Home Made Small Form Factor LED Projector


[Newtonn2] dropped a tip in our inbox this morning that made us quite happy. This is a step by step build of a small form factor LED based projector. While the size may not get some of you too excited at first, those of us who have built projectors before know that home made ones are usually quite large. This one is roughly the size of the small office projectors you would see in a large retailer.  He’s using a 30 watt LEd for the light and we didn’t notice a lumen measurement anywhere, but it looks bright enough to be watchable. Pictures usually turn out dark, so in person, the projection probably looks more bright and crisp. Now he just needs to find a high definition LCD that size.

26 thoughts on “Home Made Small Form Factor LED Projector

  1. That looks awesome, I wonder how hot the case/internal parts get. He seems to have that covered with a computer fan. What I liked about it was the fact that it was instant on, even with the time it took him to turn around and turn off the lights most professional projectors would still be “warming up” or what not. Nice Hack!! :)

  2. Wonderful little projector, great to see home users getting a decent picture from a DIY LED projector. I remember people on the LumenLab forum experimenting with LED lighting by making their own arrays using a large grid of 5mm LEDs, the problem with that is the LEDs weren’t putting out exactly the same brightness/colour so the resulting image would have patchy brightness spots.

    The prices of high power LEDs have dropped considerably over the past couple of years which is great, very suprised at how cheap a 50watt LED module is on eBay, even with adding the cost of the driver board it’s becoming a real viable alternative to traditional filament bulbs.

  3. Wonder how it would look if recreated with a Sony PSP. Resolution would be decent, need to look up specs I guess. I’m sure the pro duo port could be swapped out to read media from a larger variety of sources as well

  4. Hi there! This is my project, you can see in instructable.com I’m not sure why svofski does not want to click on any instructable link. I think is a great web page. I’ll answer any question about this projector in Instructables.com as I can’t do that here as there is not option for comments reply.

  5. I wonder if I can hack my current projector when the bulb finally dies. It’s way over the 2000 hr mark and it’s still working (Optoma EP770). It’s supposed to have 3000 lumens but I’m not sure if this bulb gets dimmer over time or not. Maybe an upgrade to a higher wattage LED bulb can work… worth trying versus buying a $250 bulb replacement on an old projector. Then I get to keep 1024×768 at less than $100 :)

  6. Nice on the stand alone factor. I havent seen a portable dvd player with usb yet.. Instructables is gh3y because they make money off of other peoples hardwork. I have to pay to see the project on one page? knowledge is supposed to be free!

  7. Wouldn’t heat not be an issue with an LED? Or do the much higher intensity LEDs actually generate heat?

    Also, couldn’t you get the case even smaller then that considering the size of the screen?

    Good luck getting a high def tiny screen, highest I’ve seen at 3.5 is 800 x 600 Blah.

  8. *All* LEDs produce heat – they’re only about 15% efficient in producing light. The other 85% goes into heat. And unlike a bulb that can run at hundreds of degrees, a LED has to keep its junction to under 125C or less. So cooling high power LEDs is a critical part of their use.

    Meanwhile, Luminus makes the CST-90 series of over 40 Watt white LEDs with 2750 lumens output. From a single LED, not an array. They’re designed for projector use. I suspect we’ll be seeing more of them in all sorts of uses. And with a die size of 3mm square, they’re easy to design for efficient optical use.

  9. “they’re only about 15% efficient in producing light”

    And that’s only part of the story. LEDs, like most types of lighting have an efficiency that varies based on the scale of their power rating.

    In the case of LEDs, their efficiency tends to decrease as their current (and power) handling increases.

    This is where the big challenge lies in producing high-power LEDs for general lighting purposes… they tend to be notably less efficient than their low-power counterparts, and even less efficient than other ‘white’ lighting technologies such as fluorescent, induction, and Metal Halide lamps.

  10. I believe that instructables is evil because it wants me to behave their way while I intend not to. I also find it difficult to understand how the same community of people who instructs me to abandon Eagle because it’s not free enough, has no problem giving up their precious work to some obscure site that assumes the rights to use peoples’ work to gather private information from other people. Instructables is evil and you shall not use it.

    But I said it and I say it again: this is a great projector build and I really enjoyed watching the video.

  11. I agree with the instructibles hatred… They’ve just been getting more and more evil as time goes on.. They take other people’s free content and put it behind paywalls, sometimes even locking the original author out of using it… I’ve read forums where the author of an article is not a “pro” user, so they’re not allowed to view their own photos, read their own annotations, or download their own PDF. Sure, if they made their own content, like, say, makezine, sure, they’d have every right to lock people out of it and make people pay to view it.. But taking people’s CC and GPL licensed works, claiming ownership of it, and locking everyone out of viewing it unless they pay, is, I think, contrary to the whole spirit of their site. They also censor anyone who mentions anything about this, and they bribe authors to remove negative comments, either financially or by offering them better placement on the front page.

    Sorry, it looks like a very nice projector, and I’d love to know how it was made, but I cannot click the link.

  12. holodeck please. we have holograms, virtual reality glasses and a projector.

    when is somebody going to put all this together and build something better than the C.A.V.E. at MIT?

    I know that there is a budding Zefram Cochrane out there.

    Where is she/he?

  13. I am not a man to abide whining (unless I am the one doing it…).

    The people that put their stuff on Instructables did so on their own.

    You can always start your OWN website to counter Instructables. It’s easy to do these days, and you can either charge (not popular, evidently) or not. You would probably make plenty in plain old ad revenue, but some people might that that THAT was a bad thing, also. Any way it’s done, you will have to pay. If you rent server space, host at home, if you connect to the internet, somebody is paying.

    Failing that, you could put a photo-spread on Flickr or video how-to’s on YouTube. Google will appreciate your hard work, they will make the money, and they will get usage information from anybody connecting.

    Yes, “information wants to be free”, but people have to pay for the transmission. So quit whining about Instructables and come up with a better idea. Then we can whine about your efforts.

  14. This is my project! Why my comment has been deleted? I never give any permission to anybody to post my work on this page. I don’t mind it has been posted here, but please DO NOT DELETE MY COMMENTS!!!!!

    I never hear anything bad about Instructables before, I didn’t know all those problems, I’m a free user of Instructable and never have any problem.

    But If there is people out there that will like to know how I’ve done this, I may make a totally FREE (maybe some adds) web page about the project.

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