The LED, USB, Frankenstein Lamp


One of my favorite things to do is try to find new ways to bring zen to my bedroom. My bedroom is the place where I end up spending most of my free time, whether I’m doing homework or reading comic books or playing Xbox. Because of that, I’m very particular about the way I arrange my desk, nightstand, bookshelves, and whatnot. And the other day, the worst thing ever happened.

My freaking desk lamp burnt out.

Not just the bulb, the whole lamp. Dead. Gone. No more. Ceased to be. An ex-lamp, if you will.

“He’s just pining for the fjords!”

I was in a dilemma. I’m one of those people who needs a lamp. Like needs one. There are just way too many weird, freaky things going on in the dark nowadays for me to subject myself to pitch darkness every night just for the sake of sleeping, an activity I’ve found to be overrated since I took AP classes in high school. So, I just figured I’d buy me a new lamp. Because I have to watch out for stuff in the dark. Like ghosts. And monsters.

And Batman.

Luckily, I happen to work at a place that sells, on top of computer parts and the like, cool office supplies like scissors, pens, Office Space jokes, and most importantly, desk lamps. It didn’t take me long to find the one for me. I ended up picking up a Syba USB-powered Mini-Lamp with three crazy-bright LEDs. The brightness is perfect as a small reading lamp or to shine a light on your desktop, but also projects a good amount of ambient light if you don’t want to sleep completely in the dark. Remember why?

Yeah, you remember why.

The only problem is that I don’t always have my laptop on my desk, which is usually my main source of USB power. So, with a little more ingenuity, I figured out the perfect way to get my lamp to work.


This all starts, of course, with the lamp.

It’s all bendy.

The cable for the lamp itself is a measly two feet, which is hardly enough to hang down behind my desk and reach all the way to a power outlet. So, I had to get a little creative. I started by plugging the lamp into an old USB hub that I had lying around. If you want to replicate my exact setup, you know, because I’m so awesome,  you can get the same hub from OutletPC.

Lamp on the bottom left, cable leading into the purple hub on the top right.

That hub, which also plays host to a MicroUSB charging cable for my Kindle, is then plugged into a really, kind of unnecessarily long USB extension cord. For those who may not know what a USB extension cord is, it’s exactly what it sounds like. It has a female USB port on one end and a male plug on the other. We sell ones up to about sixteen feet long.

The hub’s white USB cord is plugged into the female end of the gray USB extension cable.

That extension cord goes behind my desk down to the power outlet beneath. That power outlet has a three-plug splitter in it that I nabbed out of a box of my family’s Christmas decorations (for science), which is kinda sorta like this one we carry. That’s where I plug in my speakers, printer, and an old Apple USB charger plug thingy that I had on hand. That old iPhone plug adapter will be what we plug the extension cord into. If I had to do it all again (and I would), I’d probably go with a multi-USB port option, so I could eliminate the hub.

The male end of the gray USB extension cord plugs into the white cube on the leftmost side of the splitter.

So, reviewing in reverse, the splitter in the outlet charges the USB plug adapter, which sends power through the extension cord, then through the hub, out to the devices plugged into the hub (my Kindle and the lamp), and the lamp turns on. Cool, right? I’m glad I found a way to jimmy together a bunch of cheap and/or spare parts into something really neat and functional. What do you guys think?

I think I’m pretty happy.

And now I don’t have to sleep in the dark! It feels like there’s a whole world’s worth of weight off my shoulders! Gosh, I can’t imagine what I was so scared of before, though…

Stupid bat.

One thought on “The LED, USB, Frankenstein Lamp

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