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Thread: Diode Lightbox?

  1. #1
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    Diode Lightbox?

    I'm thinking about constructing a lightbox for a poster (and possibly drawing) and thought.. why use neon lights when I can buy cheap diodes? The light will be even and it'll weigh a lot less.

    I'm curious, has anyone constructed such a thing? Any tips?

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  3. #2
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    Sounds like a good idea.

    If it turns out to be a cool project, you should document it for these guys

    http://www.makezine.com/

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  4. #3
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    Well usually neons are used because you can have the possibility (and you should) have daylight tubes. That's all I can say. Let us know how your project goes.

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    Does diodes get heat up fast? I've never constructe a lightbox before, but I doubt you'd want one with hot surface due to keeping the light on for too long.

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  6. #5
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    egerie, I found such diodes.. Pure white ones are good as well (I'm planning one making two lightboxes, one of which will be for a double-sided poster)

    look, you're right.. some do. I'll have to buy a few and check them out!

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    Quote Originally Posted by AngryScientist
    why use neon lights when I can buy cheap diodes? The light will be even and it'll weigh a lot less.
    I don't know much about diodes but when a flourescent bulb burns out, the flourescent fixtures were designed so that bulbs could be easily swapped out. Would replacing defective diodes be as easy?

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    Quote Originally Posted by figure2
    I don't know much about diodes but when a flourescent bulb burns out, the flourescent fixtures were designed so that bulbs could be easily swapped out. Would replacing defective diodes be as easy?

    That is true, about the neons. But I thought that if I make all the inside surfaces of the box reflective and put some (removable) plastic or paper on top, the diffusion of the light will be strong enough that if one of two burn out you won't see any difference. If I get some help with the construction I might figure out a 'push in' diode socket. I think those are also sold?

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    I actually had a similar idea, and was wondering if anyone had any advice. I've found a lot of tutorials online, but none of them venture into using LED lights. I'm going into animation next year, so I'll need something powerful, yet sleek and portable. I have no experience with electronics, but I was thinking of setting up a circuit board that runs similar to the way Christmas lights work. Basically, the board would just hold the lights in place, so they don't get messed up, and to minimize the amount of wire being used. Then I'd put a piece of frosted glass over that, and that would be the basic design. So I guess the real challenge is going through with it without electrocuting myself.

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  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by look
    Does diodes get heat up fast? I've never constructe a lightbox before, but I doubt you'd want one with hot surface due to keeping the light on for too long.
    I don't think they do, they're meant to be highly efficient.

    Then again, incandescent light bulbs are highly efficient too, if you're using them to heat your house that is.

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  11. #10
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    Might I suggest a possibly easier material for you to work with (though a bit more expensive) It's called EL film (electro-luminescent)... it's as thin as a few sheets of paper, and you just solder a few wire hookups to the ends and run the line through a converter and you have nice even light across the entire sheet.

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    Oh snap! Thanks, I'll have to check that out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lordofthebling
    I actually had a similar idea, and was wondering if anyone had any advice. I've found a lot of tutorials online, but none of them venture into using LED lights. I'm going into animation next year, so I'll need something powerful, yet sleek and portable. I have no experience with electronics, but I was thinking of setting up a circuit board that runs similar to the way Christmas lights work. Basically, the board would just hold the lights in place, so they don't get messed up, and to minimize the amount of wire being used. Then I'd put a piece of frosted glass over that, and that would be the basic design. So I guess the real challenge is going through with it without electrocuting myself.
    Similar to the way christmas lights work as in plugged into the wall socket??? Have fun in Heaven.

    (Actually, if you could find white LED christmas lights, you could use them without any modifications. But using actual LEDs in a circuit designed for typical christmas lights is dangerous).
    You'll need to do a bit of electronics study before you build it, but it's not hard to learn the very basics. You need to have the right level of resistance for the power supply too, otherwise you could destroy the LEDs, or underpower them (which isn't that big of a deal. They just wouldn't be as bright).

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  14. #13
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    best place for cheap LED's is definatly Ebay, i buy them all the time, all sorts of colours shapes sizes, and so on

    its going to be a pain wiring them all up in an array tho,
    i would highgly recomend agianst buying christmas lights and trying to use them, cuz
    1. not quite enough light output
    2. theyre colourful (some are white but an ugly white)
    3. they cost a fortune and your going to need alot of them

    who knows, maybe you can even find a premade one on ebay

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