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A couple of days ago I was surfing the internet and found out that we could power any gadget with a power of 5V and 100mA(500mA on some special conditions) by connecting it to a USB port, so I thought that I would make a beginners instructable which will teach anyone how to make this cool night lamp!
I figured out that the total cost of the project was about 2.5$ because its a reuse project!(I reused a milk carton and turned it into this instructables robot night lamp, if you see carefully you will notice that the robot is the Go-Green Instructables Robot!
Here is a video of the finished project!
I even used multi color LEDs and it looked great!
This is a fantastic song(My 2nd favorite song)
Ok so lets get started...
Step 1: Gathering the materials
So the materials are:
1 Milk Carton
2 LEDs(Any color is all right but I used blue)
1 USB cable
Any sharp object(Eg a pin)
Some tools that would help but not necessary are:
A Thumb Pin
Here are some links where you can buy the stuff:
Alternative USB cable:
Another Alternative for USB cable:
You can get a milk carton from any local supermarket!
Soldering Iron and Solder:
Heat Shrink Tubing:
Here are shome links that will help you learn:
LEDs:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light-emitting_diode(It shows you how to wire LEDs up etc
USB :http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USB(It tells you about USB and what inside etc)
Step 2: Electronics(Assembling the USB LED Lamp)
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So the electronic part of this whole project is pretty simple!
To start off we will need to cut the USB cable to the opposite end of the USB connector, so that we are left with a USB connector that fits into your PCs USB port and a wire coming from it!
This part is the most confusing part and many people ruin their cable at this step....so....be careful!
When you strip the outer coating off the USB cable there will be 4 wires sticking out from it...
TX(I think but I'm not sure)
RX(I think but I'm not sure)
So what you need to do is cut the TX and RX wires out and only leave the 5V and Gnd wires, then with a wire strippers you will need to strip the plastic coating of about 2 cm for those two wires.
Then all you have to do is connect the LEDs
There will be 2 leads sticking out of the LED one will be long and it is the anode and the short one is the cathode.A resistor gets attached to the LED on the anode(Resistors are not polarized so it does not matter which way you connect them)
The resistors value depends on the LED, my LED didn't need a resistor at all!
You can go to this website in order to know a resistors resistance:http://www.dannyg.com/examples/res2/resistor.htm
Okay so you attach the side with the resistor(The anode) to the +5V wire sticking out of the USB cable and the cathode to the Gnd
Usually in most USBs the colors for the +5 and Gnd are:
+5V is usually Red and sometimes Orange(Mine was red)
Gnd is usually Black or Brown(Mine was brown)
TX is usually Green or blue(Mine was blue)
RX is usually White or Yellow(Mine was yellow)
After connecting them you can either just twist the wires together and add a heat shrink or you can solder them and then add a heat shrink, I don't have a soldering iron so I just twisted the wires together and put heat shrink on, and then after that used black duct tape to cover the whole thing up as my heat shrink was blue and looked bad as the rest of the wire was black!
One last thing-I sanded the LEDs to diffuse them so that they shine brighter!You can do the same as the LEDs we buy are usually water clear LEDs(You can see the difference in some of the pictures)(As I used 1 diffused and 1 Water clear LED for my project)
Step 3: The Shelter(To put on the USB LEDs)
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I decided to make the shelter out of a milk carton because I wanted to reuse something and this was my first choice!
So the first step was printing out an instructables robot on an A4 piece of paper, I printed out the "Go Green Robot" since its reusing an old milk carton that would have been thrown away, you could draw the picture on an A4 piece of paper, but Iím not good at drawing so I printed out the template.
The next step was to stick the template on the milk carton, I used duct tape to hold the template on the carton, then I used a thumb pin to make holes alongside the robot as shown in the pictures, and then after making all the holes, I removed the template and cleaned the carton from inside, then I gave it a coat of black spray paint because it looked good when blue light was shining in from black, with this finished I was done, now all I had to do was stick the LEDs in there, so I used some double sided tape to stick them at the best angle so that they shined the most as possible!
What I could also have done was to attach multicolor LEDs which would look way better because they keep changing colors!
And when I was done with the project...my last step was to connect it and see if it worked!
And as I connected it the night lamp turned on and it looked mind-blowing!
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Step 4: Photo and Video Gallery
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These are some photos I took of my finished project!
Sorry about some pictures as they are blurry :(
I was arranging the white LEDs in different angles and places to figure out which was the best one and finally found out that blue LEDs were better so I made another USB powered set of blue LEDs and attached those to the lamp instead of white LEDs!