Hi all who weld or plan to try welding.
This is my first instructable and as it is really simple one, I'll keep it as short as possible.
Every time I have to weld in low light condition I run into "dark-side" problem :D especially if extra light-source is too big to fit in tight places or one does not have proper nor extra light. So I had an idea to put some lights on my welding helmet. For some reason I didn't do it at my workshop, but at home without even having a drill :P
So, what we need is a welding helmet, some LED strips, AA or AAA battery holder (or any other electricity source that will properly work with your desired LED strips), ON/OFF switch, soldering iron, some wire, tape and cutting tools.
Step 1: Step 1: Align the LED's and Cut Holes
First I started with LED alignment, very easy, and I got lucky as my LED's matched up my helmets glass size, good thing to bare in mind if you get proper preparation time :P (not like me, who had to search from scraps during a surprisingly free morning)
After cutting proper lengths of LED's and fixing them with paper tape I soldered + to + & - to - and instead of a drill, had to use scissors (NOT SAFE) to make 2 holes, one for LED wires to get into the helmet and another one for ON/OFF switch, choose a location of your desire.
After soldering I removed the doublesided tape cover from LED strips and put them back without the paper tape. If you feel more confident with your soldering skills, you may attach the LED's at once ;)
Step 2: Step 2: Battery Compartment
Well, here it highly depends on a mask, but I found that the "top of your head belt" is the best place to put the 8xAA battery holder (wanted to use AAA but just didn't have one) so just be creative and find a place that will not block the mask movement (in case you have a moving mask). I secured the batteries with some tape and attached the whole battery compartment to the helmets "head band" together with one zip tie.
Install the ON/OFF switch through the hole for it and solder the wires, I have switch that has a nut on the inner side so it is really easy to attach from the inner side ;)
Step 3: Step 3: Result
And that is pretty much it :)
Now you can see how my helmet looks with LED's off and on.
Most importantly, if I looked at the two rolls of duck-tape (one black, one silver) I saw pretty much nothing, now I can clearly see everything. If I place my hand in front of the mask then with LED's off I just see a black figure, but with LED's on, I can "read" my fingerprints :D
And no, LED's do not mess up the auto-shade function.
I'll test the mask during the next welding and might add some clear protective film/tape on the LED strips, as splatters from welding might damage the LED's. For now, as an experiment, I don't care for that, as the mask is not new nor am I building this for sale :P