Make a Cheap USB Hub Light for Your Desktop




If you are a packrat geek like me, you probably have an old USB hub lying around. This instructable shows you how to put that old USB hub to use for just a few bucks. This pic shows what it looks like in action. I've designed this light to have its own power source, but it can also be run off the computer's power through a USB port.

First of all, make sure your USB hub has a DC-in jack. If it doesn't, you can still just plug the hub into a USB port on your computer to power it. You may have the original power supply that came with the hub. The plug should fit into the jack and supply 5 volts of DC power. If you have a polarity indicator (it shows whether the center is positive or negative) on the hub, make sure it matches the polarity of the power supply. If not, just try it out and see if the light on the hub comes on. If you are worried about possibly burning out your hub, then don't try this instructable. I'm assuming that you are using an old hub that you have no other use for and will not miss it if you break it. All that said, I've never burned anything out with only 5 volts just by testing it.

Next, go to the Dollar Store and buy a few computer lights. These are the kind that plug into a USB port and are mounted on the end of a 12 - 14 inch flexible stalk. you can get as many as you have USB ports on the hub, if you wish.

Then just plug the lights into the ports on the hub and plug in the power to the hub. The lights come on and Bob's your uncle!

I mounted some old hard drive magnets to the bottom of the hub with epoxy. This lets me attach the whole assembly to my computer's steel case. This won't work if you have an aluminum case.

I found these lights to be bright enough to light my keyboard when the room is dark - essential for those late night gaming sessions. Enjoy!

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    4 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Just a note, I've bought more than a few USB lights from the dollar store in my lifetime, and about 1/2 of them from my dollar store don't work... you get what you pay for. If you want to be sure that they work, spend a few extra dollars and get it from a computer store... but the dollar store will be cheaper. I still think the dollar store is worth it, I just thought that I would mention that. :) (good ible)

    2 replies

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I guess I'm just lucky. All of the ones I bought worked just fine. Thanks for commenting.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    It probably depends on where you are located too. (Everything that is sold out here in Chicagoland is junk to begin with!) ;)


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Good work Dudley !
    I have a USB hub that I haven't used since I bought it. Thought I needed it but had no use for it. Now I do thanks to you. Thanks for the great idea and no soldering required.