Desk Lighting Project v2.0

Two years ago, I hooked up some 5mm LEDs all around my desk to illuminate parts of it. Looking back at that set up, it looks very clumsily done. Now that I have better tools and materials (even some salvaged from other things!), I thought I’d give it another shot.

Materials

  • String of lights from a battery-operated product, which I had previously used in another project.
  • Switch, which was taken out of a broken power bar.
  • 5cm x 8cm x 3cm enclosure.
  • 5V 2A rated power supply.
  • 8-Ohm 1W resistor.
  • 22AWG solid-core wire.
  • Heat shrink.
  • Hot glue.

Putting It Together

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The switch’s back measured roughly 26cm by 13cm so I drew the outline of it on a piece of paper and taped it on the box.

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After locking the box into a vice, I drilled 1/8″ holes on the four corners… They weren’t exactly precise but it’ll work.

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I then used my rotary tool with a cutting wheel attachment to cut out the rectangle. The excess material becomes brittle which makes it easy to clean up.

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On one of the sides, I drilled two holes which the power supply and light wires would pass through.

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I brought the box to my soldering station to put together the simple switch circuit inside of the box.

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The switch interrupts/completes the positive connection. A resistor limits the current for the LEDs.

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After soldering and shrinking the heat shrink tubing, I applied some hot glue to keep exposed connections insulated and in place.

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I screwed in the back plate of the enclosure and then hot glued the box to the side of my desk. The string of LEDs are taped behind the decorative wooden piece above my computer monitor.

The switch works like a charm and, as simple as it is, is really one of my more polished completed projects. I hope I can say that for every project moving forward!

Thanks for reading!

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