Introduction: LED Ring Lamp
This build come about as I needed better lighting at my desk for when I'm soldering and putting circuits together.
I had brought an LED light ring (they are called angel eyes and are used on car headlights) a few months prior for another build and thought it would be perfect to make a lamp out of.
LED light rings are very inexpensive (I think I paid $4 for the one used in this build), and the light produced is very bright. exactly what I needed to light-up my workspace.
Now that I had a light, I needed some way to mount it and be able to move the LED ring to direct the light where I needed it. I managed to come up with a pretty neat solution by using a barrel hinge as a way to move the LED ring up and down.
The rest of the build is made from brass and copper parts that I had in my parts bins along with some reclaimed wood for the base, an old laptop battery and a charging module. The lamp is battery powered so is portable and can be easily charged.
Step 1: Parts
Note - You will be able to get the brass/copper pieces from most hobby stores (expect for the bell)
1. LED Ring - eBay
2. Copper Tube 10mm OD - eBay
3. Barrel Hinge 8mm - eBay
4. Chicago screw 8mm - eBay
5. Copper plate 19mm - eBay
6. Brass hex coupling M6 - eBay
7. Brass bell. This might be a little tricky to find. Mine was from an old fire alarm. you could use this one or hunt around eBay or junk shops for a real brass one.
8. Piece of wood for the base. I used some reclaimed wood I found at the beach as I wanted it to look aged. The size of the wood I used was 90mm X 125mm. You can use any wood you like and make the base larger as well if desired.
9. SPDT Toggle switch - eBay
11. Li-po battery. You could use a mobile battery or do what I did and use an old laptop one.
12. Charging and voltage regulator - eBay
Step 2: Preparing the Wood Base - Part 1
As I mentioned in the intro, I used some old driftwood for the base. I decided to sand off the top layer of wood as it wasn't in great condition.
1. Place the bell on top of the piece of wood and the switch to work out how big the base needs to be. I placed the bell (which forms the base of the lamp) off-centre so I could have the switch next to the bell.
2. Cut the wood to size and if necessary (as in my case), use a belt sander if you have one, top remove the top layer.
3. Keep this going until you are happy with the finish of the wood. I also rounded off the top edges of the wood to give it a nice finish
4. Next thing to do is to make a cavity in the bottom of the wood to fit the battery, charging module and wires. Place the battery on the back of the wood and mark out on the wood how much you will need to remove. Remember, you will need to attach the lamp to the base along with the charging module, switch etc so make sure you mark out enough space for all these parts.
5. I used an oscillator saw to bake the initial cuts around the section to remove then used a chisel to remove the excess wood.
6. Keep on going until you have removed enough wood to fit all the parts inside
7. Use some sandpaper to finish it off.
Step 3: Preparing the Wood Base - Part 2
To be able to fit the switch and charging module, you'll need to make a couple more mods to the wood base.
1. To be able to fit the switch, I had to chisel out an area on the back of the wood a little larger then the switch base. First though drill a hole in the top for the toggle to go through
2. Test to make sure that the switch sticks out enough to secure with the nut to the top of the wood base
3. In order to charge the battery, you have to be able to access the micro USB on the charginmg module. You could just stick it to the back of the battery but it would mean you have to lay the lamp on it's side to charge. I decided to make a slit into the side of the base. To do this I used the oscillating saw and made the cut. Don't worry if the slit looks a bit sloppy, you can cover this later with some copper and you won't see it.
4. Once the slit was large enough to fit the charging module you are ready to stain. I used some stain called aged teak which I love to use as it gives the wood an aged look.
Step 4: Making the Hinge for the LED Ring
The cool thing (in my humble opinion) is the hinge on the lamp which allows you to bend the LED ring light up and down so you can direct it to where you need the light. The hinge is made from something called a barrel hinge and they are usually used in builds where you want to hind the hinge.
1. The LED light ring is attached to the top of the hinge via a Chicago screw so you will need to solder this to the the top of the hinge
2. Place some flux on the top of the Chicago screw and add a little more to the bottom of the hinge.
3. Secure the Chicago screw in a vice and place the hinge on top of it. heat up both parts and add a small amount of solder to connect them.
4. Leave to cool and then test to make sure the hinge is connected well and still moves up and down.
Step 5: Adding the Coupling to the Copper Tube
You might have noticed that I have a brass coupling at the bottom of the lamp which sits on top of the bell. I added this as it allowed me to push the copper tube into it and also enabled the lamp to be connected to the wood base. I added a small nut to the other end as I had a bolt that fitting the nut but you could always just add a bolt straight to the end of the coupling to connect it to the wood base. I just didn't have one large enough.
1. Find a small nut that is slightly larger than copper coupling.
2. With a grinder, carefully remove the edges of the nut.
3. Once it has been slightly rounded, it should be able to go into the copper coupling with a few good taps of a hammer. Just make sure that it is straight and is flush with bottom of the coupling or your lamp will have a lean.
4. Push the copper tube into the top of the coupling. you might need to give it a few taps with a hammer to get it nice and secure.
4. Make sure you do this step first before adding the hinge to the other end of the copper tube or you might damage the hinge.
5. Last thing to do before attaching the LED ring is to drill 2 holes into the cooper tube for the wire. Drill one at the top and one near the bottom, making sure that the holes are large enough
Step 6: Adding the Hinge to the Copper Tube
3. Place the hinge into the top of the copper tube. If you find that the copper tube end is not quite large enough for the end of the barrel hinge to go into, use a small file and enlarge it.
4. Push the hinge as far as it will go and with a rubber mallet, carefully hit the top of the Chicago screw until the first section is flush with the top of the copper tube. If you find that it isn't going in, take it out again and widen the top of the copper tube some more
Step 7: Adding the LED Ring
1. To add the LED ring to the end of the Chicago screw, you will first need a screw that fits into the end of the Chicago screw about 15 to 20mm long.
2. Once you have this, you will then need to drill a hole through the side of the plastic ring large enough for the screw to go through. Don't secure the LED ring yet though as you first need to push the end of the barrel hinge into the top of the copper tube.
5. Secure the LED ring to the top of the Chicago screw. I first though de-soldered the wires from the ring and added a longer piece of wire. It needs to be long enough to reach under the wood.
6. Push the wire through the bottom hole into the tube and pull it out of the other hole at the top. It's a little tricky but if you use some tweezers or fine pliers you will be able to grab it.
7. Solder the wires to the 2 solder points on the ring
Step 8: Adding Power and All the Rest of the Parts
If you have seen any of my other builds of late, you'll notice that I have been using the charging module in a lot of builds. I even did an 'ible on how to wire one up which can be found here.
1. If you haven't already, add the neck of the lamp to the wood base using a bolt to seure it into place.
2. Next thing to do is to secure the switch to the base. I also added a strip of copper to the top to give it a nice finish.
3. You'll need to solder on any wires to the module that you won't be able to get to once it is in place in the slit. Add some superglue to the base to the module and push it through the slit so it is flush with the outside of the base. To cover the slit, just add a piece of copper strip and add a hole for the micro USB
4. I used a double throw switch (only one I had lying around) so off is centre and I made it so either pushing or pulling the switch means the light comes on. prob easier just using a single throw switch. Wire-up everything (check out the link above for more detauils on how to wire the module up)
5. Stick the battery down to the wood once everything is wired together
Step 9: And...You're Done!
Thant's it! You now have your own ring LED lamp. I've been using mine a lot, either at the dek or at my soldering station and it's ace. The light is bright enough and the hinge allows me to aim the light where needed.
Using the old laptop battery has meant that the LED light lasts for ages and I haven't even had to charge it yet since the initial charge I gave it.
It would also be easy to modify any part of this build to your own needs. Maybe you want to build the lamp with the longer neck, then all you need to do is to have a longer piece of copper tube. You could add 2 LED rings and have douple lamp or you could even add a phone charging module as well. I was thinking of maybe building another which has a headphone amp inside as well.
Participated in the