The LEDCard is a pocket-sized DIY macro ringlight for your smartphone

Jan 12, 2023

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Jan 12, 2023

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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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!

[via Hackaday]

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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4 responses to “The LEDCard is a pocket-sized DIY macro ringlight for your smartphone”

  1. Zygmunt Zarzecki Avatar
    Zygmunt Zarzecki

    you can buy better ring led light on alie

  2. DIYPhotography Avatar
    DIYPhotography

    Zygmunt Zarzecki where’s the fun in that?

  3. Zygmunt Zarzecki Avatar
    Zygmunt Zarzecki

    DIYPhotography fun? what’s about wasting of time?

  4. DIYPhotography Avatar
    DIYPhotography

    About learning something new