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Weekend Workshop: How to turn your old laptop into an LED wall lamp

Need something to keep you busy this weekend? Look no further. The Weekend Workshop is our weekly column where we showcase a badass DIY project that you can complete with minimal skills and expertise. We’ve dug through all the online tutorials on the web, and gone the extra mile to pinpoint projects that are equal parts easy, affordable, and fun. So put on your work pants, grab your tool belt, and head to the garage — it’s time to start building!

Like death and taxes, it is certain that every laptop you purchase will one day be nothing more than an expensive paperweight. After many years of use, even a Dell XPS 13 or Apple Macbook Pro will die. But what if, instead of letting it amass a healthy dose of dust bunnies in the closet, you could turn one into a unique, multi-colored wall lamp?

Well, this is exactly what a savvy DIYer named Ivenuss did with an old Apple laptop, effectively repurposing the tired machine into an awesome backlit wall lamp. Anyone who knows their way around a hot glue gun, has a few LED light strips, can assemble a bit of pliable wire, and owns a dead laptop, of course, can make one of these in a mere matter of hours.

To help you get a head start on the project, we’ve gone ahead and combed through Ivenuss’ Instructables walkthrough to piece together an exact build list for the project. As is the case with any of our Weekend Workshop projects which include working with something as dangerous a soldering iron or hot glue gun, safety is of utmost importance. We recommend wearing a durable pair of work gloves and safety goggles in addition to the essentials listed below. Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

Tools:

  • Hot glue gun and hot glue stick
  • Soldering iron
  • X-Acto knife

Materials:

  • Back to a broken laptop
  • LED light strips — any colors work, though the walkthrough lists red, green, and blue strips with a remote control
  • 20mm x 20mm wood blocks
  • Small pliable wire
  • Reflection tape
  • Light defusing material
  • Frame holders (2)

With all the necessary tools and materials at the ready, it’s now time to get started on constructing your own unique laptop wall lamp. Simply follow Ivenuss’ comprehensive Instructables walkthrough and in no time that old Dell collecting dust in your closet will get a renewed lease on life. Happy building!

The complete walkthrough for building this LED laptop wall lamp can be found here.