For over a century the shape of our lighting has been defined by the shape of a glass bulb.  No more.  High power leds the size of a grain of sand are on the horizon and the only limits to lighting is our imagination.

And if it is still not quite practical to have our walls light up, at least art should light your life (literally).

Warning -  this is a very bright lamp at eye level and will not be suitable for all locations.

Materials -
LED driver - AC/DC voltage converter   Waterproof 670mA 36W Power Constant Current Source (85~265V)
USD$ 11.79 . qty 1,  source  Dealextreme

2 watt  lumen leds - (any bright white led will work).  2W 160-180LM 2850~3050K Warm White LED Light Bulbs (20-Piece Pack)
USD$ 7.67 (only used 13) source  Dealextreme

star boards - Hexangular PCB Boards for 1W/3W/5W LED Emitter (100-Piece)
USD$ 6.94 (only used 13) source  Dealextreme

Framed art $4.99  - source Goodwill

others - Solder, wire, chipquick solder paste (amazon), Gila window film (home depot), power cord with built-in switch (home depot),20" x 20" sheet aluminum (home depot)

Step 1: step 1 - "wave soldering in an electric skillet " - attach leds to star pcb boards

I learned this here on instructables.  All credit should go to DJJules for this. 


Insure a good thermal bond between the LEDs and the star pcbs.  DJJules' instructions are great. If you have never tried wave soldering in a skillet you should.   A little chipquick on each contact point and a little heat and the batch is completed.

I've had luck with plain old clear RTV silicone.
Thanks, that is good information. It would be very interesting to measure the temperature results using different thermal glues. My guess is that many of us are being way too conservative and using Artic Silver (silver conductivity is 4.3 W/cmK, artic silver is supposed to be 60% silver) and designed for high power CPUs when your less expensive RTV solution works great. It is likely a key is the small amount of heat produced by LEDs and already spread across a relatively wide area for the star pcb. According to Baudot, silicon RTV has a value of 0.27 W/m.K (0.0027 W/cmK) from 240 to 300 K. source -Thermal conductivity of a RTV silicone elastomer between 1.2 and 300 K. (In comparison plain JB Weld = 0.0059 W/cmK according to<br> http://books.google.com/books?id=itK02Ui...t=result#PPA381 ). <br>I have heard good things from dealextreme's inexpensive FUJIK Silicone Thermal Glue (50ml Grease-Like) <br>http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.4579<br>Others report great results with adding copper dust and aluminum oxide to epoxies.
Huh. I never would of thought of using a pan for mounting. Smart!

About This Instructable


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Bio: Fat, old, and nearly bald, Pat O'Briant bumbled his way through an aeronautical engineering degree at an enormous state university which fortunately had an ... More »
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