Intro: Edge Lit Night Light
Recently my son (2.5 yrs) saw The Secret Life of Pets for the first time, it quickly became his favorite movie and so we have watched it no less that 300 times :-).
Further to the movie he also goes crazy for the merchandise, I wanted to get him a night light but couldn't find one.
Then I remembered seeing this instructable and thought, I can do that...
Step 1: You Will Need
For this instructable you will need:
- Clear or tinted polycabonate (I tried plexi but it shatters for not goot for near children)
- Strip LED's
- 12V DC power supply
- Heat shrink
- Small conduit
- Soldering Iron
- Dremel with engraving tip
- Something to draw
- Hot melt glue and gun
Step 2: Edge Lit Image
Edge lit technology is widely used for advertisement and emergency signs.
By shining a light in the edge of a piece of acrylic, the light becomes trapped and shows any surface imperfections.
When you etch a design you create imperfections and these show as a floating image.
Step 3: The Design
I searched around the internet for some images, many of them had all of the characters but as I am not much of an artist I decided to stick to Max and Duke.
I printed 2 copies of the image just in case I wanted to cut one up for details.
I then used my dremel to freehand my interpretation of the image, I used some artistic licence (for example in my image Max is smiling as I didn't want a worried look on my sons' night light).
I'm sorry I don't have any images of the drawing process, it was a 2 handed job and I was alone at the time.
My advice is work slowly and in small areas at a time, then shading go against the rotation of the tool as this will allow you to run smooth, for Dukes fur I went against the rotation to make the tool jitter, this gave a more furry look without completely infilling the area.
Step 4: Wiring
I used an old 12V power supply, I cut off the jack from the end and used a multimeter to identify the + & -.
I soldered the wires to the terminals on the LED strip.
LED strip is cool because you can cut it to the desired length once you stick to the defined cut points.
I put some heat shrink over the joint to electrically insulate it and to strengthen the joint.
I then pushed to whole thing into some small plastic conduit.
Step 5: Mounting and Testing
I trimmed down the polycarbonate sheet so it was close to the size of the image.
I then hot glued it to the top of the light strip and trimmed the conduit to size.
You can see I tested it out, it will look better free standing.
I left it without a base deliberately, I am going to use the self adhesive strip on the back of the conduit to stick it to the bedside table, this way it won't fall over and it doesn't take up any extra space.
Being mains powered, it also has the advantage that it doesn't time out.