Introduction: Welding Mask Upgrade: Lights UP

Picture of Welding Mask Upgrade: Lights UP

Hi all who weld or plan to try welding.
This is my first instructable and as it is really simple one, I'll keep it as short as possible.

Every time I have to weld in low light condition I run into "dark-side" problem :D especially if extra light-source is too big to fit in tight places or one does not have proper nor extra light. So I had an idea to put some lights on my welding helmet. For some reason I didn't do it at my workshop, but at home without even having a drill :P

So, what we need is a welding helmet, some LED strips, AA or AAA battery holder (or any other electricity source that will properly work with your desired LED strips), ON/OFF switch, soldering iron, some wire, tape and cutting tools.

Step 1: Step 1: Align the LED's and Cut Holes

Picture of Step 1: Align the LED's and Cut Holes

First I started with LED alignment, very easy, and I got lucky as my LED's matched up my helmets glass size, good thing to bare in mind if you get proper preparation time :P (not like me, who had to search from scraps during a surprisingly free morning)

After cutting proper lengths of LED's and fixing them with paper tape I soldered + to + & - to - and instead of a drill, had to use scissors (NOT SAFE) to make 2 holes, one for LED wires to get into the helmet and another one for ON/OFF switch, choose a location of your desire.

After soldering I removed the doublesided tape cover from LED strips and put them back without the paper tape. If you feel more confident with your soldering skills, you may attach the LED's at once ;)

Step 2: Step 2: Battery Compartment

Picture of Step 2: Battery Compartment

Well, here it highly depends on a mask, but I found that the "top of your head belt" is the best place to put the 8xAA battery holder (wanted to use AAA but just didn't have one) so just be creative and find a place that will not block the mask movement (in case you have a moving mask). I secured the batteries with some tape and attached the whole battery compartment to the helmets "head band" together with one zip tie.

Install the ON/OFF switch through the hole for it and solder the wires, I have switch that has a nut on the inner side so it is really easy to attach from the inner side ;)

Step 3: Step 3: Result

Picture of Step 3: Result

And that is pretty much it :)

Now you can see how my helmet looks with LED's off and on.

Most importantly, if I looked at the two rolls of duck-tape (one black, one silver) I saw pretty much nothing, now I can clearly see everything. If I place my hand in front of the mask then with LED's off I just see a black figure, but with LED's on, I can "read" my fingerprints :D

And no, LED's do not mess up the auto-shade function.

I'll test the mask during the next welding and might add some clear protective film/tape on the LED strips, as splatters from welding might damage the LED's. For now, as an experiment, I don't care for that, as the mask is not new nor am I building this for sale :P

Comments

justusnu222 (author)2017-04-23

great idea! where does one puechase led tape? Thank you in advance.

Hi!

thanks a lot :)

As for LED tape I really dunno, here in Estonia I can buy it in any lighting realted or home electronics or electrics shop. These things are so popular that they will soon be grocery stores (if they are not already)

Best

themhs65 (author)2016-05-12

excellent!!!!! I will doit!

kaslo (author)2016-02-22

This is bright idea (pun intended) I am going to try it.

AndrewD50 (author)2015-10-14

Clean look, gonna have to give this a try.

MarkF30 (author)2015-08-31

Very clever solution to a problem nearly all welders encounter. I will have to keep this in mind for my welding helmet[s].

Boerboel_boy (author)2015-08-31

Awesome idea. I happen to have a spare 1m strip of LED lights that I have not know what to do with. Now you have just given me my answer. This is exactly what I need with the poor lighting in my workshop. Well done!

SebasRC (author)2015-08-30

I like the idea very much and the problem is very common I think. How ever I think it could be easy to stick a led head lamp without the head belt, so you could change the light angle any time and don't bother with the battery pack.

kbc2 (author)2015-08-30

I know a couple welders that could use this idea. Nicely done and looks cool too. I have a Save Phace shield so it would make for some interesting lighting.

foompla (author)2015-08-30

I bet that coin batteries would work better

nevadageo (author)2015-08-30

great idea!

DIY-Guy (author)2015-08-29

Have not a welding helmet or welder to try this just now. The Instructible looks wonderful!

kpqowieuryt (author)2015-08-29

This is a very good idea. But before trying it out i will like to ask you two things as you have made it already. First of all, does the bright light from the leds shine on the solar panel of the welding mask and make it go into dark mode when you look at something reflective like metal without soldering. And secondly is the rubber protection of the leds or the glue it comes with to stick to a surface damage or loosen up with the welding heat. Thank you for this great idea and instructable anyway

kpqowieuryt (author)kpqowieuryt2015-08-29

Ok. Read the last paragraph and answered myself most questions

DIY Hacks and How Tos (author)2015-08-29

Nice mod

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