The "Illuminate This" board

Have you ever wanted to illuminate something? With a bunch of LEDs?

I present to you the “Illuminate This” board.

I hope you are excited to solder a bunch of LEDs, because this board will host 80 of them!
If you add the optional side connectors you can chain multiple boards together, so long as you don’t go over power supply or connector budget (I’d keep it unde 8 of them) you can have multiple of these boards chained together to make a bigger light.

I designed this board to be able to be printed on a single side, that means I was able to get it ordered as an aluminum board for better heat dissipation.

Once these come in, I’ll organize a build night! Watch this thread for updates.


hmmmm. i have a light box project i am working on. What are the dimensions for these boards?

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10cm x 10cm


Nice timing. A friend just asked me to help make a backlit fake window for a basement suite and this might be a great way to do the backlighting.


I sent it to Seeed last night, so I’m assuming they’ll be here in a month or two :crossed_fingers:.

Once they clear customs, I’ll have a final price per-board, but I think for the size they will be very reasonable.

I’ll probably sell most of them without inter-board connectors, since those connectors account for about half the cost. The LEDs we have bags and bags of them.

I ordered 10 sets of connectors to validate them when the boards come in, but given there’s lots of options on how to power this (inter-board connections, barrel plugs, or just solder supply lines to any of the GND/+12V connections) you should have options even without connectors.

If the connectors and boards are popular, I can make a larger order in the future.

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thanks mike.

would i be able to get 4 of them?


Yeah, very likely! I’ll probably hold off taking orders until I can make sure they work; but I ordered 40 of them on the first batch, so I doubt I’ll run out quickly.

By my calculator’s estimates, these should consume about 600ma per board if fully populated (you don’t have to fill out all the LEDs, you can skip groups of 4); so if you want to plan your power supply, that might help.


I’ve been pretty consistent about getting Seeed boards in less than three weeks, although the aluminum-backed ones will be a different beast, obviously


Yeah, their estimate added one week to the order, and I think it added time when I did ENIG. I’ve only done HASL before FR4 from them. They’ve always been great though.

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PS, as I realized on slack, this board will be white (not green) with black silkscreen.


Good news, the boards have completed production, is boxed, and ready to ship!


The boards addived… and…
Well, I messed up!

Had I just not tried to go fancy and made this out of a regular PCB, I think it would have been fine, but I didn’t think about how the resistors (through-hole) are incompatible with an aluminum backed board.


I have a plan.

I’m going to try to build one where I remove one of the LEDs in each set of 4 and replace it with the resistor of a similar size (but adapted resistance to deal with the missing LED), then just replace the resistor with a jumper. This still leaves us with 60 LEDs per board (rather than 80) but that’s probably still plenty bright.

Would anyone still be interested in these if this works? I’ll prototype it in the next week or so and share my results.


I’d still be interested. part of the reason i wanted them was to try my hand at surface mount soldering and 60 leds arestill probably enough for what I want to do.

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Still interested.

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Cool, I don’t feel comfortable charging for them until I have a solid bodge procedure, but I think I’ve worked out the procedure and it isn’t much more work than the regular assembly.

I’ll validate before I ship boards, but I’ll sell these for a little loss in consideration of the mistake. ETA for validation is probably about a week, I’ll try to have them ready ahead of VMMF.


I’m still interested.

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will the through hole for the 12v have similar issues?

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It will, which is why I have a bodge for attaching the 12v to another location :wink:

Luckily there’s lots of locations for 12v+ to go.

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Hell yes I’m still in.

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Just a heads up, I’m looking at total costs at about $6 bucks a board. I’m planning on selling these at $5, with some sort of ‘buy 4 get 1 free’ sort of volume discount to try to make sure I sell out.

I’ll cut a few solder masks that can be shared (too cost-prohibitive both time and $ to cut one solder mask per board, and seems wasteful), but we will just keep the masks available at the space, since I imagine most people will use the space’s oven to reflow these.

I’ll throw up an eventbrite and misuse their site to do collections once I’ve validated a few boards and have a video showing them off.

Thanks all for the continued support.