Introduction: Train Themed Bedtime LED Reading Light
Our son loves to read books at bedtime, but the overhead lights in his room are not quite conducive to a cozy bedtime reading atmosphere. A table lamp would be too easy for him to knock over and take up too much room, so in response, I drew up the pictured design for a small wooden LED bedtime reading light. The light is built out of 1/8" birch plywood laser cut with the outlines of various train cars and cut to hold an LED star and heatsink as well as a switch, LED driver, and a hole for the power plug. I had planned to make a paper or wood veneer shade suggestive of clouds or smoke from the train as shown in the black and white artwork, but since I found some old mica sheets I had laying around I used them instead (see pictures). The light casts a bright wash of illumination up onto the ceiling and fills the room with a good bedtime glow that allows comfortable reading but lets sleepy eyes droop.
I used an old warm white Philips Rebel LED star I had sitting around but I recommend using a more efficient Cree XPG star (LEDSupply.com). Power is provided to the driver by a 12VDC wall wart supply with 500mA rating that I picked out of my junk bin. A switching supply would be preferred to cut down on vampire power losses. The driver is the venerable "13557" driver from DealExtreme. The switch is just a SPDT rocker that I had sitting around as well. The mica was also sitting around, but can be found online fairly easily. The low temperatures of the LEDs make the mica unnecessary and if I hadn't been looking for a use for the mica I would have stuck with the original plan for a paper shade.
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