Make a Low Cost Desk LED Lamp




About: I like to invent and modify things. When i was 13 i fixed my dad's old Lancia Fulvia motor. I builded my first mod PC in 1991 using a mobo builded in a VCR box. I am first using all my inventions. I love eve...

When i play my favorite game during the night (see BF2) its tragedy to try to fly a Jet because i can't see the keyboard...Of course i have a desktop lamp but its a spot light and disturbs my wife's sleep. So i think what exactly i need....I need a discreet desk lamp powerfull in short distance but not distubing others. Recently in the market i found small 3 led lamp with strong light. I bought two of them. The basic problem came after 2 weeks...The adhesive tape wasn't so good and the lamp fall down. Also i had to replace the 3 AAA cells every month......that situation start disturbing me now...So i decided to convert the 3AAA lamp to a USB lamp from my usb HUB, but also i had the problem of the holding the i created the desk lamp....Lets start

Step 1: Lets See the Materials

What you will need is:

the most difficult of them is the copper my country can be found in hardware stores in pieces of 2m each. If you can use anything else might be ok. ABout the RCA connector i will explain in farther step why we need them but if dont want them skip this material too.

Also you will need a bench press for manipulating the copper wire

All the construction costed less than 10 euro (14USD)

Step 2: Preparation Step1

Now let me give you some informations about the USB connectors.
The USB connector gives 5 volts in the outlet. The connection inside the connector is: see figures

About the RCA why we need them? Once you make this construction without the RCA if you need for an other reason the USB power then u have to built again from the start to find other USB connector and solderin and etc. Thats why i builted this instruction with cables sets that can be appart any time. The main cable is between the USB connector and the female RCA and the secondary cable from the male RCA to th lamb. Also i remember to use stanard polarity so the center of the RCA is Positive ALWAYS....

Step 3: Preparation Step 2

Now we take a pair of cables (black and RED) of equal resistance and lenght, lets say about 1m or longer its depends of your needs. If we make the cables with RCA then you cut the 1/3 of the initial pair and connect the to the USB connector and the other end to the female RCA. Its a good tactic always using the same polarity protocol in your connectors...For me the center of the connector RCA is Positive so the other is negative. Now after the soldering please use some friction tape to Insulate the naked parts of the cables. Even better you may use some thermal cables that covers any naked part (i dont know the exact name in english)

Step 4: The Lamp Part

what we have since we started is: The USB connector already done, and the RCA female also done. Both connctors are insulated well.
Now with a cross screwdriver we take appart the battery cover of the lamp and with a nice try we make it open the circuit cover (some time is too tight) figure1 .Special attention do not brake any plastic part!!!.

Now find the two poles and solder the remain cable on these ends. Connect the black cable to negative and the red to positive.

The most difficult part here is to insulate the poles because are close enough so try to have a good solderand after use friction tape.

Now put back all the parts without breaking anything and try to fit the cable with the part of the batteries. Now take the cable and solder the RCA male connector to the RED and BLACK cable.
+ is the center of the RCA, remeber? Cover all naked wirs with friction tape.

Now at the end of this step we have all connectors done and the lamp close tight but without the bottom cover with the screws. OK?

Step 5: The Base Part...

fist of all go and connect the connector and the usb to test the lam....all ok? now we have a difficult part but for was enough easy.

we need 4 old uselless CDs, Copper Wire 30cm (12inc) of diam 3mm, silicon gun, hacksaw, glue.

About the copper wire i told some details earlier but if its difficult for you to get some email me to give you some ideas. This copper wire costs about 6euro the 2m

After the cutting we have a nice 30cm piece of copper wire. Now we have to bending it. Copper is very flexible so try with small movements to bend the wire in the desired posistion..My desired angle is about 40-45 degrees. The bended part must be the 1/6 of the 30cm wire.

The problem now is how th wire can hold the lamp. I found the simplest solution. With the soldering gun i open a channel in the middle cover of the lamb ( the place of the batteries) big enough to fit the copper wire. I put the copper wire in the channel and then with a soldering gun i put plenty of hot silicone to hold tight the copper wire....thge job done perfect. I cover the lamb with the bottom cover with the screws and and the job was done clear and smoothly.

Now we take 4 glued cd's and we use the hot silicon to attach the other end of the copper wire to the cd's hole. If u have a small 7cm tube (plastic or mettalic with diameter less than 1cm will help to ensure the attachement of the copper wire.

The whole jobe is done. For any extra info please contact with me



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    13 Discussions

    magic eye

    7 years ago on Introduction

    cool!!!!!!!!!....low cost, and a big solution for when use computer at night and don't want to bather someone else in the same room...very distinctive light...And Cute cat too...

    1 reply

    7 years ago on Introduction

    cool pics! explained very well, easy to follow, & best of all(for me anyways), something that I can build!! lol

    I love that cat!! gorgeous!!

    TY for sharing Agis!!

    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    thanx, iam really happy you liked. Also my cat (is sleeping next to me) sends's really easy to make it. And i have it now 4 years......and I use it also as night lamp
    Please let me know about yours. Any assistance i can provide to you


    10 years ago on Step 5

    I did this with one from the dollar store and after five minutes of being on I noticed that the back led was not working. Either I soldered to the wrong spot or the led broke.

    1 reply

    Reply 10 years ago on Step 5

    Maybe these from 1 $ are not the same like the philips one! And yes need little care while u soldering the cables. Try again and if u need any extra advices just call.....


    10 years ago on Introduction

    I had one of these I had thought of doing the same thing with but... am too lazy and started something else. Kudos!


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Nice idea...and low cost. Now i found what is my next Xmas gifts to my relatives Nice Job and cool pics 5/5 stars


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Hi dues, 197 visitors doesn worth any comment?..... .iam gonna cry...snif snif. You dont imagine the drama of an inventor when nobody says something, snif snif,snif

    1 reply

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    I have filed this for future use. I especially like using the old CD's for the lamp base. Very good.