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LED panel lights with water damage - other uses? Answered

We had a slight roofing problem at work and as a resul a lot of our recently installed LED panel lights got flooded.
Now, I though: How hard can it be to fix them....

Surprisingly these flat replacements for flouroscent tubes are actually manufactured in a way that you can take them fully apart if you dare.
Like some old computer or flat TV screens they use a row of LED's and then some sheets to direct and distribute the emitted evenly throughout the entire panel - like a backlight with no screen.

What was a surprise however is the size of the LED's and how they are "soldered".
Obviously a mass production in a reflow system.
First problem for me was that the LED's used are right between two commonly used SMD sizes.
So a 0204 is far to big while a 0102 won't even touch the solder pads.
For once I did the smart thing and decided to try to remove at least the clearly faulty and correded bits first and did not order a bunch of LED's...
A drop of glue is used to hold the LED's in place until they are soldered.
But unlike any glue I encountered for this purpose the stuff won't come off.
You can use proper double sided soldering tweezers or a heat gun to soften the solder but the LED itself won't come off.
Last resort was to increase the temp of the soldering equippment to soften the glue or to even fully melt it.
Lets just say the plastic film making the acutal connections like a circuit board does not tolerate the heat required...

I have now a bunch of useless lights, some still working LED power supplies...
Was wondering if anyone ever tried to make a backlight screen or one of these panel lights work in reverse?
Meaning using natural light on the panel to "collect" it at the thin bit where the LED's were located.
Might be useful with some fibre optics or solar cells.

Are there other good uses for these films, foils and sheets in a backlight system?
Don't want to toss them out only to realise a few weeks later these things are actually good for more things...



4 weeks ago

Might be good for diffusing a light box, or even some shadow box niknaks