Usb Powered Keyboard Light Bulb

Introduction: Usb Powered Keyboard Light Bulb

About: I am an electrical repair tech by day and an engineer by night, after work or free time.

First let me say I am sorry for the poor quality pictures. I cant find my camera at the moment but if you request specific pictures in better quality I will take them as soon as I find it (i had to use my phone)

Sometimes its the simple projects that are more interesting. I have been wanting to make an led keyboard light for quite sometime but just didnt know what I wanted exactly. There are tons of DIY keyboard lights all over this website and while some are great I just didnt find any that was my style. Eventualy I came up with this idea. A lightbulb! just hollow it out and place an led inside of it! So simple it makes me smile. The light bulb is really unique and interesting. The title may have mislead you a little bit :p I know running an actual light bulb off of 5 volts at whatever mah would be very hard. Now running one 10mm super bright white led would be really easy. This entire project requires very little time, parts and money. In the picture The light bulb doesnt appear to be all that bright but it does light up my entire keyboard. just cant see it in the photo.

I am in no way responsible for any damages that may occur to you/anyone/anything

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Step 1: Things Needed/ What I Used (no Picture)

what you will need
One 10mm white led
One 220 ohm resistor
long enough male usb cable 
hot glue
electrical tape
light bulb
sharb utility knife
screw driver

OTHER things I used
A radio antenna for the mount

Step 2: The Light Bulb

This project requires you to hollow out a light bulb which in itself hac be dangerous. Be cautious. Look uponline what light bulb not to use. I forgot but one light bulb contains toxic powder so please be sure to research your light bulb. 

Use a sharp utility knife and cut into the metal thread. Cut around the thread until you cut it off. Once its off tak a flat head screw driver and break the glass part inside of it. Be careful when doing this. Once it is broken carefuly remove everything from the inside. use needle nose pliers to remove the wires and filament. Once The bulb is completly hollow wash it out and let it dry for a few hours. some light bulbs contain a powder coating. the powder used to coat it is considered safe. However I treat it as if it isnt safe. Just like you should treat every gun as if its loaded. Better safe than sorry.

Step 3: The Led

This led operates on 3.3 volts. If you wire it directly to usb, 5volts it will be very blue and burn out in no time. You need a resistor. I used a 220ohm resistor. I tested from 100 ohm to 220. If you use a 100ohm it will be bighter but I would advise against that. 
Strip your usb cable and solder one lead of the resistor to the cables positive wire (normally red) then solder the other end of the resistor to the positive lead of the led. then solder the negative connections together. insulate and continue.

Step 4: Led Meet Light Bulb. Light Bulb Meet Led.

Hot glue the led at the mouth of the bulb. The more glue you use the better. I used a good amount.

Step 5: Mounting It

Now You can mount this however you see fit. My original idea was to use a coat hanger and bend it a little bit to get a nice curve. But since I couldnt fin any metal coat hangers any where I had to think of something else. I ended up using a radio antenna and a small metal piece. I hot glued the metal piece to the light bulb, beant the other end 90 degrees,and inserted it into one end of the antenna. Since the antenna is hollow its an easy fir. I glued the other end of the antenna to the usb. 
The antenna allows me to adjust the height of the light so win :) 

Step 6: Done!

Done! enjoy :)

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hope you enjoyed this simple project

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    3 Discussions


    6 years ago on Introduction

    I have an idea for making it look better and I may try that on my next burned out light bulb