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Modding Lighting panel

Discussion in 'Modding' started by scq, 30 Dec 2005.

  1. scq

    scq What's a Dremel?

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    Sort of a noobish question, but what is the best way to create a thin lighting panel?

    I was thinking of white plexi (or some similar material), with a few white leds behind it, but does it disperse well enough for a nice, even panel?
     
  2. The_Dude2040

    The_Dude2040 What's a Dremel?

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    well,,,,,just use a lightning pannel. then rig it up to a switch on the front of the case. there's also (probly) a way to power it from a molex. i havn;t tryed so i have no idea.
     
  3. ch424

    ch424 Design Warrior

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    Sandblast a thick sheet of clear plexi, and drill the LEDs in at the edges, and you're sorted.

    ch424
     
  4. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    Get an old laptop LCD screen, preferably a broken screen that is about to be thrown out anyway. Take out the backlight panel. This is a square of 4mm thick reflective opaque glass with a thin CCFL in the edge. Runs off 12V through an interter. Presto.

    You can also buy the backlight panels as spare parts.
     
  5. Mother-Goose

    Mother-Goose 5 o'clock somewhere

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    frosted plexi with ccfl or led's like the man said, should be the easiest way, ccfl gives a much more even light but with LED's you can do two tone if u fancy :D
     
  6. scq

    scq What's a Dremel?

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    Perhaps an array of different leds, and a small controller or variable resistor to phase the colors?
     
  7. Warrior_Rocker

    Warrior_Rocker Holder of the sacred iron

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    <cough> EL </cough> more seriously tho, get an el pannel, its the thinnest around, and its perfect even lighting, and it gives off a nice soft glow, not a harsh way to bright light,


    just a thought, cuase EL rocks
     
  8. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    Nope. The reason I didn't propose EL is because its light output is really rather weak.
     
  9. scq

    scq What's a Dremel?

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    Don't EL panels cost a fortune, at least compared to the led/panel solution. I could always dim the LEDs down with resistors.

    I like the EL panel idea, but getting a large sheet would cost quite a bit, I would think.
     
  10. Warrior_Rocker

    Warrior_Rocker Holder of the sacred iron

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    well, it really depends on the brightness, however the problem with led's is always uneven lighting, sometimes no matter how much you work at it, it still looks uneven, however el wont do that, and el panels can be got for not too terribly much

    http://cgi.ebay.com/EL-Lamps-electr...oryZ4660QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

    there you can get 10 5x7'' ones for only 25 USD, im sure with more looking you can get some for cheaper, considering the plexy, the frosting, and the led's to drive another solution that it may be more, plus the really cool thing about el is the ability to cut your own custom shapes and whatnot into them

    cheers, Warrior_Rocker
     
  11. scq

    scq What's a Dremel?

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    Frosted plexi isn't exactly something that's easy to get where I come from (or I'd have to do some searching).

    I've heard that a spray of matte finish on clear plexi gives a similar effect. Any experience with that?
     
  12. Stormtrooper

    Stormtrooper Shh...

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    EL panels also give off a faint hum, and have shorter lifespans than LEDs.
     
  13. Warrior_Rocker

    Warrior_Rocker Holder of the sacred iron

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    considering that most of those panels last 20,000+ hours of usage, and ALSO if you run them properly off of a PROPER inverter they not only last longer, but can also give off a brighter glow, due to the higher frequency.

    all im saying is, its easy to say that it is a bad idea, however time and time again el has been better to light things such as small character lcd's for a long time, and to do alot of effects on small and thin signs and whatnot

    but if you need it really bright go with led's problem with led's will generally always be uneven lighting, which you dont get from el
     
  14. elctroJunky

    elctroJunky What's a Dremel?

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    actually you can make an even lighted LED Plexi Window.
    as suggested before, look at the background lighting for laptop LCD screens.
    it's just a plexi plate with a single CCFL lamp at one side, yet it gives off an even glow. why? because of the etched pattern inside the palate.
    the problem ist, that the intensity of electromagnetic radiation is reducing by the square of the distance to the source. to ensure an even lighted plexi plate you need to etch a special pattern into this plate. the pattern consists of vertical and horizontal lines. the pattern these lines form gets denser the farther away it is from the source of lighting. each line reflects some light, the denser the line pattern, the more light is reflected.
    i think you now got the principle behind that, don't you?
     
  15. Hazer

    Hazer In time,you too will be relixalated

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    I recently removed a backpanel from a well lit LCD. It was a blue LCD with white showing through.

    The panel was 1/8" plexi. The backside and 3 edges were covered in reflective sticky tape. The front was opaque covering. The last edge was the CCFL tube that had tinfoil like material covering it.

    So, to make your own:

    Cut a sheet of 1/8" plexi. Sanding is an ugly effect, so I would suggest finding a sheet of opaque film at an art store or get some of that tacky spray snow stuff for windows. Cover the rest withtin foil or metal tape to reflect the light inwards. Use either a CCFL tube or LEDs. Using this method, you shouldnt have to worry about the eveness of the LEDs.

    The fun thing I did with my LCD was to put different colred films in between the LCD and back panel for different effects.

    PS: EL is a cool lighting effect, but poor for actually lighting displays. Its output is way too low. The inverters generally suck also. The only good inverters Ive seen are usually bundled with some over-priced EL product like tape or wire. So you end up paying twice as much as the inverter is worth.
     

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