How to Make a Super-bright LED Light Panel (for Video Work Etc)




Introduction: How to Make a Super-bright LED Light Panel (for Video Work Etc)

About: Hello! I'm Matt and I love making things. I'm always thinking of new ideas and how to make them as awesome as possible, always with a mind to share the process online. Take a look at my profile and see if th...

Here's how to make a super-bright LED light panel. It's equivalent to a

1000w incandescent light bulb, and it's super useful for video work as it has a daylight colour temperature and doesn't use PWM for dimming. There are 900 individual LEDs in this panel, which is why it's so bright.

Here's a list of parts:

3x 5m 'natural white' 5050 LED strips: (reliable seller)

step-down voltage regulator:

a sheet of 6mm MDF

a sheet of 18mm MDF

a camera shoe extension

2x aluminium tubes or wooden dowels

a 22k potentiometer and knob

a switch

magnet wire

6.8k resistor

a set of TX connectors

small & medium wood screws

a sheet of plexiglass.

12 awg wire

a small fan

How to make a shard light:

How to make a graphics card quieter:

If you attempt this project you do so at your own risk. I assume no responsibility for any injuries or damages caused to people or property during its construction or use.

If you are under 18, a responsible adult must be present when using power tools.

I have taken care in making sure the information in this video is accurate. However,I am unable to provide any warranty concerning the accuracy or completeness of any information contained in the video.



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22 Discussions

well done likei t

Hi! Great detailed video! Ive been working on building one with minot modifications and it has been fun along the way. I have 2 questions:

1. I split you board into 2 separate boards yet with exactly the same circuitry etc. When i connected the fan directly, without the resistors, it worked. However, when i soldered the resistors (6.8k) in series. The whole circuit stopped working. (Fan is 5v, im using a direct 12v power jack). I also noticed that once fan is running, the most the lights go up to is about 9v.

2. Even though I controlled the output voltage to a max 12v in the regulator, i noticed that if I increase the potentiometer to its max (fan still running without resistors), the circuit shuts down and turns back on and off in a pattern. The lights flash in a pattern. Would you know what would be the issue? Everything in my circuit is identical to yours except its with a 12v power source.
Thanks for your help!

Very nice explanation and demonstration.

If I remember correctly though you need to be careful when buying the LED strips as not all of them are compatible with voltage regulation.

3 replies

Been a while and I forgot the specifics as I haven't looked into it for months.
I think it was because they were controlled by PWM (pulse width modulation) rather than voltage.

Adafruit has a short description of how to use LED strips with PWM.

Browsing a bit, there are constant current LED strips which have a "dedicated on-board electronic driver circuitry with current and voltage regulation ensures that each LED receives the correct amount of voltage and current so that the LEDs do not over heat and each are illuminated to the same intensity".

So you can regulate the voltage all you want there, either it'll be on or off.

But an explanation by a more informed user would be welcome as I might be wrong with my explanations here.

I'm commenting my question here because I don't have a YouTube channel:

How doesn't it heat up and shorten the life of the LED's, It's closed and there is no heat-sink...

Hi, I'd like to make this but I can't figure out what voltage regulator you used, the link in the description is broken. Thanks.

What's the model of the step-down voltage regulator? The link in the description is incomplete, or am I missing something? Can you use other models as well? Which ones are the best for this type of build? Thank to you and the community in advance for the info. A complete amatheur here!

First of all great stuff!!! I plan to make a couple of those myself. I am looking to find a lighter casing (maybe aluminum sheets?) to suport those led stripes (Although they need 24V to run and are considerably more expensive than yours, they have CRI >90 which is essential for natural color reproduction also Kelvin 4500 is easily corrected with gells to 2800 tugsten or 5200 daylight) I see you succesfully used lipo cells and I am looking forward for your next video on battery protection!

My consern is on batteries my question is how long did you manage to run your light with the batteries you used?. I found this calculator but theroy is one thing and practise is another!

again great stuff!

The voltage regulation part is really useful, thanks for that!

I believe though, that there may be issues with LED strip longevity in the way you set them up. There's still some heat and usage of profiles isn't just for looks, by gluing them on a wooden surface and so close to each other you really run into a risk of them working in a higher than expected temperature, thus reducing the lifetime. I'm not really sure of a decent way to add some decent way of dissipating heat though.

Sorry if you addressed this in the video, watched almost only the dimming part.

2 replies

I built something similar about a year ago for my plants. i have 15 12 VDC strips on a 6X24 inch glass shelf about 3/8 of inch thick. It consumes 35 watts 120 VAC. Normal operating temperature 110 F or 43 C. In my setup air is free to circulate around the glass shelf For LEDs you want to keep them at less than 100 C. If you exceed 100 C there is a risk of thermal runaway and failure. I am well below 100 C so thermal failure should not be a concern. My light is one 12 hours a day and there have been no electrical failures dudring the first year of operation.. There have however been a couple of glue failures. I got my leds through a clearance sale and most didn't have adhesive. One set did come with adhesive and there have been no adhesive failure on that strip.

Thanks for the input! I'd like to point out though, that 15m of 6W/m (90W total) LED strip is used in this 'ible and wood is worse at conducting heat, than glass I suppose. Then again, this one is probably not on for 12 hours a day.

Very professionally done, extremely informative, and generally a very
cool project. Thanks for the Instructable, defiantly a project I would like to
build just for the fun of it.

My Regulator is laid out slightly different to the one yo show - the pot is running N/s rather than e/w. Looking at the circuit board I see the front & middle terminals of the trimmer seem to have "traces" that go out to the output terminal. Would these be the terminals you would add the pot to? The unit also has 2 solder pads for a fan built in ...

Hi There! So I have ordered all of the parts to make 4 of these lights. Wish me luck! A couple of questions:

1. About how long did it take for your LEDs to come in after ordering?

2. If I want to bypass the battery for now, I can just use the 12V DC power supply. Does there need to be a minimum amperage?

I think that's all for now. This should be a FUN project.

1 reply

Most things ordered from China can take up to 30 days to arrive, but with that seller they can arrive in 11 days or so (to the UK, not sure about other countries).

With a 12v power supply you'll need about 10A. Good luck!