Saturday, March 19, 2016

DIY LED Light Bulb Kits

Recently I saw a video by bigclivedotcom on YouTube about LED light bulb (lamp) kits from eBay. I decided to pick up a few of these kits and check them out. I was not disappointed!

LED light bulbs I assembled myself. Lots of fun!
The LED colors shown are cool white diffused, multicolor and warm white clear.

Cheap LED Lamp Kits from eBay

These kits can be found for less than $2 USD on eBay. One example listing to start your search if you want to purchase your own is #171505070176. That price does not include LEDs, but the real beauty of these is that you can assemble them with any LEDs you want. You can purchase white LEDs in many different color temperatures, such as cool or warm white. Colored or multi-color LEDs are also an option, as Big Clive did in his video. He also did a video assembling one of these kits with neon lamps!

The kit comes with the plastic housing, a clear plastic dome, two small circuit boards, and the parts you need to assemble the power supply circuit. The ones that I ordered house 38 LEDs, but there seem to be a variety of kits on eBay in different configurations. Grab some of these and a huge bag of cheap LEDs and you are ready to make some light bulbs!

Contents of the DIY LED lamp kits.


The kits do not include any instructions, but assembling them is pretty easy. All of the component values on the small green power supply PCB are labeled in the silk screen. Just place the parts as shown and solder it up. Do be careful with the polarities of the electrolytic capacitor and diodes, though. The circular LED board clearly shows the correct polarities for the LEDs, so that is also easy to stuff.

The LED and power supply boards assembled and ready for installation.

Strangely, the attachment points for the power supply on the LED board are just pads without drills. Hmm.... The board in one of the kits I got had misaligned solder mask that exposed a trace between two LEDs next to the DC input pads. Yikes! These issues may or may not be present on the boards you get.

Attachment points on the power supply and LED boards.
Can you spot a safety hazard here when they are crammed into the housing?

As I started to install the boards into the housing, I saw that it would be very easy for shorts to happen between the exposed electrical connections on the undersides of the boards. I decided to put electrical tape across the bottom of the power supply board to insulate it from the LEDs.

Almost done!

Before snapping on the clear plastic dome, test the bulb to make sure it works. Murphy will ensure that at least one LED doesn't work if you don't test it first. It goes without saying, but please be careful when doing this. The power supply board has completely exposed mains AC voltage on it.

Super cool custom LED light bulbs.
The bulb with blue, yellow, and orange LEDs makes a nice violet color.

Wrap Up

These are fun little kits. I wouldn't recommend them for making light bulbs to install throughout your home. The obvious safety hazards of these kits and inconsistent hand assembly make them a bit dangerous. However, I think they are useful for fun projects and making novelty LED light bulbs that will be used in a controlled setting.

Thanks for reading!

- Dan W.

1 comment:

  1. Good job. Thank you for sharing this wonderful work of art! Looking forward for more of your DIY tips. But wait if you need more LED lights reach Omni Lightings