DIYode Glows in the Dark

Last Wednesday, I was reading through the morning’s DIYode IRC chat when I ran across an article that Jamie had mentioned.  Someone had made a very attractive faceplate for LED light to shine through, similar to the control panel on some electronics. What had made it special was the high heat paint sprayed onto the acrylic beforehand, which produced a sharp, clean image. The site is here:

I got thinking that it would be interesting to make it wearable, like a necklace that glows. I asked the body of IRC chat people in our room what logo to use, and an answer came through just as I thought of the same one:  OUR LOGO!

I assembled the pieces, sprayed the paint, and enlisted the help of Mark Zander to help laser our logo onto small ovals.  He also completely laser etched an oval to act as a diffuser.  Mark worked on getting an itty bitty LED and an itty bitty resistor into the side of the etched oval.  Something wasn’t quite right.  We worked on it (well, mostly Mark worked on it) until about 9 that evening.  The prototype was still not done.

I went looking for “edge lit LED signs” in Google and found another site that was doing more or less the same thing .

I had some LEDs at the house given to me by Dan O’Connell from Kwartzlab in Kitchener.  I went to an electronics store to get a 3 Volt button battery, and tested the LEDs right in the store.  Lo and behold, the green LED was just right, as our logo is green (sometimes).

My plan was to use an unpainted acrylic oval, sanded on both sides, between the logos to act as a light diffuser.  This was similar to the one Mark had been working on.  Based on the second website, I thought that sanding both sides would produce better diffusion than laser etching for the sandwich layer, and it did produce a cloudy, whiter surface.  I put it between the logos to test, and it seemed to work well.

The LED got sanded and flattened with a Dremel tool.  After cutting out a well in the top, I put the logos back to back with the cloudy layer between them to make it reversible.  Sticky copper tape went around the perimeter, the LED got glued in with hot glue, the wires got soldered on, electrical tape went between the soldered ends, and then I popped a glass pony bead onto the exposed legs to hide them.

And voila! LED DIY on mechanged

Danny Dobbs happened to be in, and I used him as a model for the up close version:LED Diyode logochanged

All in all, this was a fascinating project.  I’ll happily be wearing it to several events soon.

Here it is in the daylight:

LED pendant



3 Responses to “DIYode Glows in the Dark”

  1. EvaB says:

    Author : Chantal
    Nice work! Seems like your having lots of creative fun at diyode.

  2. Theo says:

    this is AWESOME!!

  3. EvaB says:

    Thank you! It was fun!

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