Portable LED Lamp

Here is my attempt at a portable LED light to use for miniature painting and photography.  When anybody asks me what's the most important part about Miniature Painting or Miniature Photography, my first answer is "light!  And when you think you have enough light, get more light!"  It really helps you see what you're doing, and it really helps bring out the truth of your fantastic paint job.  
I've been doing a few lighting projects using LED strips, including illuminating my miniatures display case, and I thought it would be great to use these strip lights to create a studio light.  Here's the results.


The first step was to gather the parts.  I used a frozen dinner tray, strip lights, poster board, a gooseneck with a ball end, the ball socket, a piece of tin to reinforce the socket mount, a battery, and some opaque white material for a diffuser.

Next was to glue the reinforcing piece into the case.  I then secured the socket to the reinforcement with rivets.

Then I formed the inside of the light using white poster board. Measure the inside bottom of the chosen case, then measure the sides. I made beveled sides to match the inside shape of the case. Then cut the board, score the folds, and test your fit:
lamp interior plotlamp interior cutlamp fitting

Next I stuck the LED strips to the bottom of the interior and soldered the leads. To save work, I soldered the positive terminals on one side and the negatives on the other rather than chaining them all together:

lamp LED test

Finally, I glued some opaque white material for a diffuser and that finished the lamp! I'm going to create a second one and start experimenting with taking pictures. I next need to remake my mini photo set!


well, I over-estimated the brightness of those strip LEDs! They really don't create a lot of light, so they're pretty useless for painting, but I'll experiment with taking photos when I get second one made.