resistors and ill be good! Thanks a bunch ill post pics soon
rhobere2 years ago
I've been planning to a do a project similar to this for a while and I have one piece of advice that could improve the appearance. If you use a pair of wire cutters, you can actually cut the dome of the LED's off. Since this is the part of the "bulb" that focuses the light, removing it will allow a much more even splay of light. It would look a little more "washed" with color rather than just having spotlights coming out of the back.
seligtobiason (author)  rhobere2 years ago
Thank you for your advice, but for this project I actually wanted the star-burst look. If you take a look at my other instructables I have a couple other ways to disperse the light too.
khazgoroth2 years ago
it would be awesome if the leds blinked syncronised with sound ! :D
This was the first instructable i tried and it WORKED!!! my tv is looking great with the backlight...thanks a hell lot for it!!!
seligtobiason (author)  swarnavo.datta2 years ago
Awesome! Glad you like it, and happy you made it!
scooter20132 years ago
How about 5mm leds with 200ma resistors? Can it be done or will it fail?
seligtobiason (author)  scooter20132 years ago
Well, what you should do is go to a LED calculator and plug in all the info to get your result! Unfortunately I can not tell you if that would work since it is the more what the LED is requiring in voltage, and not the size that determines what resistor is needed. Example: my Blue LEDs require 3.3 volts at 20 Ohms, so I would use a 100 Ohm 1/4 watt resistor.

Here is the link to the LED calculator

http://led.linear1.org/led.wiz

Moofish2 years ago
I think this a very cool project to undertake. Great idea and it's very simple to do. Well done seligtobiason!
Wally_Z2 years ago
I've seen people put RGB LED's on the back of their TV's and have it change color depending on the colors displayed on the TV. How would I do this? Or if someone could provide a link I would be grateful.
jibbyjammin2 years ago
THANK YOU, WORKED GREAT AND LOOKS EVEN BETTER.
Aaqib12 years ago
Amazing Project. I made one and for my 46" Samsung D8000 3D Smart TV and the end result was fantastic. I used 10000mcd ultrabright LEDs which I bought off of eBay. Delivery time was 2.5 days.They arrived Quick!
bch13 years ago
Im looking forward to do this instructable! it looks simple enough so that i cant mess anything up too badly ...
i have a question though... how does the LED calculator work? i dont know the diode forward voltage or diode forward current... can you help me out?
seligtobiason (author)  bch13 years ago
Well you should really check the specs of the LED, but if you don't have any, there are some very general rules to go by with LED's. On the LED Calculator click on the little "?" next to the "diode forward voltage" and "diode forward current (mA)" and it will give you a little reference to work off of.

Let me know if you need anything else!
pcurrell3 years ago
Love the instructable... def has me inspired to do my first one... I'm planning on using some 90mm storm water pipe with end caps... prob a couple of $$ at most! (and not conductive)... going to use warm white leds 24000mcd http://www.altronics.com.au/index.asp?area=item&id=Z0877A
well I gave it go, using 8 LEDs. I couldn't tell you the last time I soldered anything, but I only burned out 4 of them! LOL As a complete amateur pretty proud that at least works! Thanks for the post, it was fun. I'll definitely be trying again once I've fine tuned my skills.

Cheers

- James
souptech3 years ago
New to this and would just like to know what about circuit protection? Hope that doesn't seem like a dumb question, just thinking about any damage to the device that I may plug it into if something goes wrong:) Thanks in advance.
seligtobiason (author)  souptech3 years ago
Well, I am sure there are many ways to add circuit protection, the way I can think of is simply adding a fuse to the circuit. I do believe that the USB port already has protection on it. But to make sure take a look at the specs of whatever USB port you are plugging it into! Sorry I don't have a more specific answer, hope that helps.
mizzle883 years ago
First off, great instructable. I was just wondering how people are hanging them behind the tv. I was thinking of just using velcro, is that what others did?
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