Picture of USB LittleLite
Build a USB powered work light with only a string of christmas lights, a USB cable, nail clippers (or a wire stripper) and something nearby to hold it up

Step 1: Get POWER!

Picture of Get POWER!
Take a simple USB cable, I used a A-B type cord. Clip off one end, if using a A-B cord, clip off the B end. Strip off the main insulation and the inner insulation on the black and red wires. You now have a 5v 100mA DC power supply that will work in any powered USB port.
XionII5 years ago
I just followed the first step, and I now have 6 High Intensity LEDs running off of my USB port, connected via Breadboard. How cool is that. :)
I guess there's no risk of harming my PC by doing this...?
csshih7 years ago
PSPerson8 years ago
zachninme8 years ago
Have you tested how many you can light at once? I could see someone writing a program to cycle it on and off to some song, or SOS in morse code :-P
I wonder aswell
sherman9099 years ago
You ever think about adding a switch on it so u don't have to always unplug it?
This would be incredibly simple. Just attach the leads to a switch, that should pretty much do it.
sherman9099 years ago
Wheres a good store that you could purchase LED lights at?
Radio shack. I used a small bulbed and it worcked fin.
abbtech9 years ago
Cool job. I would suggest some current limiting though. If you don't have any way of measuring the actual voltage drop of the LED you can approximate it by looking at these LEDs:

Most LEDs of the same color have very similar voltage drops. There is also a resistor calculator link at the bottom of all the LED descriptions that would allow you to calculate the correct value of resistor to use.
foppw9 years ago
What I tried, and it works, is instead of using christmas lights or LEDs, permanantly attach the red and black wires to a breadboard and you have yourself a USB breadboard.
Huevos9 years ago
I tired a similar project with a USB power fan. My computer kept complaining about plug and play device detected when the device was plugged in. Did you have the same problem or did I use the wrong wires?
You only need the red and black wires. The other are for data transfer.
amibolchi9 years ago
If you use some superbright white LEDs, then I think power consumption can be much reduced, especially when you are running it from a Laptop USB port that operates on 6-cell battery. Some similar LED projects can be found here:
maffiou9 years ago
I see you've got some interresting litterature ! ;o)