How to Turn an Old Flat Screen Into a LightBox for Free




Introduction: How to Turn an Old Flat Screen Into a LightBox for Free

About: I'm a teenage guy who loves Computers, Soldering, PVC Pipe, Eletronics, and just building stuff when I am board. My life.

This is the video I made for YouTube, it has all of the step, directions, and information. If you want, just watch the video. But make sure to vote for me in the leftovers contest and share with your friends.

Here is a direct link if you have any issues

Step 1: Parts and Tools

Parts Needed;

All you need is one flat screen monitor, that's it!


This can vary based on your screen but in general all you need is a phillips screwdriver.and your hands


Flat Head screwdriver

needle nose plyers

Its as easy as 1 2 3!

1. Disassemble

2. Remove LCD

3. Reassemble

Feel free to refer to the video at any point if you have any questions as it goes into deeper detail, you can ask any other questions in the comments below.

Do this at YOUR OWN RISK! On the small chance that any injury to yourself, others, or property may occur I will not be responsible for.

Step 2: Step 1 Disassembly

This step is the one that will vary most between brands and models but in general there is 2 steps.

First you will need to remove any screws that the screen might have, check under labels, and if a sticker says "Void if damaged or Removed" then remove it, it is either covering a screw or joint, also check under any rubber pads that may be there.

Part 2 Most modern monitors are held together with snaps or clips, so to separate these just gently lift up the bezel around the monitor, or use a flathead screwdriver on the joint around the panel, but this WILL cause minor to moderate damage to the plastic frame.

Step 3: Step 3 Remove the LCD Pannel

This is one of the most complicated parts, but it is not that hard. To do this you will need to remove the whole LCD and backlight assembly.

At this point you will need to remove the wires powering the backlight from the power supply board so that you can remove the screen and backlight assembly. You will also need to and remove any connecting cables to the main circuit board to the video circuitry by any means necessary, but usually there is some clips on the edge of the connector.

Next you must remove the metal frame that holds the assembly together. To do this you will need to take out any screws that may be arround the perimeter, then you will need to pop apart any snaps, and fold back any tabs that may be holding the frame in place.

Now you will need to remove the LCD. Take off the metal frame BUT be careful, there will be several thin plastic sheets inside that need to stay in order, but it shouldn't be too hard.

Now remove the LCD by folding it back around the edge with the flexible plastic circuitry, and remove the circuit board by removing any screws then pulling it off any tape\adhesive. and remove any connecting cables to the main circuit board by any means necessary, but usually there is some clips on the edge of the connector

Now you need to put back the metal frame, just put it back on and replace any screws\bent metal, and make sure the clips are back in place.

Before you go any further make sure that the wires connecting the backlight to the power supply are reconnected,

Step 4: Step 3 Reassemble the Frame

Ok now it is time to put it all back together. It is easy enough, just put the assembly back in the plastic shell, clip it together, put back any screws, and power it back up and see if it works!

Its that easy! And now you took an old piece of trash and turned it into a quality LightBox for all of your sketching and other various needs.

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    16 Discussions

    does anybody have a solution for monitors that shut off when no signal detected? There's got to be some pin/combo on the dvi or vga that would trick the monitor into thinking there is a signal.

    Hi Justin, my monitor, Asus, turns off when there is no signal, it seems impossible to use it as a light box, have you found some new trick to resolve it?


    make sure power saving functions are off, mine shows no signal then shuts down so wouldnt make a good light box, also be careful those back lights sometimes have a tasty inverter that doesnt tickle when you touch it the wrong way but otherwise good instructible.

    2 replies

    That is a good point. Some screens will just shut off if there is no signal and should be checked, and then the settings should be checked to see if you can change that.


    2 years ago

    cool great idea !!

    Made one out of a monitor our company was going to throw away. Going to have my friend print off some transparent art work and make it a back lit piece. Thank You, this was great.

    Check with your IT department. They often have plenty they are tossing and it usually costs your company to dispose of this stuff so they will more than likely give it to you for free.

    Did this soon after seeing your instruc able and youtube video. I love it, better than my purchased lightbox. thank you for the idea.

    OMG! This is SUPER Great! I'm going to try this - been wanting a lightbox, and know there are simple ways to make one, but THIS method is so much easier! You have my vote!!!

    That looks so awesome! I've been wanting to do something like that for such a long time!

    I didn't watch the video, and maybe it's explained there, but what would you use this for?

    2 replies

    a light box is used by artists to transfer images copy designs ND works good for seeing gem grade garnets. :)

    This would be good for tracing and sketching, it can even light up a dark room, or whatever else you can think of.

    what an fantastic way to use the leftover computer screens when you upgrade. this is just totally Awesome