How to Turn an LED Panel Light into a Piece of Art
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If you are looking for a new home decor DIY project, and fancy something a little different, then this backlight LED light picture frame is just for you. Using a run-of-the-mill LED panel light, and a little creative photo editing, you too can make you win an amazing piece of art.
Here is a simple guide to find out how.
As you can imagine, like any project of this nature, you'll need some tools and materials before you get started.
Materials and gear needed
- 600 x 600 LED light panel
- Power drill
- Tack clothes
- Image for your art (own work or purchased)
- Adobe Photoshop or similar photo editing software
- Compressed air gun
With all your basic tools and materials in hand, it is now time to start on the project.
Step 1: Unpack and open up your LED light panel
The first step is to unpack your LED panel light. Remove it carefully, and be sure to not damage the light panel as you do so.
Dispose of the box and other packaging materials as needed.
Gently lay the LED panel light down on a soft surface, and remove the back paneling. Depending on the design of the light, use the appropriate screwdrivers to remove any screws.
You may want to use a power drill to speed this process up.
Put the screws to one side, and be sure not to lose any of them. You will need them later to close up the light once the project is complete.
With the screws now removed, gently remove any side panels that may be in place to keep the backplate in place. Be especially careful around any electrical cables that poke out of the back of the piece.
With that complete, gently raise and remove the main backplate, and inner plastic panels, from the main glass panel of the light.
This should now expose the inner parts of the LED light panel -- like side LED strips, etc. Put the parts removed to one side ready for reuse and reinstallation later.
With that complete, give the inner surface of the panel's front face glass a once over with tack cloths and compressed air (if needed).
Step 2: Prepare your LED light art image
With the main light panel now prepared, we can turn our focus to the image we want to use for the actual art piece. Either create your own or, as in this case, purchase the rights to use a copyrighted image.
Open the file in a photo editing software app, like Adobe Photoshop, and edit the photo to fit the dimensions of your LED panel. To do this, create a canvas to the same dimensions, and then stretch the photo to match.
This will likely mean that you will be cropping part of the image to fit. Ensure the resolution of the image chosen is sufficient to enable it to be printed clearly and unpixelated.
Step 3: Reassemble the LED light panel
With the image prepared, print it out using your own printer or through a professional printing service. Once in hand, trim the image down to size, if needed, and then lay it image down on the back of the glass plate of the LED panel light.
Lay the image flat onto the glass, and trim down, as needed, to ensure it fits snuggly into the surrounding metal frame below the LED light strips.
Where needed, tease the paper underneath the LED strip lights using a pointed metal tool or screwdriver, or similar.
With that complete, gently replace the main plastic inner panel of the LED light over the printed image. This panel should align with the lights of the strip.
Be careful not to crease or move the paper where possible. This process is very similar to framing regular photographs.
Give the entire piece a once over with your compressed air gun once again to remove any dust and other debris.
With that complete, return the main rear metal plate to the piece. Align it as needed.
Once complete, take the rear faceplate restraining metal strips and, where needed, feed any power cable through them.
With that done, re-screw them into place to the frame of the LED light panel using the same screws you removed earlier.
With that complete, gently turn the entire LED lamp over and rest it on its back. Give the image a visual once over from the front to check that it is aligned correctly.
If it has creased or folded, you will need to disassemble the piece and correct it.
Note that the image will likely look a little washed out as the main panel to the LED light panel is not completely transparent. This is normal and to be expected.
Give the front of the LED lamp a quick clean, and press it gently to make sure all the parts are fully secured together.
With that complete, if you haven't already done so, reconnect the plug to the light's main power cable. Once done, sit your LED light vertically on your worktable, connect the plug to the mains, and turn the light on.
If all the electrical connections are intact, your chosen image should now be backlight perfectly. If not, check all electrical connections, and adjust accordingly.
Now all you need to do is find somewhere to hang your new piece of LED art.
If you enjoyed this little DIY project, you may enjoy making something a little more challenging. How about, for example, a steel rose?