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Easy LED Lighting Tutorial

Discussion in 'Cases, Modding & Electronics' started by BigJunit, Feb 28, 2007.

  1. BigJunit New Member

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    Thought I would post a quick guide to an alternative to using cathode tubes in your cases for lighting following a coulple of replys to my case in the case gallery.All the links are to English stores, but Im sure alternatives can be found in any country with a quick google search.

    -Shopping List-

    2 x 5mm 3.5v LEDs (I will be using super-bright blue)
    2 x Suitable Resistors - 12 Volt or 5 Volt
    2 x lengths of Wire (I am using solid core bell wire, black & Blue)
    1 x Housing box - Maplins code JX56L is a good one to use
    20cm heatshrink - Here
    2 x 5mm LED holders - (I am using Maplins code N89AX as needed black)
    1 metre of aquarium air hose (or cable braiding or your choice)

    -Tools-

    Wire Cutters
    Needle Nose Pliers
    Corded/less Drill - 3mm, 8mm & 9mm Bits
    Ruler
    Pen
    Masking Tape

    Ok thats everything you will need to make 1 lighting unit housing 2 x LEDs. This would be enough to illuminate a third of an average size case to the brighness of a cathode tube.

    [​IMG]

    1st Step -
    Mask the box you have chosen as the housing, measure and mark where each LED will sit. Drill a 3mm pilot hole then enlarge to 9mm.
    Repeat this on the rear of the housing but enlarge to 8mm.
    [​IMG]

    Remove masking tape
    [​IMG]

    2nd Step -
    Take the LEDs, heatshrink, resistors and LED holders
    [​IMG]

    Join the resistor to the longest wire on the LED and apply heatshrink, repeat with second LED and Resistor.
    [​IMG]

    Now join one wire to the resistor and another wire to the shortest wire on the LED, again apply heatshrink. I used back and blue so its easy to see which wire is positive (blue) and which is negitive (black).
    [​IMG]

    3rd Step -
    Now moving back to the LED housing, insert LED holders into the 9mm holes (if using different holders check mounting hole size)
    [​IMG]

    Once inserted tighten the small nut to hold them securly in place.
    [​IMG]

    4th Step -
    Next twist the 2 wires together for neatness. As I am using solid core wire this is very easy and the wires stay together and keep thier shape very well.
    [​IMG]

    5th Step -
    With the LED holders in place and the wires twistes together, insert the LEDs through the rear 8mm hole on the housing and into the holders. Most LED holders will come with a small plastic plug to hold the LED inside the holder. I did not use this as I prefer to use a very small amount of superglue around the rim of the LED.
    [​IMG]

    6th Step -
    Thread the wires through the aqurium hose (or your choice of braiding) so that the end of the hose is inside the housing.

    [​IMG]

    7th Step -
    Screw the housing cover into place using the screws provided and the unit is complete, simple ehh.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Now all thats left is to instal it into your case using the mounting holes on the housng plate and connect the wires to your chosen power supply.

    Here are a few pictures of the LEDs connected up. I think you will agree they go give a very nice effect for such a small price - £4.20 approx.

    I have made 4 of these in total and they illuminate my whole case, but most importantly they allow you to only illuminate the areas of the case you want.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Hope some of you find this post useful, I know there are similar versions of this availible to buy, but its always nice to make something yourself for half the price you could have brought it for.

    I personally think they look much better aswel.

    Anyway it would be nice to know if anyone has had a bash at this and how they have turned out.

    Thanks For Reading

    -Product Links-

    Heatshrink
    5mmLED Holder
    Blue 5mm LED
    5v Resistor
    12v Resistor
  2. Zero Cool

    Zero Cool New Member

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    oh I will buy the requirments tomorow and try it asap :) great work keep it up!
  3. Protius New Member

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    nice, thx
  4. randomperson21

    randomperson21 New Member

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    woah, thats slick. might make a few meself.
  5. PuMA

    PuMA New Member

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    yay, I'll try that out, since I dont have a flashlight and my PC is in a dark place lol
  6. bruins004 New Member

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    Very nice tutorial.
    Seems pretty easy so I might give it a go.

    By the way can you post pics with these in your system.
    Would be interested what it looks like and where you put them.
    Thanks
  7. rhythmeister New Member

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    They rock! Can u get UV led's like that? Also, I hear that mounting them one in either end of a glue stick from a glue gun is meant to be a nice way to diffuse the light :D
  8. bruins004 New Member

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    This is prob. a bad question, but how do you hook it up to the PSU?
  9. BigJunit New Member

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    @ Bruins004 - Below is one mounted so it lights the motherboard and graphics card. The whole case can be seen Here

    Mine are hooked up to the PSU via the 5volt power rail (red and black wires from molex connectors) but 12v can be used with the correct resistor.

    [​IMG]

    @ rythemiester - Any LED will work with this method, flashing UV etc
  10. technicks

    technicks

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    Nice one man. I will try it this weekend. :toast:
  11. Zero Cool

    Zero Cool New Member

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    is ur GFX is 16x slot?
  12. BigJunit New Member

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    Yes Zero Cool, although I have moved it to the other 16x slot since the picture was taken (both PCI slots are 16x on that motherboard)
  13. J0N

    J0N New Member

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    Nice tutorial dude! Good effort! :toast:
  14. bruins004 New Member

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    It looks really nice :)
    Esp. with the watercooling kit in your case.

    I am still a little confused though.
    I am new to mods and customization so please bear with me.

    First off, besides buying the different resistor what is the difference between the 12V and 5V rails (I know it hits a different rail in the PSU, I more mean of how will it differ the directions).

    Now computer components are all hooked up using Molex connectors.
    I do not see a molex connector on the end of these so how does it hook up?

    Sorry if the answer is right in front of me.
    I am interested in making this my first mod and want to understand it obv.

    Thanks again
  15. BigJunit New Member

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    Using either 12v or 5v will not make any difference to the light thats given off as the resistors will reduce the voltage to 3.3v either way. Thats the rated power needed to light to LEDS.

    To join to the PSU with a molex all you would need to do is buy an 'empty' molex connector and join the two wires to it, then plug the molex into your PSU. That would be the easiest way to connect the power, but as you say its all about customizing. I ran one molex connector from the PSU and then split it about 8 ways to power various components in the case, lights, LCD & fans etc.
  16. rhythmeister New Member

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  17. bruins004 New Member

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    Awesome.
    Thanks for all the help.

    Now is there a specific order I must put the wires in the Molex?
    Bc computer components usually have 4 wires (since they hit the 12V line) all in a specific order.
    So where should I put the blue and black lines?

    Your rock man :rockout:
  18. BigJunit New Member

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    take blue as positive and black as negative - line the blue up with either the red (5volt) or yellow (12volt) on the molex depending which you have chosen. The line the black up to the black on the molex next to the positive (red/yellow) you have chosen.

    Hope that makes sence
  19. bruins004 New Member

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    Yea that does.
    Excellent job and thanks for all your help.
    I am prob. going to get the parts this weekend and put it together next week.
    I am also going to get some UV sleeves to clean up the case a bit.

    Hey if you ever have any other small mods like this please post here and let us know.
    I am always looking for small mods like this to do.

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