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Illuminated panels

post #1 of 6
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Hey all. I recently made an illuminated panel to cover my power supply and HDDs on bottom of my case. I think I originally got the idea from a Million Dollar PC featured build.

I bonded some clear acrylic to some white acrylic, placed it over a bottom layer of mirrored acrylic and wrapped the edges with RGB LEDs. I'm pretty happy with it but I still feel like it could be better. Other methods that I've seen or read about include having a grid laser etched onto clear acrylic and wrapping the edges with LED strips, and using an electroluminescent panel. Has anyone tried one of those methods? I doubt that I have the money for an EL panel but the etched acrylic is a possibility. If I were to try it again I would probably use thicker clear acrylic and maybe slightly more opaque white acrylic (I used 20% which lets a lot of light through).

Here are some cell phone shots of my panel in my case. It is run by a controller with an IR remote so I can adjust the colors or set it to some pre-programmed effects.







post #2 of 6
Looks nice, was going to suggest just using a cheap EL panel, until I saw the RGB. I don't know that EL can come RGB.
Gran Turing(0)
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Gran Turing(0)
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post #3 of 6
EL panels don't come in RGB. And the're not very bright at all.

20% acrylic should work well as a diffuser. You do want to let a lot of the light through. The issue is getting it to translate from running side to side in the panel (being that it's edge lit) to coming out of the surface. There is a specialty acrylic sheet available with extremely fine embedded particles which is designed for this application, but it's not cheap, and I think the company that supplies it is closing it out- so I haven't pursued using it yet until I determine what is going to happen with it in the near future. I've seen the laser engraved or scored grid work to really good effect.

inside case
[20% white acrylic]
[clear acrylic]
^ scored grid on back
Edge light only the clear piece. (tape over the edges of the 20%)
post #4 of 6
what about paint instead of the scoring mainly UV paints with UV lights
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post #5 of 6
also would a mirror spray paint on the bottom part of the clear lexan work better seeing how you will eliminate the 3 piece of panneling
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post #6 of 6
Mirror spray paint? Doesn't work. You'd be better off getting mirror finished acrylic.

Simply putting UV paint on one face of the panel isn't going to do much. The physics of what's going on here is that when you edge light a piece of acrylic, the internal reflectance of the sheet will act as a light guide, keeping the light inside the sheet. The etching, v-grooves and any other means of breaking into that surface causes it to illuminate at that point. The pattern really could be just about anything. I think a grid of squares was used because it's easy to set up on a CNC machine, and fast to mill out. I've been messing around with frosted acrylic as a light diffuser, and etching a different pattern into the back to make it light up.



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