I love playing with Solid State Lighting, and came up with this idea one night. Simply stated, It's a custom built light box with a logo adhered to the front, and lit by a RGB LED module. This project is easily adaptable to whatever image or logo you desire to create.
Difficulty: Novice (No previous DIY experience)
>>> Easy(Some fabrication and electrical experience)
Intermediate (Fabrication, electrical, and programming experience)
Hard (Much fabrication, electrical, and programming experience)
- Blink M (includes color sequencing software)
- 3 AAA battery holder & batteries
- Perf board (prototyping PCB)
- Small On/Off switch (STDP slide or rocker switch)
- 40% or 60% translucent acrylic (depending on what look you want)
- Thin, light-weight scrap wood
- Wood dowels
- Vinyl Decal (bought or home-made)
- Spray paint (White for interior, outside color of your choice)
- 5 min. Epoxy
- Soldering Iron
- Radial Arm Saw (or table saw)
- Table Belt sander (or sanding block)
- Drill / bits
Disclaimer: 'Volcom Stone' logo is a registered trademark of Volcom, Inc. All rights and use of the logo for product distribution belong exclusively to Volcom or their respective owners. I did not create this device with the intent of selling, have not sold it, nor do I plan on mass producing this device for the market.
Step 1: Design & Inspiration
Always start a project on the drawing board. Get all your ideas on paper, then work from there. Once I had the lighting distance established, I made a rough drawing of the dimensions of the box. You can really customize the size of your light box, but you may need more light sources. I designed this light box to be small for a desk surface.
I first cut the Acrylic to the desired size and shape of the logo, and came up with rough dimensions of the wood pieces. It's easier to mess up on cheap wood than the acrylic.
VERY IMPORTANT: Do Not uncover the acrylic until later on, otherwise you will scratch it. Any scratches on plastics you edge light or back light will show up clear as day! I
Once I knew how far back the LED needed to be mounted, I cut the wood pieces out with a radial arm saw. I was not shooting for perfection in this project as I usually do, so I was ready to sand every edge of each piece to get them all to fit together. Many of the pieces required steep angles sanded into the edges so that the outside edges all lined up flush. This is important for a clean, professional end result.
Step 2: Fitment & Gluing
5 min epoxy is one of the most useful supplies. I constantly find uses for it and the set up time is perfect for projects or repairs. Make sure you get epoxy that is compatible with the materials you are working with.
Step 3: Faceplate and Back Cover
I was originally going to have many mounting holes, but only create as many as necessary for the weight of the cover. In my case, 3 for the acrylic and 2 for the back cover were fine. For the acrylic piece, make sure you account for the logo you will be applying on the front and that the mounting holes don't interfere with the decal and your desired look. I recommend drilling the holes into the box and covers at the same time, so there is less change of miss-aligned holes.
The back cover will house the electronics. I created mounting locations and supports for the battery pack and the BlinkM LED module, and a hole for the On/Off Switch.
Step 4: Paint!
I had limited time on this project, and just used paper for the decal and painted it for a thicker, even black color. I later replaced it with a vinyl decal I made myself based on another instructable by GoodAsh03. I recommend making your own decal, having a local shop print you one, or buying one already made with nice material. The paper came unglued after a few weeks.
Step 5: Assembly
Carefully remove the covering on the acrylic and stick/glue your decal onto the fresh, clean surface. Then mount the acrylic to the front side of the box. For my setup, I could see the edge of the wood through the acrylic with messy paint lines, so I painted that black to create focus on the center of the logo and light.
Step 6: Programming
[I will update this later with more help and details on the programming.]
Once the programming is done, mount it back into your back cover, and mount the back cover onto the box. Then turn on the power switch for a colorful light show of your favorite decal/logo!