This looks like a fun little project for the electronics-inclined. It’s called the LEDCard, and it’s a credit card-sized macro ring light for your phone that wraps around your smartphone camera’s lens. And if you don’t have a smartphone capable of macro-focusing, don’t worry! LEDCard’s creator, MisterHW, has thought of you, too, with a recess to insert a moulded acrylic lens to help you focus closer.
The whole thing lives on a single PCB and uses rechargeable LIR2430 Lithium-Ion cells, which charge up over USB. Upon charging, the LEDCard requires no wires or cables. It’s turned on or off by the simple push of a button, and an LM3410 LED driver IC lights up all of the SMD LEDs, illuminating the view around your lens for close-up subjects.
It’s a fantastic idea for those who like to try their hand at macro and close-up photography with their smartphones. Often, you end up wanting to get so close to the subject that the phone itself is casting a shadow on it. The built-in LED light on most smartphones will only let you get so close before it, too, becomes blocked or just creates glare from one direction across your image. A ring of light around the lens – and the subject – solves this issue.
For those who don’t have a macro-capable smartphone, a number of acrylic lenses are available that you can insert into the whole, allowing your smartphone to see much closer than it normally can – similar to those clip-on smartphone lens kits. MisterHW has linked some of them over on the project page on GitHub and suggests attaching them using clear epoxy.
If you want to have a go at making your own, head on over to GitHub, where you can download all of the schematics (Eagle 7 format), cad, gerber files, parts list and everything else you need to give it a try. This looks like a fun idea. Something I might have to try in the future. This could be a lot of fun integrated into a 3D printed TPU smartphone case, so that you always have it attached to your phone!