Simple LED Desk Light




About: You'll see ;D

I was tired of having to get new light bulbs and having to readjust my desk light, so I built my own easily movable LED desk light.

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Step 1: First Receive the Materials

First you must get the materials shown here, solder, a soldering pencil, solid and stranded wire, LED lights, a bread board to test the circuit, though not required, 2 AA batteries, a 2 slot AA battery holder, wire cutters/ wire strippers, electrical tape, a switch, scissors, Velcro, sandpaper, hot glue, and some plastic sheets, I got mine from hobby lobby. 

    I had most of the materials at my house and though it may seem like a lot it really is not all that much.

Step 2: Test the Circuit on the Breadboard

This step is not required to do, so if you don,t have a breadboard you could skip this step, this is just to make sure the circuit works, you could follow the picture.

Step 3: Start Soldering the LED's

This is done in a parallel circuit so it is in my opinion more beneficial because, in a parallel circuit if one led goes out the rest of the circuit still works and you don't need as much voltage.

    First I lined up the LED's in a row with the negative leads on one side and all the positive leads (should be the longer sides) on the other.

Step 4: Connect the Wires to the LED Strip

First I plugged the strip back into my bread board to make sure all the LED's in the strip where working ans it was all functional. 

    Next I just soldered some wire on to each side of the strip, the length will determine about how far the light box will be from the control box, aka the switch.

Step 5: Create the LED Box

I laid the length of LED's next to the sheet of plastic and cut 4 rectangles big enough to hold the strip of LED's.

After that I sanded one side with extra fine sandpaper, please sand the inside so that the outside will be smooth.

OK, now i glued 3 of the walls togeather so we have room to put the LED's down.

Step 6: Glue the LED's Into the Box

Glue the LED strip into the box, I used the all reliable hot glue, than glue the lid on.

Next cut out a square for a side of the box, sand it, than glue it on.

Step 7: The Other Side of the Box

To make the other side cut out a piece for it punch a small hole through it and than sand it.

the side that the LED strip is on is going to be the top, the hole is going to be near the top, like in the picture.

Step 8: Connect the Battery and the Switch

Connect the Negative lead of the battery to the negative side of the strip, than connect the positive side of the battery to the middle lead of the switch. Now connect the positive side of the LED strip to either side of the switch.

Step 9: The "Control Box"

I really just taped the switch and the wire from the battery on the back of the battery with the switch facing out, than put a used the some of the extra plastic to make a box to protect it, and for the looks.

Step 10: Putting the Light on the Desk

Using Velcro I attached the LED box to the top of a shelf that overhangs my desk and found another spot to Velcro the battery/ control box. In the picture you can see how I set mine up.

Step 11: The Finished Product

A light that is great looking and gives off enough light to read or write!!!

I think it goes great in my room too.

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    23 Discussions


    5 years ago

    I was looking into the resistors deal and decided that resistors are a must have!! A 120 ohm resistor should be enough, thanks for everyone's comments on this matter!!!!


    Reply 3 years ago

    I haven't downloaded a PDF form here yet, so I'm hot sure how... I'm sure there is an option at the top if the page though


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    It's supposed to be plexi glass, but since I didn't have any I just used cheap plastic from a local hobby shop


    5 years ago

    Everyone that's saying things about the resistors it's a good idea, but I'm not going to have it on for hours, so I think it will be ok, but I will definitely have resistors in mind the next time I'm making something, and thanks for the input!


    5 years ago on Introduction

    nice and simple.....I would prefer to not spend batteries but give the power for the bench PSU.....(i have made a double exit source PSU) exactly for this reason.....anyway its very nice job

    You have broken the #1 rule for using LEDS. You haven't used any series resistors to define the current through the LEDs. If you have very fresh batteries they will probably destroy your LEDs. NOT RECOMMENDED.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Ref; rpotts2, comments on sanding the individual LEDs. Re-read the instructions, thier refering to sanding the plastic used to make the box, not each individual LED!


    5 years ago on Introduction

    You should use small resistors in series with each of the LEDs.

    The problem is that LEDs vary somewhat in the required voltage to light them. That means that if you put them in parallel, most of the current will go through the ones that have the lowest forward voltage (Vf). This problem will get worse over time. Also, as LEDs get hot, their forward voltage gets smaller. This means that if there IS an LED that is taking more current, it will get a bit hotter, which will suck even more of the total current, making it even hotter, making it take more current...

    The way to work around this is to use small (maybe 22 ohm) resistors in series with each of the LEDs. Then, if one LED has a smaller Vf, the current will be higher, but the resistor's voltage will also increase, moderating the increased Vf a bit. Since the resistor will increase its voltage more than the LED for a given current change, it serves as negative feedback, stabilizing the current. Doing this will help the LEDs last longer, and will make their relative brightness more uniform over time.


    5 years ago

    as far as diffusing the leds by sanding, that is too time consuming. I like your idea better. I got bored sanding one LED! Can't imagine sanding all of these! if someone still insists on diffusing.individual LEDs it would be better to just use a matte clear spray.


    5 years ago

    Very nice. Thanks for posting.


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Sorry about me telling you this late, but pvc should work because its clear, I don't know what type of plastic I used, I really just got whatever was at hobby lobby. so any clear plastic should work


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Very nice project. I love the vel-cro idea.
    Using Luxeon Stars or High power LEDs will make this project SERIOUSLY bright over the dingy 5mm ones.