I’m a huge fan of Big Clive, and watch his videos regularly. Back in December he built a DIY LED bulb kit from China, and as soon as I finished the video I ordered a couple for myself! It’s a fairly simple kit with a lot of potential for customization. There’s a lot of solder joints but the overall assembly isn’t too complicated, and the theory behind how they work is fascinating and not too hard to comprehend. Best of all, with prices well below $2 shipped, they’re cheap fun! I recently assembled one of these kits so I can review it and share what I’ve learned so far.
I recently reviewed the Color Night Joule Thief by The LED Artist, and tonight I built the original Night Joule Thief. It works just like the color version, except that it uses two white LEDs instead of a single color-changing LED, and has slightly fewer components. Unlike the color version, I didn’t run into any problem with the PCB layout; everything fit with no risk of any short circuits. Assembly is easy and well-suited for a beginner.
Light output is very good using a fairly new battery. I tried it in my bedroom and it provides enough light to keep me from stubbing my toes on the bed posts after dark. With that said though, I wish the output was spread out more, it’s very narrowly focused. This could be adjusted to some degree by soldering the LEDs so they point at different angles. Another possible solution is using LEDs with a wider output beam. I purchased two kits, so I may try doing something like this with the other. Other possible modifications which are discussed on the related Instructables page include using a switch instead of a photoresistor to turn the LEDs on and off, and using alternative battery clips to allow for C, D and other size 1.5v batteries.
Overall, this is an excellent kit, perfect for beginning electronics enthusiasts learning to solder as well as experienced hobbyists looking for a simple circuit to build that offers some room for customization. It’s available for under $11 from The LED Artist.
I recently stumbled upon Akimitsu Sadoi’s website, The LED Artist. Akimitsu describes himself as a Brooklyn, NY based electronic artist with the motto “Art and Technology are Friends”. He designs and builds LED Art projects and offers a variety of kits for sale through his online store. I’m a sucker for anything that lights up, so it didn’t take me long to find several kits I wanted to purchase and build. I can’t afford to buy every kit I want on there, but I did pick up a couple, the smaller (and cheaper) of which is the Colour Night Joule Thief.