DIY Desktop LED Magnifier Lamp




This DIY Desktop LED Magnifier Lamp is quite a simple, cheap and useful project anyone can make in about half a day with all the ingredients.

I will try to cover all the main stages of the build but i think the pics will speak for themselves...

Step 1: Preface

I've been thinking about this project for quite a while and when my eye caught one of those "Angel Eyes" for a car headlight, I got my own light bulb on top of my head...

These "Angel Eyes" (look it up on ebay or whatever) go inside car headlights for i guess, better looks... but these LED rings have so much more useful applications, like ring flash\light for DSLR cameras, security cameras and so on.

I've been trying to get my hands on Desktop LED Magnifier Lamp for quite some time but coughing out a hefty sum for a ready made one deterred me, plus I really like making stuff...

So, without further ado, here's the grocery list:

Step 2: List of Materials

  • 1 X "Angel Eyes" LED Ring 100 mm (33 LED, i think 3030 smd) not sure about the lumens...
  • 20 X 20 cm piece of 17 mm thick plywood or whatever you can get your hands on, i'll explain further on...
  • Scavenged desktop arm (i got mine from an old lamp that died on me) or you can buy one of those cheap ones from Ikea and rip it apart...
  • 5" magnifier glass. Had mine lying around with a broken handle. You can get it on ebay for next to nothing......
  • A small SPDT switch, again, whatever you can get your hands on.
  • An ample length of twin wire enough to go through the whole arm and to your 12V DC source.
  • The usual gang of tools and help...

Step 3: Measuring and Marking

The outside LED ring diameter is 100 mm. Inside diameter is 84 mm. So, i made a ring out of plywood to accommodate the LED ring. You can see from the last pic that i chose to cut 120 mm diameter ring with a 2 mm recessed inside cut for the ring. Cut the whole thing with a jigsaw (wish i had a scroll saw...) and did the recessed part with a dremel tile cutting tool. I don't have a small router so i had to make do... this was definitely the hardest part in the instructable...

Step 4: Sanding and Coating

I sanded the part to remove all my coarse cutting. I decided to coat it with a water based clear coat to give extra protection and durability.

I've taken several pics from different direction so you can get the general idea.

I've placed pins inside the recessed area to aid me in painting and drying this part more easily. The pin marks will be hidden by the LED ring.

Step 5: Positioning, Gluing and Drilling

I've drilled 2 holes, 1 for the screw bolt connecting the ring to the arm and one for the wire. The size of the hole and the size of the screw bolt is up to you to decide. Just make sure it's not too big so it will not interfere with the magnifying lens positioning. I first positioned the LED ring with a a very small amount of super glue in case there is a problem i will be able to yank it out cleanly and easily. I placed the magnifying lens on top of the ring (see the pics) and hot glued it at 5 points. No need to flood the whole thing with hot glue... the lens side is course and so is the plywood, it'll stick quite strong...

Step 6: Taking Care of the Arm

The arm that i found had a long florescent part which i removed. 1 screw and it was off.

The rest of build is pretty much up to what kind of arm you find and that will determine how you will retrofit the bracket to connect the LED ring. Luckily for me, i had a suitable short bracket the was drilled on both side and from there it was just a matter of playing with the nuts and spacer to close everything snugly together.

The pics do speak for themselves.

Step 7: Finishing Up

The last step for this instructable is soldering the switch and the wire to the 12v source. Again, this really depends on the type of arm you can get your hands on. I chose to place my switch at the end of the arm, near where the wire goes inside the frame all the way through to the bottom part and out to the power source.

Step 8: Finished Project

I'd appreciate your comments and suggestions...

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    6 Discussions


    2 years ago

    I was inspired to make a very similar workbench magnifying lamp. It's in the works; a christmas gift to my dad. I will post pictures when complete. Great instructable!


    3 years ago

    Great idea! I gonna do it.


    3 years ago

    Nice project, and great instructable!

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago


    BTW, your Mini USB Vacuum Cleaner instructable is very good and neat design.


    3 years ago

    Great instructable! To me this really embodies the soul of this website, to create something out of ingenuity and tools on hand. Thanks for sharing and i look forward to making one myself.

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    Thank You.

    If this instructable got someone inspired to make something, then that means my knowledge is passed on.

    Please do share when you make one...