USB Laptop Light




Quick, easy and cheap way to make a USB laptop LED light. I made this one in about 20 minutes with spare parts. Great for presentation or just night time surfing.

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    23 Discussions


    11 years ago on Introduction

    why are you putting the green and red together??? what about the white and black? why didnt you put a resistor on your l.e.d. (why do you say it is 5 volt 30 mA)? nice project, except for a few... lot of questions i asked myself while you were building it... -gamer ps. please answer the many questions, because i dont understand half of the stuff about this video, and i know a lot about L.E.D.s and USB... thanks

    9 replies

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    All diodes (including LEDs) are CURRENT DEPENDENT devices. This means
    that the current flowing through the device must be limited to the
    specifications of the device (Too much current, the device will fail.
    Too little current, the device will not conduct properly). The 30ma
    rating on the package is the safe working current of the particular LED
    chosen for this project, therefore, one needs to choose a resistor
    soldered to the negative leg of the circuit to LIMIT the current flowing
    through the LED in order to not have it burn out. As [mellink] explains
    below, Ohm's law is used to calculate the value of resistor to limit
    the current through the circuit to the proper value with the supplied


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    can i help.
    The LED when supplied with 5V and 30mA (3x10-3A) needs a resitor to stop the current burning out the LED.
    Use V=IR to calculate the resitor value.
    in this case:
    5/(30*10-3) = 166.6 Ohms
    So just go for a resistor near that and your safe.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    hey i was wondering if i could damage anything on my laptop if i touched the positive and negative together.?prolonged or momentary i jus want to know before i damage anything.


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    someone will have to explain the resistor to me....i dont quiet know why to use it. i can add that the laptop light 2.0 version. gamer - the ledinfo 5 volt 30 mA came off the package...was trying to tell folks what i used. from my research(not a lot) on usb cable the red and black are for the power the white and green are for data...when i used these it windows tried to discover my usb device and i only wanted power. plus these are the color combinations that worked, hope this helps will answer more if u want


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    im guess gonna have to make an instructable about the usage of a resistor, so everyone understands... when i try to get power from the usb port, i use the black as the gnd, and the red as the vcc (positive)... the data shouldnt be used, this is just giving the laptop a 1 on both data, and it wonders what that is supposed to mean... anyways... if it worked.


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    he meant the white and green wires of his led :)

    he didn't touch the white and green data wires.


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    i had a 5volt 30mA LED they sell em at radio shack, they only need about a 1/4 watt 100ohm resister and they work fine


    8 years ago on Introduction

    My LED just flashed thrice, and then gives out a very dim light. Why is this happening? BTW I used the USB plug from an old mouse, is it because of that?


    9 years ago on Introduction

    I just did this and it works great. Took five minutes and now I am writing in the dark.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    it looks very iteresting, but could you please post a regular non-video version of the guide? metacafe players is terrible and won't let me see it


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Great video! I made my own, and added my girly touch to it, I thought it would be cool if it looked like a flower so I made "petals" made of acrylic paint, puffy paint, and aluminum foil for the reflective purpose! I also spray painted the "stem" green, and voila a really fun project! I also ended up using some tubing for fermenting beer to stabilize the wire so it didn't droop down from the usb port (that was my own mistake because i didn't extend the wire far enough to the base) but it worked fabulously! Thanks for the video it was great! PS- It defiantly didn't need a resistor.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    They sell USB LED keyboard lights at my local dollar store. For 1$ US.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    i suggest you sand the led to diffuse it a bit. very nice though


    11 years ago on Introduction

    10x very much for this video i used it to fix my laptop cooler thanks a lot again nice job