LED Picture Light




LED picture light using 12 volt using SMD 5050 LED strips and 12 volt cell phone charger.  I decided to do the instructable after I made it, so I apologize for some missing pictures as it is put together.

Cost=15 bucks give or take based on what you may have lying around

Things you will need:
Strip of SMD 5050 LEDs, I used warm white like these 
 12 V power supply like this http://www.ebay.com/itm/320766833654?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649
Wire sturdy enough to hold up small cardboard(I used 22 AWG radio shack wires I had previously for a headphone amp  project)
Electrical tape
Old cardboard box 
soldering gun/solder/safety goggle/blah blah

Step 1: Prep the Materials

The LEDs I got were the denser 60 per meter which could be cut every 3 LEDs.  I had a split painting, so I just used one set of 3 for each.

I cut out 3 rectangles from an old cardboard mailing box as the mount for the LEDs.  I covered the whole rectangle in electrical tape so it was nice and black.

Cut your wires to size based on your needs.  Keep in mind the wires are also the supports so you need at least an extra few inches for that.  For my purposes, I had 2 long wires for each light, and 2 wires (one pos, one neg) to connect all 3 to the power supply.  I used a push pin to poke 2 holes on one side so feed the wires through so it can reach the LED and bend it flush.  Strip a little bit off all ends.   

You can stick the LED on with the built on adhesive backing.

Cut off the round end of the cell phone charger, cut open a bit of the overlying sheath to seperate out red and black (red pos).  Sheath a bit off the tips.

Step 2: Time for the Hookup

I made a crappy MS paint pic to demonstrate the wiring I used.  You can put them in series or parallel, I did parallel.  Please note as in the second pic, there are 4 contacts on the LED, R,G,B, and +.  Each LED consists of 3 lights within it and you need all of those on so when you solder, you must scratch off some plastic between the R,G,B so you can lay solder continuously between these 3, connecting them.

As in the diagram, after soldering the wires to the LEDs, I joined all 3 negative wires with one output negative wire.  Then the positive wires were also soldered together with one loose input wire.

You can then solder the loose single pos and neg wires to the power supply.  Test it out.

Step 3: Mount It!

After wiring is done and it works, I placed the jumbled mess behind the center picture and mounted the 3 lights (held in place with a thumbtack on the back).  You can use duct tape or whatever to secure it.  It's super lightweight so it doesn't take much.  I extended it out a couple inches or so and bent it up.

Plug it in and enjoy.  

You have a lightweight, cheap, energy efficient picture light using about 1 watt!



    • Tape Contest

      Tape Contest
    • Trash to Treasure

      Trash to Treasure
    • Arduino Contest 2019

      Arduino Contest 2019

    2 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    i like so much that peacefull landscape that you have, instead of the led idea .... but i appreciate a lot the novel use of a charger !! i have a little recycling enterprise and some chargers that i like to use , you gave me a good tip .

    regards from mexico


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Good idea, I have to say it looks fabulous with the lights!