Picture of Trash can (or other sweet box) usb light
An absolutely 'rubbish' way of lighting your desk or showing off at LAN parties

UPDATE: For a crucial safety update and time saver head to Step 6
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: The shopping list

Picture of The shopping list
For this project you need:
>>1 USB wire, doesn't matter what kind as long as at least one end is standard USB A (look below)
>>1 3-5v LED
>>A sweets tin, in this case a small box from some garbage shaped sweets.
>> OPTIONAL: If your box or case has any plastic that is dark in colopur it will absorb the light more, if you cover this plastic on the inside of your box or case ((in this case at the top of the box there is a bit of dark plastic on the lid)) with a layer of tin foil, shiny side facing the light source, then your box will be better lit.

Also to ease the job along you should consider:
>>A standard pair of wire clippers
>>A handheld drill
>>Some blu-tac

Step 2: Electricals

Picture of Electricals
This is the step that tells you what changes need making to the cable before use.

1. First snip of one end of the cable, make sure you leave the end that connects into the computer; on.
2. Then (carefully using your wire cutters) strip the black outer covering of your wire, you want to take about, 3cm of black covering off
3. Then you should find 6 wires, one braded one that wraps all round the cable, another silver one that is with the braded one. Then behind a silver paper film, 4 other wires, Black Red Green and White.
4. Remove everything leaving only the red and black ones

Step 3: After that lot...

Picture of After that lot...
You should have a usb cable with a black and red wire sticking out the end. You now need to (carefully) strip the black and red cables (as pic 1) and twirl them in your fingers to make all the wires come together, this helps the project and makes the remaining steps easier. You should now have some wires ready for connection to your LED, your wires should look similar to the pictures.
Mr.Cire8 years ago
I tried this and my computer made a really high pitched noise, is there any thing i can do about that? The LED lit up though.
Run Like HELL!!!!
dollar tree cables suck they dont even carry current very well!
i have heard this going round and so just stay away from dollar tree anything, this particular cable used in this instructable is just one i had hanging about, cant remember brand
Darkshot7 years ago
awwwsome :) ima try this when i get a usb cable from the dolla tree
there is a way to know which leg is which in LED's, the longer leg is positive and if they've been cut the negative leg will always have a flat edge on the bottom of the LED on it's side
Fenwick8 years ago
If you added some tinfoil under the black part on top, the rest could light up brighter. The light would reflect off the tinfoil and diffuse into the rest of the box, instead of being wasted on the black plastic.
lifelong-newbie (author)  Fenwick8 years ago
Thats a good suggestion, the revised version of this project does have tinfoil on it. Cheers
tykenfitz8 years ago
Cool i did it with a cd cake box. also to use it w/o a resistor just use two in a series circuit.
tykenfitz8 years ago
dude i blew like 10 leds doing this until i figured out i needed a resistor thx for that update but would a 390 ohm resisitor be the right one?
lol! that's hawt!
Dr.Help8 years ago
Awesome you can use it as a trash can at night when you have a small snack and you can see were it is lol. P.S. I love Gta Lol
Aeshir8 years ago
I likeee!