Hacked Gadgets Forum

July 26, 2006

Red LED Desk Lamp

at 6:55 am. Filed under Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks

If you have a few Red LEDs looking for a purpose, this desk lamp looks like a great project. Might be able to do it with a little less regulation but taking the cautious road never hurts.

“Need a red lamp to provide soft red illumination around the telescope? Described here is an easy way to do this. Take a commonly available desklamp and convert it to LED’s. This is a single evening project, taking just a few hours to accomplish once the parts have been obtained.

I have found the resulting light extremely useful when observing. No more holding the flashlight in your mouth when reading charts or making observing notes.

Because the light can light up a whole area when turned fully on it can be used as a worklight when breaking down gear and packing it into the vehicle without bothering other observers at a dark observing site. Or build the 120V version for a personal observatory.”

Via: Make


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8 Responses to “Red LED Desk Lamp”

  1. Matthew Kleinmann Says:

    If you go to National Semi’s site and have a look at the spec sheet for the LM317 you
    will see one neat trick: You can run the 317 as a constent current source. The neat
    thing about this is you can make the regulator board so it will work with any color LED
    without changing anything except the LED. You can go from red LED’s to white LED’s and
    if you set the regulator to give the LED’s 25ma, that is what they will have going
    through them.

    With a voltage regulator setup like you have, you need to be concerned with running
    the LED’s over their rated current. If for example you set up a chain of blue or white
    LED’s and then set the pot for 25 ma through them then switch over to red LED’s, the red
    LED’s will have more then the 25 ma through them unless you set the pot again for the
    voltage drop of the red LED’s.

    The constent current source is a nice idea for little LED fidgets because it lets you
    not have to worry about the wall wart you use or the LED’s you use. You can use whatever
    you have on hand and it will work properly.

  2. Alan Parekh Says:

    Thanks for the info Matthew.

  3. Silicon Owl Says:

    Nice to see my design and photos getting around, but a little more credit to the original author might be appropriate.

    The original posting is at http://www.siowl.com/atm/redlamp.php

    You could get more efficient or elegant with the circuit. The whole concept was setup to allow electronic neophytes to build it successfully, thus the choice of the overkill (and cheap) LM317 in voltage mode. Over 60 of these have been successfully made in garage workshops by members of a local astronomy club. A great little exercise allowing people to learn a little electronics and soldering.

  4. Alan Parekh Says:

    Hi Silicon Owl,

    Great to hear from you! Your site is linked in the article. 🙂 The Make article where it was found is also linked to.

  5. jb oconnel Says:

    Wow! what an idea ! What a concept ! Beautiful .. Amazing

  6. john jones Says:

    Shame that Silicon Owl documents such a clever idea, and Alan Parekh simply steals it.

    It wouldn’t have been so bad if it said plainly “designed and written by Silicon Owl”, but it says right at the top “written by Alan Parekh”, which is of course a lie.

    Alan, you should learn how to give proper credit. “Via” doesn’t cut it. Until then, you are a thief.

  7. Alan Parekh Says:

    Hi John,

    Looks like the original article has gone away. There is a link in the article that links to the original article, there is a link in the article that links to the place I found it (Make). The name at the top of the post reflects who wrote the article on Hacked Gadgets, just like on Make it says who wrote the article for the Make site.

    Have a look around, the information thiefs are those who copy and paste every stitch of an article and provide no links back to the original content.

  8. Red LED desk lamp · WhatTheFogt Says:

    […] http://hackedgadgets.com/2006/07/26/red-led-desk-lamp/ […]

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