How to: Build your own Cold Cathode Desk Light

I have been toying with the idea recently of purchasing a battlelight for my desktop, i like to game in the dark, but i also like my desk to be illuminated enough to see the keyboad properly. My keyboard is backlit, which means i can differenciate between ‘W’ and ‘E’ (or in my keyboard layout, forward and action) but it just doesn’t cut it. I want more light focussed on my desk and keyboard area without the room being drowned in light.

The choice was simple enough, either cough up ~£20 for a battlelight or build my own using spare parts i had lying around.

This is what i used:

2 x cold cathode tubes
1 x 12v power inverter
1 x simple switch
1 x molex connector (a fan one preferbale)
A soldering iron
Double sided mounting tape
Electrical Tape

I had a couple of cold cathode kits lying around that had been used in other PC’s, i had to butcher them so i could use the double socket power inverter to connect two cathode tubes, but also the switch with from the single socket power inverter kit.

DIY Cold Cathode Desk Light
DIY Cold Cathode Desk Light

When i had the parts i soldered the new leads to the PCB on the power inverter, i then split the live wire and connected the switch. Once everything had been soldered in place i covered each of the joins with electrical tape.

When done the finished product looked like this:

I then connected the molex to the PSU’s external molex socket, if your PSU does not have one of these you could run the cable via a watercooling hole, or take out a spare PCI cover and run the molex connecter through that.

Then i fired up the PC switched on the battle-light and basked in the glow!

DIY Cold Cathode Desk Light
Bask in the glow!

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