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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!
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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
BAWLS!
PSPerson8 years ago
smart
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:
http://alan-parekh.vstore.ca/index.php/cPath/4_6

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:
http://www.electronicsinfoline.com/CircuitBook/Opto_Electronics/LED_Projects/
maffiou9 years ago
I see you've got some interresting litterature ! ;o)