This project lights up a 5x magnifier by adding 24 bright LEDs.

It's built around a magnifier designed as an upscale version of an optical loupe.  The magnifier has a clear plastic skirt that is intended to admit light from the sides.   I have a small loupe made on the same principal, and it works OK.  But I found that with the bigger version, the magnifier casts a shadow on the subject, and not enough light makes it in from the sides.  I decided to add some LEDs for better illumination.

In order to make it as bright as possible, and to make construction neat and easy, I used a ring-shaped LED array which is marketed for use as an accent light on automobiles.  It's a circuit board 80mm in diameter (just right to fit the magnifier) with 24 surface mount LEDs on one side and current limiting resistors on the other side.

I considered battery-powered options, but I wanted this magnifier mainly for use on my workbench, so I decided to trade off portability for brightness, and made it operate on 110V AC.  I used a 3D printer to make a little box on the side to hold the on/off switch and contain the wiring.

I made it at TechShop.   http://www.techshop.ws

Step 1: Parts, Materials and Tools

These parts and materials are needed:
  • Carson 5x Stand Magnifier.  About six dollars on Amazon.  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000Z9HGAS/ref=oh_details_o05_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
  • Angel Eyes LED module - Be sure to get the 80mm version.  I used natural white, but cool white or warm white are also available.  Ten dollars..  http://www.superbrightleds.com/moreinfo/led-headlight-accent-lights/led-angel-eye-headlight-accent-lights/49/
  • 12V DC wall-wart power supply.  I got mine on eBay for about two bucks.  The LED array draws about 100mA, but to be conservative you should use a power supply rated at 500mA or more.
  • 3D printed switch/wiring box.  You'll make this yourself.
  • Small rocker switch.  The one I found in my junk box fit an opening about 13mm x 9mm.  If yours is a different size, you'll need to adjust the 3d model for the switch/wiring box accordingly.
  • Hook-up wire, stranded.  I used 22 gauge.
  • Two 4/40 machine screws, 5/8" long.  I used button head screws.
  • double sided foam tape
  • clear silicone adhesive
  • masking tape
  • shrink tubing, 1/8" diameter, 1/2" long
You'll also need these tools:
  • drill press
  • handheld electric drill
  • drill bits: 1/8", 1/16", 9/64, #60 and #43
  • 4/40 tap and tap wrench
  • 1/16" hex driver
  • soldering iron and solder
  • 3D printer
  • Drilling guide for switch box holes.  You'll make this yourself.

About This Instructable


23 favorites


More by nnewlon: CNC Power Supply Rack for RC Charger CNC Wooden Magnifier with Extreme Battery Life Wooden Banana Stand
Add instructable to: