Introduction: LED Desk Lamp

Hard Drive Based Desk Lamp - This lamp is made out of assorted old computer parts from some old PC's I took apart. It is a great compact desk lamp. I use it on my tech workbench. I know I can buy an LED desk lamp all day for around 10 bucks but wanted a cool looking fixture that nobody can buy. The LED bulb really puts out a lot of useful light. The lamp also has a nice blue glow effect that radiates from under the base of the lamp. The idea for this project came from a pile of assorted RAM memory sticks laying around in a drawer. They looked like good structural materials going to waste. It wasn't until I was finished with the project that someone commented I just built a copy of the PIXAR lamp. Oops! Didn't see that one coming.


The LED Bulb Superbrightleds Bulb 40W

The 5mm Blue LEDs 5mm Blue LEDs

Ceramic Bulb Socket with wires Bulb Socket

Toggle (power) Switch Electronix Express Switch

100 Ohm Resistor 100 Ohms - Electronix Express

12 Volt Wall Wart Power Supply

22 Gage Hookup Wire Black Wire

Machine Screws 8-32 for Lamp Shade pivot

Heat Shrink 3/16" heat shrink tubing vendor

Step 1: Parts That You Will Need.

  • 12 Volt LED bulb (MR16 type bulb was used here, 40 Watt equivalent)
  • A MR16 bulb socket (ceramic mount with white power wires)
  • A 12 Volt DC power supply walwart. I used one from an old phone answering machine.
  • Any old hard disc drive. This one was an old 80 GB drive, that I dismantled for the magnet.
  • A SPST toggle switch
  • 4 blue LED's (5mm diameter) - these are for the under-glow feature
  • A single 100 Ohm 1/4 Watt resistor
  • Some old memory sticks from a computer ram array (I used the blue ones since they were longer)
  • You will will need to 3D print some parts for the project (I will post all the STL files)
  • Some solid core 22 gage wire
  • Some heat shrink tubing
  • Some 2-part epoxy

Step 2: 3D Print Your Base, Feet (qty 4), Lamp Shade, Shade Pivot Mount, Circuit Board Brackets.

I used grey PLA filament to contrast with the blue memory sticks.

I made three distinct pieces for holding two of the memory sticks to the base and the lamp shade.

A circular base, a 45 degree mid-section joiner, and a top pivot swivel bracket.

Each 3D piece has a thin slot that the memory stick slides into for fitment.

The STL files you will need for 3D printing are all available for free.

Step 3: Measure the Thickness of the Circuit Board.

I used a digital caliper to obtain the thickness of the fiberglass circuit board material.

I measured it to be 1.3mm thick.

I will use that number when I draw up my slots in CAD.

I have provided the STL files in my description.

The slots are used to allow the circuit board a place to slide into for fitment.

If you get the fitment tight, you really don't even need to glue the parts together.

Step 4: 3D Print a Holder for the Blue LEDs.

I used blue PLA to 3D print the bracket that holds the LEDs used to produce an "Underglow" effect.

I did this to prevent any contact of the LED legs with the conductive metal the drive housing is made out of.

Step 5: MR16 Bulb Holder

I then 3D printed a socket for the bulb. This socket will be epoxied inside the lamp shade to hold the bulb.

This was the hardest part of the project and it took more than 3 test prints to get the fit right.

It is about impossible to make these two parts in only one 3D print with a budget 3D printer, so I split the part into 2 sub-assemblies that I glued together.

I used epoxy to glue the blue PLA socket holder and White MR16 ceramic holder inside the gray lamp shade.

Step 6: Time to Build the Circuit for the LED Underglow Feature

Since I took the cover plate off the hard drive to get the magnet out, I thought it was a perfect space to put some blue LED's to add a neat blue glow effect to the lamp.

I decided to use blue LED's since I would be using a 12 Volt power source from the old wall wart I had.

Each blue LED needs about 3 volts of forward bias it to turn on. So with 4 of them connected in series, I could use all 12 Volts available. However, I added the 100 Ohm resistor to lower the total circuit current some because the blue LED light output was almost too much for the desired warm subtle glow effect.

Step 7: The Design of the 4 Blue LED's

I used the Tinkercad Circuits Website to test out my circuit for the 4 blue LED's.

Notice that the LED's are in series with each other.

Be sure and start the simulation to see the measured current and get the LED's to light up.

Tinkercad is a powerful tool to help beginners with assorted electronic projects

The link to this circuit is at:

I made my circuit public so feel free to take a peek.

Step 8:

Step 9: Solder the Blue Under Glow LED's Together

Step 1 - Insert the first LED in the 3D part you printed earlier.

Step 2 - Solder the 100 Ohm resistor to one leg of the LED -as pictured

Step 10: Continue Soldering the Remaining 3 LEDs

Solder the remaining LED's being sure to connect from the short leg of the previous LED to the long leg of the next LED.

Step 11: Assemble the 3D Printed Parts.

I used 2-part epoxy to glue the base to the top of the disk drive.

The epoxy bonded well to the the existing integrated circuits on top of the drive enclosure.

After that base mounting piece dries, then glue the memory sticks to the other three 3D printed pieces.

The top pivot is mounted to the globe with an 8-32 machine screw/nut combo.

I used two lengths of 22 gauge wire to power the LED in the lamp globe.

I used four of the 3D printed parts (base foot) and the original screws from the metal lid of the hard drive enclosure to mount four small feet. These help raise the drive off the desk surface for the under glow effect to be readily seen.

Step 12:

The finished lamp ready for work.

I hope you enjoy this project for yourself.

Send me a picture of yours!

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