Machine your own Ring Light

[Alan] acquired a stereo microscope from eBay, and decided to save some more money by designing, machining, and assembling his own arc reactor ring light to go along. After finding an LED driver board sitting around as well as ordering some surface mount LEDs, he set about using a lathe to cut away a block of lexan, making sure to include slots for the lights as well as the microscope mount point. Follow the link to see the detailed build photos, as well as some comparison shots with and without the ring light.

A month or two earlier though, and [Alan] would have had a fantastic start to an Iron Man costume.

18 thoughts on “Machine your own Ring Light

  1. People need to embrace other lighting options such as EL-Wire, CCL’s etc. LED’s no matter how well you diffuse them always have a spotty look to them because of their focus point.

  2. Looks good. Nice machine job. But LEDs are very directional. they don’t spill much light out of the side. So most of the brightness will be directed straight down and I’m guessing the light should be directed inwards ? towards to subject under the microscope.

    If the LEDS were angled inwards or roughed up with sandpaper to diffuse the light the ring would appear brighter I’m sure. maybe it’s already bright enough though.

  3. @Colecago You have a point of course but LED are low power and don’t need inverters and remain relatively cool and are light and can stand vibration, plus spotty can be nice actually, and you can as Glen says diffuse the light with some sandpaper.

  4. Those of you who are complaining about the directional light property of LEDs need to realize that this project actually required directional light, so LEDs were a good choice in this situation. EL Wire? Seriously? That would create hardly any light, and certainly not something useful for the end of a scope.

  5. I really should have posted the Iron Man chest piece i made two years ago… I CNC machined it and everything. I’m just too damn lazy. :-/
    -Taylor

  6. I like this line the best.
    “Oh hey, before you start a project like this, you NEED precise accurate, complete CAD drawings. You should start by purchasing AutoCAD or Inventor or something like that. I went the cheap way and used paper and a pencil and about 5 minutes.”

  7. @Brett_cgb > I’m with you — I’ve had the 120mm model bookmarked for several months! Just need to find the time to do some tinkering. :(

  8. Don’t expect rapid delivery from DealExtreme using “airmail”. Ordered 10/21/2010, shipped 10/23, left Hong Kong via airmail 11/15, not yet received in Arizona 11/20. Apparently, this is fairly common.

    Other shipping methods are available, and faster.

    I WANT MY LIGHTS!

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