Neat Little Lamp

Check out this neat little lamp I found at Lowes. It's got pencil and paper holding "hands", LED bulb "head", and fully adjustable joints. Impulse buys FTW! I was supposed to be looking for a ceiling fan :P An Instructable on how to make one of these would be cool.

Topic by Spl1nt3rC3ll   |  last reply


Swevil part for swing arm lamp

I need help in finding a replacement part for a swing arm magnifying lamp. I have search far and wide online but could not find any. I have also tried the company that I had purchase from (2 Years ago) they do not carry replacement parts. The lamp is a Alvin lamp desk clamp, the lamp is in excellent and working condition. The only problem is the swevil part that connects the lamp head to the the swing arm. ( see pics)  Any alternative idea or sudsititude would be helpful.  Thanks

Topic by RamonC2   |  last reply


How do you make a lamp from 4w lightbulbs? Answered

Need to know soon.

Question by cd41   |  last reply


Connect two transformers in parallel? Answered

Hi! I have a question in case someone can help me. I need an AC/AC converter from 120V to 12V for a halogen lamp. The required output is 210W, but I can't find a big enough transformer for this. Is it possible to connect two, 105W output transformers in parallel in order to achieve the desired 210W?

Question by JuanC368   |  last reply


Light socket help

I am trying to mount a medium base socket to a bottle opener. I can get a candelabra base to it because of the mounting bar. I can't find a medium base socket with the same bracket.any suggestions? Thank you in advance!

Topic by Vermathrax   |  last reply


water-based kinetic LED lamp

I want to mak a kinetic light using high-powered LEDs to produce glitter line through a thin layer of agitated turbulent water in a wall mounted shelf. So, this gives me a few questions, but let me start with the idea I've got. I want to seperate a shelving unit (preferably solid wood not particleboard with some decent HxDxW) into two compartments. A glass sheet would be slid into grooves onto the side supports. The upper portion of the shelving unit would then be wood, waterproofed with some thin styrene plastic sheets. The bottom would then be composed of a large aluminum sheet (recessed slightly upwards for astheatics) which would house several LEDs in addition to the power adapter and voltage regulator. This would likely follow the "powering high powered LED" tutorial's alternate power source to the pucks. At this point a small pump would be placed into the upper compartment along with just enough water to submerge the pump to a safe level. Perhaps a small recess would be included in the top to allow instant colour shifts by using stained clear plastic sheets (this would reduce total illumination, but these are to be mood/ambient accents not primary lighting source) to avoid any of the more expensive/complex colour shifting lamps. The big question I have at this point is how thermally safe this would be, and how much LED I would actually need to achieve decent brightness. Also, I would prefer if the bottom was modular enough I could remove and work on it without dissasembling the entire assembly, but this may not be possible. Finally, I was wondering if I could run the heatsink material up the ront of the shelf, past the glass, and into the water (this should give great heat dissipation) and have a SAFE and STABLE waterproof join between a flush glass-metal joint with possible use of epoxy and/or silicone caulking. Anything not specified in here I'm uncertain of how to do exactly. So! If anyone has any ideas, suggestions, or awareness that this is pure madness (or has a better way t oget those glitter lines i lust for) please let me know.

Topic by JRGumby   |  last reply


Battery powered pinspots/lamps for trade shows

Hi all, I've been asked for help from my mom, a jeweler and craftsperson. I don't have a great answer for her, so I'm reaching out to all of you. She is going to start exhibiting at a long-term trade show in LA and she's asked me for help creating a lighting system. She doesn't have much power in the booth, and we're trying to avoid running cable. Since she's only exhibiting for 6-8 hours a day and only 2 (sometimes 3) days a week, I thought a battery powered solution might work well  (with rechargeable batteries, of course). I've found lots of cheap pinspots, washes, and LED strips that run on 12v power. I was just wondering if there was a viable solution for using battery packs or AA battery holders. Thanks for your help!

Topic by ohnoimabear   |  last reply


Led Lightbulb for r7s socket or how to repurpose from rs7 to gu10 or other sockets

I have some nice wall lights but mounting R7S bulbs. These are halogen and of course use a lot of electricity. I have looked everywhere for a compatible LED lightbulb but the problem with all the ones available is that they are designed to fit floodlights, ie. they take too much space and cannot be fit if your socket is a small linear r7s. Attached example of the led bulb shows that behind the connectors the casing takes too much space and this is what is stopping me from using these lightbulbs. Also u can see my lamp and how tight the space is behind the halogen bulb So questions 1 - do you know where i can find such a lightbulb with no space or very little space behind connectors ? or 2 - any instructions on how i can repurpuse the current lamps by replacing the current R7S socket with something else?  I dont know much about electrics so i wanted to get a understanding with a step by step process so that i dont blow myself up. pls notice this forum images are not getting saves so here is a link to a album to the wall lamp images

Topic by diegog4   |  last reply


Color Changing Led, Rice paper Lamp

I entered this in the Holiday gifts and Shop ot contest. I would love to get some comments and ratings on it. Thank you in advance. Here the link: https://www.instructables.com/id/Rice-paper-LED-orb-Lantrens/

Topic by dreadyjazz   |  last reply


How can I produce a workable miniature lamp, based on Arne Jacobsen Wall Lamp scale 1:16 - without using 230/12 V.

We, Minimii.com, are producing a miniature lamp based on Arne Jacobsen design AJ 50 Wall Lamp scale 1:16 - damn small. It should be able to give light....without using 230/12 V. The lamp klings to the wall in our 1:16 Arne Jacobsen miniature House with a strong neodym magnet. The house wall has built-in layers of thin iron sheets select places. The 1:16 AJ lamp size is only 1,2 cm and the width is 1,0 cm. Should be suitable for production of 100-200 pcs at a time.? Is LED lighting the way ahead here. We have all rights to produce from arne Jacobsen Design I/S. 

Question by minimii   |  last reply


how to form an electronic circuit controlled distance formed by a voltage generator and a lamp ?

I have an electric circuit of a generator and a lamp with files I want to know what are the components necessary to control this circuit remotely

Question by makof   |  last reply


Light project for a new room.

Hi everyone.My parents recently bought a new house and it turns out one of the rooms has no lamp connections whatsoever(Everything is ok, there just isn't any wires for the light bulbs).Because of multiple reasons we can't call an expert over so the job falls on me.I have experience in electronics but I'm afraid to try adding a route like the one that should be there so I'm searching for something safer :).All ideas are welcome :)

Topic by Hristo   |  last reply


ideas for mounting a lightshade over my DJ / computer workspace from the desk?

I need a little more light to help my live video feeds to be clearer to the viewer. A small desk light is too focused on an area for what I want, and there is not the right floorstanding lamp for the purpose. so I have decided to go the custom route... I am not looking to add anything to the light circuit in the room, from the cieling rose, or the mains sockets, as tthese already have enough plugged in. I have got an led bulb - http://www.clasohlson.com/uk/Unidirectional-LED-Capsule-Bulb/Pr364131000 This works fine from the external molex connector on the external back face of my computers PSU. The shade I'm going to use is this: http://www.diy.com/nav/decor/lighting/indoor-lighting/light_shades/-specificproducttype-black___white_shades/-colourderived%3Eblack/Tezz-Metal-Pendant-Shade-9956483 the problem I have is I want it to be positioned above the desk where my equipment is. I cannot fix into eiter the wall or ceiling, due to them not supporting anything of any weight, therefore it must be fixed to the desk. I have my laptop and monitor on clamp-on arms - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Vertical-Monitor-Clamp-Cable-Mountain/dp/B001B7DT5E/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid;=1358138450&sr;=8-2 which it could be fixed to. I am also open to other ideas as well This is where I need some ideas and input on what I could use to get it in the right place. What could I use and how?

Topic by djrickdawson   |  last reply


ECONIMIC LIGHT BULB HELP

         I've started changing the light bulbs at home. I want to use economic ones like the one in the picture. The only problem that I have is that when I turn off the light , the bulb starts blinking. I have a power switch similar to the one in the picture. It has a little lamp behind the red dots that goes on when you turn out the light. It helps you find the switch in the dark. I heard from someone that the blinking is related to this lamp. Does anybody know how to fix this? without removing the little lamp in the switch

Topic by ZoDo   |  last reply


Led Music Sync Lamp V 3.0. Help with circuit?

The circuit diagram is shown below and the source of where I found it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yd3hzYAJzOoOnly problem is, I have no idea what values I should use, what vdd, vcc, q1, q2, q3, u1, u2, u3 and where power comes in.Could somebody tell me vdd and what vcc is?And perhaps what this guy is using as u1-3 and q1-3?Plus where the power comes in.And possibly what resistor values i should use that correspond with: (5-12 volts your choice) and 3 regular 5mm leds @ 3.3 volts 20ma?To go above and beyond... you could make an instructable elaborating this guy's design. :D

Question by Dmxspider   |  last reply


X-ray Lamps, the perfect light for any radiation loving geeks!

Well, who here doesn't think that x-rays look cool? I personally digg them.So check out these cool designer x-ray lamps! Engadget informs us that, Unfortunately, these lampshade / lights aren't yet available to purchase -- another dream dashed by cruel reality.I however say we will not miss out! so, i think if someone was to get a picture of a bulb, put it through photoshop to make it look like an x-ray, print it out on some paper, stick inside a custom light enclosure, and there you go. A fancy x-ray light.

Topic by gmjhowe   |  last reply


LED, the trend of the future in the lighting industry

LED is more and more popular worldwide. I think it should be the trend of the future in the lighting industry

Topic by ledssonledlight   |  last reply


Wanted: Instructable for this amazing paperclip chandlier

Http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/sf/look/look-paperclip-pendant-lamp-076946For the sake of my sanity, someone PLEASE do an instructable on how to create this amazing paperclip chandelier!

Topic by kettir   |  last reply


LED Lights don't attract bugs

Everyone hates the bugs that gather around lamps and other lights. Everyone loves LEDs. Apparently LED light bulbs don't attract the bugs the same way as incandescent and fluorescent bulbs do, as they don't put out UV light.Check it out:http://energycircle.com/blog/2009/06/16/newsflash-leds-dont-attract-bugs/

Topic by Weissensteinburg   |  last reply


what is the best way to do DIY stage lighting?

I have some red green blue and yellow flood lamps from home depot, and i was wondering if there is a way to make it less of a flood and more of a beam, would making some sort of enclosure out of cans help? are there any other ways of stage lighting on the cheap?

Question by dot communist   |  last reply


UV filtration in your fish tank or small fish pond

Year after year the topic "I have a fish tank" seems to go more out of control. What was once a hobby just to have some fish can now be a design feature both in your home and inside the tank. Realistic looking lasdscapes, optical illusions that make you think the tank is much bigger and the list goes on. But one thing that now always pops up is the must have thing of UV filtration. Or to be precise: UV-C sterilisation! Now, if we trust Wiki and our big water suppliers then UV-C will literally kill anything alive that comes into contact with. So of course it would be a good thing to have for your tank - or not? UV-C is very dangerous for your eyesight and quite harmful for your skin! Looking into a proper UV-C lamp without protection means you can go blind! Even good sunglasses might not have enough protection in the UV-C range, so only use them for additional protection but never without and glass between you and the lamp! Don't be a fool! Treat UV-C seriously! You would not look into the full sun with your sunglasses and would not expose your eyes or skin to a powerful laser, UV-C is to be treated the same way! Let's start by using some boring text to explain the concept a little bit. On a large scale special and quite powerful systems are used to treat our drinking or pool water. Here special UV-C lights with a wavelenghts of 260nm or below are used to shine through the water passing by. There are two key factors here. a) the wavelenght b) the water flow rate and the corresponding time the water is in contact with the UV light To ensure all bacteria, viruses, algae and other harmful organics are dead the water must circulate for long enough so even the last water molecule had a few seconds of exposure. All this only works good with "crystal clear" water for obvious reasons as otherwise the UV has to be even more powerful to pass through. Single cell organisms literally crack into pieces similar to being exposed to gamma rays, more complex cells like algae have their cell membranes damages and the DNA suffers as well causing reproduction loss and early death. Even some chemicals break down, most importantly here chlorine based substances. Differences within the UV-C range! If you bothered to check Wiki about the topic of UV-C you will already know that only certain wavelengths within this spectrum will actuall be powerful enough to do what we want it to do. And here is the first problem for us hobby users. Most cheaply advertised "sterlisation lamps" you find in places like Ebay are actually totally useless. Stating to be selling a UV-C light to sterilze your water in such a case is still not considered to be fraud though. Simply because it still does what it supposed to do, just very slow and with very little effect. Only the so called "short wave" UV-C range is powerful enough! To avoid loosing business during the times of the biggest hype in 20 years no seller will actuall state the available wavelengths. That means without this info anywhere you can be certain the advertised lamp is of little to no use. Even those advertised to be short wave UV-C might not be the real deal. However, if a decent manufacturer is behind the actual lamp used it is possible to check the datasheet for these performance figures - but again most cheap systems come with no-name lamps inside. Check the prices for a reputable UV-C light with the same lamp fitting, e.g. G23 and you will see it might cost more than your entire system. Ok, you have a poper short wave UV-C lamp or consider getting a canister filter with one in it.... Never, ever test your lamp without proper protection!!!!! UV-C will damage your eye within seconds! If you system or lamp does not provide a viewing port or shine through area then you have to place a piece of glass between you and the light! UV-C won't be able to penetrate normal window glass but will pass through quartz glass. Place the lamp in a box and cover with the glass. How make proper use of UV-C sterilisation... The replacement lights are quite expensive, so let's see how to get the most out of them. As said before exposure is the key factor so the flow rate of the UV system must match tank size and flow rate of your filter system. Canister filters with a build in lamp should be designed to match but I will tell you later what to look for ;) Most of us will prefer to have a in-line system if there is already a good canister filter at work, so I will focus on those and rop in solutions. If you compare in-line system you might notice that some quite small and low power units claim to allow for the same flow rates as for example 40W units. Some are fraud and just want to sell while others use simple physics to make the claim true. A good system will utilise an auger like "ramp" that forces the water to circulate around the tube many times - causing up to ten times longer exposure rates. Others create this sprial effect more like a vortex with some diverters and modified inlets. The later seems to be less efficient though with low power lamps. An in-line system should be on the outlet side of your canister filter so the best quality water will pass through it. A drop in solution should be used alone and without the existing normal filter pump you might have in there. Ok, got it, but how do I actually use it now? Despite common thinking a UV-C system should not run 24/7 like your normal filter. You really only need it to solve problems you should not have in a healthy tank! It is not a magical solution to make your underlaying problems go away ;) Let's start with the most common reason someone buys a UV-C system: An algae or bacterial outbreak causing greenish or milky water. If that developed slowly over a period of weeks then you would be better off to do a good clean of the tank and filter plus a decent water exchange. A few drops of meds will do the rest. And if you constantly get algae growing on your glass, ornaments and plants then your nutrient levels and water quality is not right anyway and needs a good check. But of course there is also the problem of light - too much for too long and unwanted gree appears everywhere. If in doubt reduce the light power, shade out natural light or reduce the on time for your lights. Having said that we now face the problem of a sudden outbreak after introducing new fish or plants. If you don't have a quarantaine tank chances are that sooner or later you get unwanted or even harmful guest into your tank. Here the UV-C will be beneficial, which is why a canister filter with build in light should have a seperate switch or power supply for the light. After an outbreak or while introducing new life into your tank the UV-C will remove a lot of the things that we don't want to bring along. For new life I leave the light on non stop for a week, that is for a small 4ft tank with 200 liters. To control an outbreak it depends on how bad it is. I assume here you can still see the back of your tank  but that the water either appears greenish or slightly milky from bacteria. As a personal thing I prefer to to remove and clean my filter material before treating a severe outbreak. Once done I fill the filter with a mix of activate carbon material and fine filter wool. Reason for this quite simple: The outbreak causing stuff is already in your filter material and will be a constant source of re-infection. And since breaking down all this bad stuff causes even more bad stuff to be produced as biological waste we want to discard it properly once done. Using just fine filter wool and activated carbon also reduces the flow rate bit if compacted ;) Now we can turn on the light and pump and forget about it for a while. It is not recommended to run UV lights on a timer as you want them on all time to prevent short lifespan and have ongoing treatment of the water. Good idea to take a picture at the same of a day from now on to compare and check results. After 3 days the water should definately be clearer, if not then either your filter material is packed too losse or the lamp is no good. Once the water appears to be clear do a readin test - take a newspaper behind the tank and check if the text is clear - blurry means the water is still not clean. You will reach a point where the water quality will not further improve as much as in the days before. This is the time where you discard or clean out to dry your filter material and put the original stuff back in. The activated carbon should be discarded of course. You cleaned filter material will now need a certain time to grow enough good bacteria to go back to the old performance. During this time you should still leave the light on. In most cases with enough fish and plants in the tank a week should be sufficient. After that you can leave the light off and keep the tank fit and healthy. Special case: Algae everywhere! Especially after getting a new plant you can end up with quite pesty algae growth. Be it these long ghost hair types or in a bad case the black stuff growing on plants, ornaments and the glass. I have even seen tanks with algae covering the entire bottom of the tank causing the gravel to look like carpet. Here I can only advise to set up a quarantaine tank for your fish. Then remove all infested material for manual removal and cleaning. Infested plants should be cut clean and what can be boiled should be boiled in water for a few minutes. Now start scrubbing in the tank with ongoing water replacements. I prefer to let everything settle over night without any bubbler or pump running. This way I can suck up a lot of sediment the next day. If you can remove all plants and fish you can now use hydrogen peroxide and add it to your tank water. But this is only feasable for small desktop tanks. Before using the UV as above to cure an outbreak you should consider all water one last time. Allow at least 2 weeks with ongoing water checks before adding plants back in and another week before placing your fish back in the tank. The week before adding fish should be used to monitor the plats for any signs of algae you might have missed - if you find any remove it! A week after the fish is back in you can turn off the UV light. Underwater UV-C light!? In most online stores you will find quite cheap UV lights to be advertised as underwater or in tank use. Although it might sound tempting you should be well aware of the dangers of using them. The glass of your tank will block the harmfull UV rays but the water surface won't, so either don't ever look at it or use proper sunglasses with real UV protection. Apart from the dangers to you these lamps are not just cheap in price but also cheaply produced. That means there is no way of telling how much or how little UV-C is produced. If they are good then you still need to know in what type of tank setup you can use them. As plants can tolerate a bit of UV a placement as far away from the nearest plant should do, especially if you can place a bubble wall betwenn light and plants. The fish is another thing as some seem to be unaware of the danger in their tank. This means they can get too close to the light but I have not found any articles explaining how harmful UV-C is to fish or their eyesight. I guess once your fish starts to bounce into everything you know... ;) My advise is to stay away from the idea of hanging a UV-C lamp in your tank, the risk for you and your tank is just not justified. If you need to go cheap then get two or thre of these lamps so you have spares. But use them externally ;) Meaning: Take a UV proof plastic container of small size and place the light in there. To be really safe tape the lid and all holes for the hoses with black tape. Place the container above the water level of your tank and if you only have an internal filter pump push a suitable sized hose into the outlet to feed into you canister. Check how high you pump can make it and place the outlet or overflow slightly below this level. When to change the light? If you made it all the way down here then you might already had the benefit of using light to "cure" your tank. Now we are faced with the high replacement cost for the lamp itself. Ususally only flouroscent tubes are used. It is always good to check after purchase what type of lamp and manufacturer (if there is one) was used. In some cases the system itself is like an inkjet printer: Just a cheap way to make you buy the consumables. Let's say you new in-line filter was priced at $100 to have a nice round number, some are cheaper some much more expensive. The lamp used might be an exotic type and not even be available easy, so before you buy your system check where you can get spares, not just the lamp of course. A replacement lamp can be as ceap as 20 bucks or cost even more than your system if you need to order it elsewhere. The quartz glass sleeve can break too meaning you then need a lamp and cylinder. Going with a reputable brand and paying a bit more certainly helps to get spares in the future. Let's just assume you either got your system in bulk due to the price of replacement lamps or can get them at a reasonable price. UV-C lamps are not like your normal flouroscent light tubes you have around or maybe even on top of your tank. Consider them like the tubes used in the now unhealthy tanning beds. After a certain amount of time they no longer produce enough of the short wave UV light that we need. As you can't see it and most of us won't have the means to specifically measure it we have to trust manufacturers recommendations. For most good brands the numbers are the same: 8000 hours max. Considering the costs it does make sense to keep written track of the usage. Not too hard since we won't use them like normal lights but instead have them on for a week or more without turning them off. I recommend to have a replacement at hand long before you need it. A lamp can fail premature, crack or simply burn out. The 8000 hours are based on 24 hour usage, so one day on, one day off. This could mean for us the lifetime can be slightly longer but I would not go over 9000 hours. As a rule of thumb: If the water does not show good signs of getting clear on day thre the lamp is due.

Topic by Downunder35m   |  last reply


I want to use led rope (12 volt) to make 20" circular lamps, do I have to use a 12 volt battery source? Answered

I am looking to make "lanterns" for a yard game and want to use led lights. What do I use? 12 volt led rope? 12 volt led string? Individual leds are too expensive locally, $2 per. My ultimate goal is to use 2 D cell batteries with a toggle switch and I would like the batteries last for multiple uses.

Question by buccanero   |  last reply


Office Instructables

I am looking for the best and the brightest to help me find the top instructables for making my office life easier. I work in cubicles on the ground floor with no windows, institution gray walls, and fluorescent lights. The building contains no plants and nothing else of interest. I'm looking for anything that keeps us from going crazy.  So far, I've decided to make these: www.instructables.com/id/Self-Watering-Plant-Container-out-of-a-2-liter-bot/ and these: www.instructables.com/id/Recycle-lamp-shade/   Hope to get some awesome responses from you all!  Thanks,  McAfee15

Topic by mcafee15   |  last reply


Need 2make a low cost but bright wash light 4samll scale drama 4our prayer group. God bless u 4 all d help. Prefer LED

Want to make a RGB LED 64par can of 1w or 3w LED m a novice so i need to know how to connect the LED's and how to make or control the color change ? i want to use a 240V Ac power source too Will this par can be as bright as the original one. How many LED would be required  What details should one keep in mind before purchasing LED and other stuff If LED is not  bright enough can we use a car headlight HID  lamp how do connect to Ac power source Use is for stage light / Wash light 

Question by malcolm2979   |  last reply


how can I make this pendant light?

I need a creative lighting solution to replace an old fixture with a pull chain, there is no switch in the wall to turn it on and off. I would like to safely build a light similar to the ones pictured.  I have rewired lamps in the past and this seems like it might be a similar project, but with a few adjustments like strain relief components as well. I have found several companies that sell keyed sockets with uno threads to attatch shade holders. There are also great reproduction cloth covered wires available. I have 2 great glass 2 1/4" shades I would love to use. If its possible to make 2 lights that can be operated by a key in their sockets so that the can be turned on and off individually, but wired together, and run through the same canopy and connected to the same box that would be ideal. Can anyone help me with this?

Topic by ohsewbetty 


Custom Fish tank stand

I am creating a custom fish tank stand from 2x4s and sheet wood. I plan to paint it black but I ran into 2 problems when I decided I didn't want the hood that came with the tank. 1) The lighting.     I have a pretty good history with LEDs so creating the lighting will not be too hard, only real issue I run into is sealing the lamp. I plan to use an acrylic sheet with holes drilled for the white and blue LEDs. White for day and a row of blue for moonlight on a 3 way rocker. I just dont want water to penetrate the holes from the ports for the light to damage the components. 2) The filter.    This is where I am at a loss. I plan on making something similar to this: http://tinyurl.com/fishtankdesign But I have no idea how to an external filter rather than one of the regular table top aquarium ones that would not look very pleasing on a nice stand. Any ideas questions comments or concerns please ask.

Topic by yours31f   |  last reply


strobe light solutions...? Answered

Ok. so i have 2 ideas brewing in my head, but of course, i don't have the knowledge to do them :) ....which is why i have instructables. ok, anyways, so i have a very BASIC knowledge about LED's and such, and so my first idea is to make a strobe light with about 10 led's (in a nice reflective casing) and i guess a programmed timer, BUT i have absolutely NO idea how to program micro-controller's or w/e....so idk if that's the best option, SO i then had an idea of just getting some old lamps from goodwill ( the best ) with some new Fluorescent Light Bulbs and somehow putting a timer on it for every like .6 seconds or something......i'm not sure how complicated this is...and that's why i am asking. so which one would give better results, and which one would be easier to do (if even possible). (or any other solution for strobe light) and what exactly do i need and how do i do it...ha. i know...everyone hates these questions from newbs trying to make a huge thing lol. JUST STICK TO THE SIMPLE, NEWB!!! (that was what i would imagine a comment sounding like :)

Question by miqt   |  last reply


What do I do now?

Had an old laptop that had been rode hard and put away wet, given to me. It had a broken LCD, well I'm not one to just throw something away because it is broken, na, I visit "instructables.com" and find a use for it. It was kind of neat to examine the LCD assembly. Question is, there are so many neat things in there and I don't have the foggest idea of what I can do with them. Items such as: 1. The backlight assembly, aprox 1/16 dia floresent lamp about 10" long with controlor board. How can you determine the voltage, input and output points and such. Sure would be a shame to "blow" this thing using the "by guess and by golly" method to make it work. My guess is it would make a neat light for a picture or something like that. 2. Two sheets of simi-opeic plastic which appear to be horzontial and vertical orienated somethings. 3. A plastic sheet with at least 34,542 dots on it (that's where I quit counting). This alone would make a good "dot-to-dot" playing board for some "very little people". Need a better idea of what to use it for. Any ideas of something these items would be usefull for?

Question by larystoy   |  last reply


Request: DIY LED Nightlight Outlet Cover

Hi all, I have been scouring the web and have yet to find what I am looking for.  I have seen a couple of different LED lights embedded in outlet covers and switchplates, but I need to do-it-myself because whoever cut the outlet holes in my house clearly had the shakes, and I want to convert the larger size custom covers I need to have LED lights especially for the kitchen and the bathrooms.  I also want to put them into covers that have unusual configurations, such as two outlets and a switch, etc. I have a few things I need.  (1) it cannot prevent full use of the outlet (I don't have any to spare)  (2) I need to be able to use amber lighting so as not to have the normal blue of standard white LED lighting wake me up, which should be easy enough.  (3) I would really love to be able to add them to GFCI outlets, too, but my understanding of how those work is limited. Any suggestions would be gratefully received.  I'm good with electronics right up until it involves building your own circuits, but my electrical skills pretty much top out at re-wiring a lamp, understanding how many amps it is safe to pull in a house circuit and how not to electrocute myself. I want to do this right, so it's stable long term and safe.  Again, thanks for any help, folks. -Lois

Topic by LoisBelle   |  last reply


Ceiling-hung, Retractible Clothes line or rack for use with clothes hanges

I think this would be very popular in smaller rooms (or one in which you don't want a sagging clothesline running through your field of vision). I would like to hang a sturdy, pipe-like structure (so no sagging under light to medium weight) that I could pull down on a retractible cord/pipe/other to hang coat hangers of washed tee shirts to dry and then retract back up out of the way while drying or not in use. When I was a kid in the 60s we had a ceiling lamp above a table that worked like this; when you were working on something you could just pull it down (click click click) to however close to the table you wanted, then back up out of the way when you were done. This idea would be hung from 2 spots on the ceiling with some kind of mechanism that would allow for pull-down access and then push up storage; some type of pipe suitable for holding clothes hangers would be strung up at both ends and mounted to the ceiling. The "pipe" would then hang level when use at an accessible height, and the "push up" to hang level, closer to the ceiling. Ideally this would be not too heavy as I have smashed my dominant-hand wrist and have limited strength as a result. Help me Mr. Robots! Help!

Topic by 008cats.   |  last reply


Damaged disc(s) in the lower back - what to do and what not ;)

I got diagnosed with a damaged L5 and L6 disc in my lower back about 8 years ago and I thought writing about my experience might helps others facing the same problems. Keeping your back straight when lifting or moving heavy things was a thing I already learned and followed during my school times and as you might have guessed it helped to keep my back healthy - at the expense of my knees... But the knees are a different story, today I want to help you understand lower back problems caused by damaged or bulging discs and how this will affect your life. For me it began with a little shock. One day I got out of bed, wanted to grab something I dropped and got stuck half way up. Knowing that there are some nerves that can cause the same issue and that a simple injection will fix me I called a cab to be dragged laying down on the back seat to my GP. As you might have guessed his diagnosis was a bit worse than what I wanted to hear... Many painful hours and some scans later it was confirmed that my L5 and L6 disk have collapsed on one side and started to push on the nerves next to it. Funny side not that I never really checked was that my doc said not everyone has a L6 disk... Anyways, as with most first "accidents" involving your lower back the so called recovery was long and painful. Sure the painkillers help to numb the worst, the anti inflammatory stuff covers some pain too but actually I did not want the full pain free package deal. Pain is the bodies way to let you know something is wrong, so I kept the pain medication at a level where I got that information when making a wrong move... The first 6 months I was literally confined to my bed, the shower and the toilet. I tried to keep a position with the least amount of pain for as long as possible and for obvious reasons was not too happy that my body not only required food intake but also the disposal of the waste products - getting out of bed and onto the toilet meant experiencing huge amounts of pain every time. But after those 6 months I started to adjust, to the pain as well as what my limited body was now capable of in terms of movement. Needless to say that all this time of not doing anything really meant my scale started to scream tripple digets at me one day... Luckily around the same time my pain levels went to a level that allowed my to walk around 500-600 at slightly slower speeds than normal before the pain got too much. My doctor also got quite concerned about my blood work and body weight recommending to loose a lot if I every intent to get back to a more normal life. So I started to walk several times a day, no matter how bad the weather was, just a bit up and down the street. The distance got longer, the fitness a bit better and the pain levels a bit lower too. Using my old weight lifting belt to keep the back supported helped me a lot during these times, especially when driving or doing housework. During those times I was still on 6-8 panedine forte tablets (paracetamol and codein) plus 2-4 tablets of 20mg oxicontin and not happy about the last anyway. Despite the added levels of pain I started to reduce the level of oxicontin and started to exercise more. My focus was getting the core muscles stronger and to get better support for my back. Also started riding my bike again, although I had to replace it for a bigger model to allow me a more upright position with less stress on the lower back. The kilos started to tumble very slowly but I was already quite proud when I got bak to 90kg. :( Good thing was that I got motivation to continue as every kg I lost and every little bit more on distance I got out of my walks and rides without getting too painful also meant that my average pain level went down too. Two years after it all happened I got rid of the oxicontin completely and reached the 80kg mark. My doc was happy too, my blood work looking good but of course he still suggested to loose a few more kg. Being able to move around again also meant being able to work again and with that came more food, less exercise and a lot more stress. I did manage to hold my 80kg but after about 6 months or working I noticed my back problems started to limit me again. My back belt covered for me and I was able to keep going a while longer but in the end I got hit by another attack on my back. The diagnosis was not good at all as now on top of the pain goind through the back and leg I also hab numbness and a feeling like ants crawl over the leg and chew on it every few mm. As with most lower back "revenges" this one only needed strong pain killers for a few weeks until I was back to something more normal in terms of pain and movability. Sadly the ongoing side effects did not go away the way they did the first time. This meant especiall finding the right position to sleep with the least amount of pain was becoming a nightmare on it's own. Either you got pins and needles keeping you awake, you lost your feeling in the leg to the point where it becomes useless or the pain in the back is just stabbing you all the time. Starting some projects here on Instructables kept my mind busy and gave me some welcome distraction from the daily routine. Eventually I manged to find a job again that allowed me to have enough different movements with only a bit of lifting so things started get back to normal. My doc put me on some amitriptyline to help with the pain at night and although it took some time to get used to the stuff it really started to help after about two weeks. The job was only for a fixed term but it gave me back some confidence that not all is bad or lost. Life went on and I actually manged to get down to just 75kg and only used some painkillers once or twice a week if it was really bad. Then, a few weeks back I started to notice that the top of my foot and the outside of my leg felt different to touch, especially in the shower with some brush or rough sponge. Not being happy already I agreed to some new scans to check if the discs started to cause problems or if the nerves are just inflamed. You might have guessed already, the scan confirmed that my two discs desintegrated further putting more pressure on the already suffering nerves. With the "help" of some quite strong anti inflammatory stuff, cortisone and other meds my doc managed to get me back to "normal" but he also informed me that this won't last forever. The current outcome (without surgery but more on that later on) I have two choices to keep going: a ) I continue with pain killers and other meds to keep the problems at bay. b ) I limit myself to basically not doing anything involving the movemnt of my lower back, keep to a strict calory intake and hope for the best. The first option won't do me any good in the long run except liver, kidney and digestive problems. The second option will allow me some sort of a normal life at the expense of never finding a job to support me again. So once again we soldier on knowing that it will only make things worse as giving up and relying on social services is no option for me. Hoping that you might just had your first encounter with lower back injuries and pain I will give some advise on the things that helped my most so that you might not have to suffer as much I did and still do. So read on please... Diagnosed with a damaged or bulged disc in the lower back - what does it acutally mean? If you check all the available images of the human skelleton you will quickly notice one thing: Our lower back is not really straight and not designed to carry a lot weight when it is put on the wrong way or direction. Noone with a sane mind would use a support beam shaped like that but the human body adapted to this problem caused by changing from using all four limbs to walking on just two legs. The muscles and tendons in our back work in such a way that they support the fragile construction of discs and bones that keep us upright. Sadly modern life, personal decisions and only too often a busy work shedule prevent us from using our body the wa we should. Be it too much lifting, being far too short for your weight or simply laziness the factors causing our muscle to degrade are too many to count. But once you are in the worst pain you ever felt and your doc tells you that there are damaged discs you suddenly wish you had it all done differently years ago - trust me, I have been there and I have done it ;) Or it might be like in my case that a healthy and fit person just cracks one or more discs for no obvious reason. Either way it means you have to change your life to be able to keep going. Pain killers help to ignore the problem and pretend all is good but they should be used with great care as most are highly addictive and the long term side effects are no fun either. The one thing you must never forget is although being a life sentence it must not mean you will be crippled forever! What can I do once it happened to help the pain and my sanity? Nerve pain is one of the worst pains there is and there are only two more or less working medications to deal with it. The first meds are opiates to literally numb the pain but due to source of the pain very high levels are required until the body adapted to deal with the wrong pain information. The second group of meds that offer help and that are often used together with pain killers are old sty anti depressants like the try-cyclic (was that right?) amitriptyline. Back in the days they were not really good for the advertised job but one of the common side effects was how they worked on the pain centers of the brain. In much lower dosages as used to treat depressions these meds help the brain to deal with the pain caused by the damaged or pinched nerves. As a long term solution they should be prefered over opiates so that the strong pain killers are only taken when really needed. If you are anything like me than not getting enough sleep over weeks on end will take a toll on your mood. So being able to sleep at least a few hours in one go is a real thing to aim for unless you prefer to harm your body with pain killers. What is there to help with the pain so you can sleep? I know that you now already think you tried it all and that nothing good comes out of here but keep reading as you might be surprised... The first thing that jumps into mind when it comes to sleeping is a bed - be it you by yourself or with a partner. And here also is the first point to improve! In many countries a bed for two persons has one bad feature: A single mattress! Any movement from the person next to you is transfered more or less onto your body - you don't want that! So if you own a big bid that you share with someone think about investing into a bed with seperated matresses and support frames. That brings us to the mattress itself. A lot of people think being soft and flexible is a prefered thing, not so much if you have back problems. You want enough support to keep the back straight without everything feeling like you sleep on wooden floorboards. Keep in mind though that when changing from soft matress to something much firmer you will need to adjust. Really the best option is to seek professional advise in a bedding studio or similar. And no, you don't have to go to the most expensive place to buy a mattress, you just try them out, get expert advise and use that new knowledge to find a suitable mattress to fit the budget. With no offence meant: If you are over the normal weight you really want to loose the excess and that means selecting a new matrress on your weight goal and not on your current weight! It is also good to have adjustable supports under the mattress itself, this way you choose a thinner and bit softer mattress but still get the firmness your back requires - again seeking proffessional advise on the right combinations is highly recommended here! Ok, your bed is sorted but still there is that nagging pain in certain positions or the tingling in your leg preventing you to go to sleep. Believe it or not but what you do before you go to bed affects how you feel when you hit the sack. So sitting like a bag full of water in front of your TV until just manage to crawl into bed won't do you any good. Same for having your dinner and hour or two before bedtime... What does help is to move your body and to burn a few kalories! If it helps you use a weight lifting belt but just a walk around the block with a little bit of bending and flexing will get the tension out of muscles. A nice partner giving you a proper massage might help too but I doubt you will get one every night ;) And before you start to complain: Yes, I know there are times where simply can't do any exersise as you will be happy to make it to the toilet or to make some dinner. For those times and especially during times of experiencing higher than normal pain level ther is something you can do to ease the pain. Some doctors will tell you but a lot of them wont: Cold actually helps to numb the pain and the symptoms like tingling, pins and needles or the constant stabbing when you made a slightly wrong move. But you need to apply the cold in the right way to get the benefit! The key here is timing. Using real ice in a suitable wrapper, so no vegetables or meat, you apply the cold where the damage is - not where the pain is! You want to cool down the area around the damaged discs for about 5 to max 10 minutes. Put the icepack back and repeat every hour! Nothing will happen after the first two or three round but then you will notice improvement - how much depends on the individual and extend of the damage of course. When I have bad days I usually start around mid-day and keep going every hour until either the pain is gone or it is time to drag myself to bed. The worst you can do is o apply heat! A warm (not hot!) bath can help to ease some muscular tension but hot packs or heat lamps will make your pain get worse quickly. Just imagine and inflammation somehwere else, the area is already hot and painful so you really don't want to add more heat, do you? ;) What can be done to keep mobile and improve? As said earlier the key is support for the damaged areas and of course a limitation in movements that put additional stress on the damaged dics - this includes weight, be it from your own body in terms of excess fat or simply be lifting things! You will have times of no pain and where you think you are 20 years younger again but never use that as an excuse to think your discs have improved! Once damaged they stay damaged and everything putting more stress on you dsic(s) will make things worse. A friend of mine loves to play golf - if you have back problems you want to find a different hobby! Coming from three digits I can tell you without being offensive in any way that being fat means having problems that you don't want to add to your list caused by a bad back! So like it or not you really need to loose all the excess you can find wobbling around your body! For me every single kg I lost was a step forward to being more fit and being able to more things for longer before my pain got too much. And no, there is no excuse for keeping those kilos if are able to leave the bed for more than a few hours. Turst me, you will feel better, need far less medication and like yourself much better once the benfits of less weight kick in! Exercise is the key to getting your life back to a more or less normal level! If you are a "first offender" than you have a good chance that a change of habbit and maybe job will make sure it stays a single incident and that you can have a pain free life after the initial recovery! Getting a higher core strenght and overall fitness level helps your body to heal but most importantly gives you the option to gain muscles where needed to support your back. You might think there is nothing you can do if you are in pain and can't really move anyway but if you do then you are wrong. I am not a personal trainer but I found a lot of ways to use my muscles without using my back for it... There is enough info on the web for exercise methods without any training gear and if you think "really hard" you might notice you can use a lot of positions to exercise your arms and legs without stressing you back ;) And even for the back you can do good without damage: If you lay flat on your belly you just slightly lift your arms and legs off the ground - this will need the support of the muscles in lower back! No need to actuall lift anything high, just enough to only slightly bend your back up - you might not even notice any bending at all. What you don't want is exercise like running, jogging or even contact sports, really nothing that might force your back to move more than what is possible without stressing your discs... Better fitness and more strenght means you will get better flexibility and movablity but never let that fool you into thinking the damage is gone! I can not stress enough than even if you don't need medication and feel fine a single wrong move can make all null and void! What are the options if despite loosing weight and excercise my pain is not going away or syptoms get worse? Well, we can ignore it, we can hope it all goes away but the sad reality for most is that sooner or later you reach the point where the damage is too much too handle. The first one to tell you that your lower back is now due for a pit stop is your foot. The pain might be more than what you ever experienced the pins and needles might drive you mad but as long as it just that you are fine, really :( For me it was during some light gradening when I got my "first hit" so to say. I brushed it off thinking I tripped over something that got kicked away while I struggled to keep my balance. A few days later I noticed that I had to put some extra efford to prevent my toes from scraping the floor while walking. It was there when I also realised that most of the feeling on top of my foot was gone. Same story for the outside of my calf by the way... For me, thanks to a non working medical system and no private health cover the story ends here... Since you might have more luck: Modern medicine has gone a long way when it comes to minimal invasive operations and they are the key to performing operations that otherwise would be impossible or require months of recovery. For the "treatment" of damaged discs in the lowest part of the spinal area the old conventional treatment was to fuse the bones together using some steel or titanium rods. To give the patient relief the dmaged disc was more or less mutilated to free the damaged nerve(s). Several weeks of bed rest and great loss in movement was the price to pay for less pain. Today we are much further and can use micro instruments to perform operations deemed impossible only a few years ago. One of the operations with the greatest and fastest recovery rates is actually quite smart if you think about it: A small portion of bone is removed to give more room for the nerve and to aid in the healing - without fusing the bones! The next step is remove the part of the disc that is bulging out - without removing the strong support layers around it, only the mashed up bits are taken away. The patient is literally pain free ( from the back pain) right after the operation. Healing takes about 2-3 weeks but by then even the pain from the cut bones will be gone. Some health insurers see these operations as a means to get a person back to work and into a normal life, so they support it. Others use simple math and decide pain killers are cheaper... In any case you should seek professional advice from your doc and health care provider before it is too late! Diagnosed and operated early can mean you get the option to have an almost normal life again, or at least a few years of being able to enjoy life much more than before the operation. There are of course risks involved and an opration might not be an option for every case but knowing your options and what form of treatment might be available for you can be reall life changing... Ok, but what's the worst that can happen to me if a simple operation is no longer an option? One of the first things you will notice after loosing control and feeling for your foot is a more or less contant need to go the toilet. Despite having an empty bladder or just using the toilet minutes ago you can develop the feeling that you really must go the toilet again. Sadly this is only the beginning... If things get worse you can loose control over your bladder and bowel. Simply put it means you no longer control the muscular tension required to keep you vital openings closed when required. Usually at this point your doctor will recommend to operate one way or the other. For you, if affected, this means you have to decide between the risk of an operation that might only last for a few months or years or wearing adult nappies... If you already had one or more operation or the damage to the disc(s) is too severe it can mean that there is no other option but to fuse the bones into place to prevent further damage and allow for some healing. But trust me, for your doc to even consider an operation you need to loose all the weight you can! What are my limitations after having my back bones fused together? Well, as it reads you will be fused together, meaning you level of movement will be severly limited. It also means you beep all the time at the airport security or when entering a court or other place with metal detectors - but that is the least of the worries I guess... The main problem after such operations is getting back to a life as normal as possible. You get a lot of help in rehab and will learn what you can and can't do, plus of course how to keep you fit despite these limits. Some people cope really good with the new limitations but others struggle a lot. This especially true if before the person was really active and doing a lot in terms of sport and outdoor activities. Learning to adapt to the changes allows you have many more years without too much pain or limitations. Sure, Golf is out of the question, playing soccer or riding a normal bike too but life goes on and being a part of it is always better than just looking at it through your bedroom window ;) In any case giving up should not be an option for you! No matter how bad it looks when the pain is too much, there are always more good days than bad days ahead of you! Go ahead, share your experience with back pain, what you do keep going and handle the pain. Share you information about what treatments helped you the most and share how you recovered to where you are now. Be an inspiration for those facing what we already went through! Real back pain based on nerve damage will only be understood by someone who experienced it - what did you do to make the people around you understand it? Whatever helped you might help someone wha just started to learn how to deal with damaged discs and back pain, so sharing is caring! ;)

Topic by Downunder35m   |  last reply