Introduction: USB LED Light

Picture of USB LED Light

In this instructable, I will show you how to make a USB light. plug into the USB and watch it glow...

For hours...

Sorry, the pictures are bad.

Everything you need is probably sitting in a dark corner in your garage. It will give you a reason to get out that old rusty soldering iron.

Any of this stuff can be pulled off other electronics so you don't have to buy anything.
and waste all that packaging
to just go to a landfill
and fill up

Step 1: Get Your Things

Picture of Get Your Things

The Tools:
Wire Cutters
Needle-nose Pliers
Glue (super glue is not good, It gets soaked up)
Belt Sander
Soldering Iron

The Supplies:
LED (Better if its high power, 3-3.5V)
Metal edge of a wooden ruler (or other small, flat conductor that bends)
Resistor (Also, depends on the type of LED) I used a 220 ohm, but it depends.
Masonite (or something that is similar) I used that hole board (because it's what I had)

You could recycle the LED from a flashlight or other thing that has not been working. All you need to do is to open it up and yank it out.
Same with the resistor.

Step 2: Cut It Out!

Picture of Cut It Out!

Cut the board into smallish pieces. (see pictures)

Step 3: Sanding

Picture of Sanding

Sand the edge of the board so that it will fit into the USB. Don't sand the top.

Sand the bottom to remove rough edges

Hold it up to the edge of the sander to get a stamp that will fit into the USB snugly. (pic 2)
Sand it a little more after that so it will fit when the metal edge is put on.

Sand down the sharp edge so that it is smooth all the way over the top.

Step 4: Glue

Picture of Glue

Pull the strip out of the ruler.
Cut it so that it fits on top of the sanded wood stuff.

Bend It so that it is the same curve as the woody stuff.

Do it twice

Smother the wood stuff in glue and clamp on the metal strips.
Make sure that they only hit the outer 2 metal things inside the drive.

There are 4 strips inside a USB drive. The 2 outer ones are the ones that give off an electric current of 5 volts. The right is positive and the left is negative.

When dry, sand off the top of the strips. It sticks to the solder better.

Step 5: Solder!

Picture of Solder!

Solder the resistor onto the right-most metal strip.

Solder the + side of the LED to the left strip.

Solder the - side to the resistor.

Bent it however you like so that it looks good. (That's what counts!)

Step 6: Plug It In!

Picture of Plug It In!

Plug it in and watch it glow!


akashmash (author)2009-03-29

its a good 'ible. i could adapt this so my lego plane usb drive lights up.

lemonie (author)2009-02-14

Dammit. I was going to say something that included "I'm not going to mention the Macro function on your camera 'cos someone always does". Having a macro function that doesn't seem to do much myself, what I do is set the camera to it's highest resolution, take at a distance where the focus is sharp, and then crop the image. Looks good, but the images don't show it well L

leech223 (author)lemonie2009-02-14

I did, the lens is sort of bad though. its old

lemonie (author)leech2232009-02-14

The belt-sander image looks just fine, I don't think your camera likes close-ups? L

leech223 (author)lemonie2009-02-14


lemonie (author)leech2232009-02-14

Mine doesn't either... L

2fst4u (author)2009-02-14

try turning on 'macro' feature on your camera. it allows you to take close up pictures. search how to do it for your model

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