String of 100 LEDs for $11

These LED string lights are an easy way to add outdoor lighting. I just bought my third set. They are cheap - $11 for a 30-foot string of 100 lights. It includes a remote control to adjust the brightness or make the lights blink. They are strung onto what looks like very thin copper wire. At night, you can't really see the wire, just the lights. Read the rest

Simple hand-drawn diagrams for improving your photos

Paul Schlemmer recently dug up some popular diagrams he made a while back to show how he lit some nice photos. He shares lots of tips and tricks, like how to use your phone's flashlight to give texture to the background. The drawing style is really fun, too. Read the rest

100 LED lights on a 33-foot string of copper wire

I placed this 33-foot string of LED lights along the brick path leading to our front door. The light from the LEDs is pleasantly warm and does a good job of illuminating the path without hurting your eyes at night. The whole string burns just 5w so when I forget to turn it off, it's not a big deal. It's just $10 on Amazon with free prime shipping. Read the rest

Fantastic DIY, 3D-printed nuclear explosion lamp

Sebastian Wac designed and made this fantastic 3D-printed "Nuke Lamp." He posted the parts and plans for free at MyMiniFactory, or you can purchase one pre-made directly from him. (via @pickover)

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Phillips Hue dimmer switch kit

I wanted to be able to control a light above our bed without having to get out of bed. The Philips Hue Wirealess Dimming Kit ($32 on Amazon) was an easy way to do it. The kit comes with an LED bulb that connects wirelessly to the dimmer. The dimmer is mounted to the wall, but you can remove it from its magnetic housing if you want to control your light from another part of the room.

The remote is much easier to use than a smartphone app (and more secure, too, I imagine). I've learned that the remote can be used to control up to 10 light bulbs.

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Surprisingly beautiful chandelier made from toilets

Upcycler extraordinaire Rodney Allen Trice turned salvage toilet bowls into designer lighting! From Refitting the Planet:

To contribute my ideas and vision and energies in the arena of creative repurposing or applied deconstruction was an honor.

here are some off the initial sketches and the build of THE TOILET CHANDELIER. My latest, largest and first piece built in my studios new home base of PITTSBURGH, yinz!!!

Very Exciting! Now I am making tweaks and changes to this design. There are still things to work out as it was a race to complete it at this event on Saturday, but the piece will be on permanent display at Construction Junction forevermore once completed! WOO HOO!!

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Motion sensing solar-charged LED outdoor light for $11

I have a larger model of the Mpow motion sensing solar-charged LED outdoor light and it has performed well since I installed it earlier this year. The light is very bright and the motion sensor is sensitive enough to turn on the light when a person or coyote walks by, but doesn't turn on the light unecessarily. Right now, Amazon is selling a smaller, 8-LED model for $11 (use code PWAVPADF). Read the rest

Recessed LED light kit

For some reason, when we moved into our house, many of the trims for the recessed lighting were missing. At $14, they are pretty expensive for what you get - a ring of plastic and a disc of frosted glass. Recently I discovered these recessed LED light kits, which include LED lights built into trims. You get 4 for $40 (I've seen them as low as $30 for 4), making them cheaper than the trims!

They are dimmable, they don't buzz, and were super easy to install. I love them and I'm going to replace every recessed light in the house with them. Read the rest

Watch this hypnotic soft mesh LED display

Alex Xiao's video of a flexible jellyfish-inspired LED configuration hints at the artistic possibilities for these programmable displays.

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Wood and metal swing arm desk lamp

I love the look of this iron and wood swing arm lamp. It's regularly $35 on Amazon, but you can get it for $25 if you use code Z59QY7OB at check-out. They come in green and black models. Read the rest

6 LED lightbulbs for $20

LED light bulbs are still not as cheap as incandescent bulbs, but the price has dropped a lot in the last few years, and they will quickly pay for themselves in lower electricity bills. The highly rated TaoTronics LED Bulbs (9W Equivalent to Traditional 60W) are on sale at Amazon right now at 6 for $20. I prefer the soft white version rather than daylight, because it's warmer looking. Read the rest

A bright solar powered light for outdoor walls

We live on a street with no streetlights and it gets very dark at night. People who come to our house at night have trouble seeing things. I bought one of these $24 solar powered motion sensor lights with a 20-LED array and PIR (passive infrared) motion sensor and mounted (hardware included) it on a 12-foot wood column at the far end of the driveway. Lucky for me, the solar panel is facing the south so the batteries get a good dose of juice every day.

It works really well. When a car or person enters the driveway at night, the light comes on and throws surprisingly wide coverage. The light is so bright that it hurts to look directly at the lED array. The back of the unit has a 3-mode switch. You can set it to turn on and stay on when it gets dark (in one of two brightness levels) or to turn on only when it detects motion (the setting I use). People on Amazon say the batteries run down in 11 hours if you set it on the dim mode, and 2 hours in bright mode.

Update: Boing Boing reader Joe Stirt recommends this 32 LED model, which also costs $24:

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How Biolite designed its tiny LED lantern

The folks at Biolite sent me a PowerLight Mini. It's a rechargeable LED lantern with a 1350 mAh battery. It has a burn time of over 50 hours in low light mode, and 5 hours in high mode. It can also be used to charge your phone.

My favorite thing about it is the design. It's very cute - it has a retro feel that reminds me of a Japanese transistor radio and a Star Trek communicator. The body is stainless steel and it feels solid. I've been using it to read books at night. In the video above, the Biolite team shows how they designed the PowerLight Mini. Read the rest

Bright magnetic LED lights

I bought a pair of these magnetic clip lights last year and they've proven to be incredibly useful when I have to do repair work. The light has 8 LEDs and it throws a pretty wide beam of bright light. It sticks securely to any ferrous metal surface and has a clip so you can attach it to your pocket. I used it recently when I was installing a new safety switch in a washing machine. I stuck it on the side of the washing machine cabinet and it gave me plenty of light to attach the ground wire and route the cable. I haven't had to change the batteries yet, either.

The price is right, too. A set of 2 costs $9 on Amazon. Read the rest

Lumio: Multi-function lamp disguised as a hardcover book

Shut up and take my money, Lumio. Just shut right up and take it. Jesus!

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Philips LED light bulb is comically flattened

I replaced all the bulbs in my house with fluorescent bulbs a few years ago, and now I'm replacing the fluorescents with LED bulbs. The best I've tried so far is the Philips 10.5-watt Slim Style Dimmable A19 LED Light Bulb ($10), which has 26 LEDs in it. One of my favorite things about it is the shape -- it looks like a light bulb with the air let out. I made a quick video so you can see what it looks like.

Despite the odd shape, the light it gives off is even and steady. It does a poor job with a dimmer, though -- it strobes annoyingly. Anyone know of an LED bulb that you can dim without strobing? Read the rest

Lava Lamps are 50 years old!

The lava lamp turns 50 this year! The product's inventor, Edward Craven Walker, was inspired by a Christmas ornament containing oil and water. This month in 1963, he launched his company, now called Mathmos, named after the lava lake in Barbarella. Check out an early prototype below. Read the rest

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