Picture of Ultra-Bright 24-LED Lighted Magnifier
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