Here I will tell you how to make a Mini USB LED using stuff you probably already have around the house, such as a ruler, and an LED flashlight. Since USB supplies 5 volts of electricity it makes it very convenient to power things from. Oh, yeah, this is my first Instructable. Please rate!

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Step 1: Get Your Stuff!!!

First thing you want to do is gather your materials. So here is what you want to get:

One of those LED flashlight things that come in cereal boxes I used the one they put out for advertising shrek, OR you could go to Radioshack and get an LED there.

A wooden ruler (you need the metal strip that runs along the top)

Masonite or something else like that.

A resistor ~347ohm.

Super glue



NOTE: If you use the LED flashlight you have to extract the LED.

Step 2: Cutting and Grinding Down the Masonite

Take your piece of masonite and cut it to properly fit the USB slot. Then, using the rasp and sandpaper grind it so that it is a ton thinner and able to slip snugly into the USB slot, grind it down a little bit more after that.

Step 3: Gluing and Sandpapering

Now take out the metal stip from the ruler. cut it so that it is about the same size as in the picture. then glue it to the masonite (as seen in the picture). Then take some sandpaper and rub it on the metal strips, this will make it shiny and make it so solder will stick to it better (see second pic).

Step 4: Soldering Stuff

So now you finally get to solder, yey! Take the LED and look at it from the top, one side should be flat, that is called the cathode. take the piece of masonite that you glued the metal strips to, and solder the Anode (opposite the Cathode) of the LED to the metal strip on the left. now take the resistor and bend one of the leads so that it is horizontal and lines up with the bottom of the resistor, look at second pic. Solder the horizontal lead to the right strip, then solder the other lead of the resistor to the Cathode of the LED. You should be done!!

Step 5: Plug It in and Watch the Glowiness. (:

plug the masonite in so that the metal strips are facing up, and enjoy the magical glow of an LED. I found out that it looks cooler if you diffuse the LED look at this instructable Make sure to visit my website and forum.
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    14 Discussions


    10 years ago on Step 5

    i got a question... is it possible to use an already existing USB plug e.g. out of a cord or a flash drive???

    2 replies

    Reply 9 years ago on Step 5

    Yes you can.
    If you use an old USB cable, cut of the other end, then you will see 4 wires.
    The 2 for data (Dont need for this) and 2 for power.
    You only need the Black/Red ones.
    The Red is the +5V, Black is -5V.


    9 years ago on Step 5

    or if you dont want to difuse as this will decrease the light you can cover the LED in hot glue which will give it the same kind of look and will glow the glue in dark.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    With my lovely Dremel the sanding didn't take many seconds=)


    11 years ago on Step 1

    you dont need a 347ohm resistor, just a 100ohm


    11 years ago on Introduction

    I just found out it looks a lot better if you diffuse the LED, I'll add that to the instructable.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Very similar to 1up's Instructable mentioned by Bongmaster below, but this is awesome too.
    I'm posting one close to this soon, so you will all have to wait...


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Yep I've seen that, but since I didn't have an unused perf board on hand I made this instructible. It was free for me.(: