Dimming extremely bright and annoying LEDs


I have a line conditioner with awfully bright indicator LEDs. Any ideas, short of replacing them, on how to dim them some?


I believe you can put a resistor across the path. The value will determine how much it dims the light. I am not positive if this will work but I did it on a isolation transformer type device with good results.
Black tape always adds a classy touch to any component!
Nail polish might be less noticable than black tape, though may be more difficult to remove without causing damage.
You have to install a resistor in series with the LED ( Light Emitting Diode ). Nothing difficult, especially if the LED has wire leads going up to it. If the LED is board mounted, you may have to slice a trace and use the resistor to jump the broken connection.

As a side note, LED's and diode's are pretty horrid devices when it comes to generating broad-band electrical noise. You might be doing yourself a favor by disconnecting the LED's altogether, especially if there are a lot of them. If you do this in an orderly manner, you can always reconnect them should you choose to sell the unit. The benefit to this approach is that you don't have to worry about them burning out, having to replace them for cosmetic conditions prior to sale, depreciated value because some of the LED's work and some don't, etc.. Sean

PS... Scotch tape with a layer of coloured nail polish will allow a small amount of light to leak through. If it's still too bright, apply another layer of nail polish. This lets you know the unit is functional by allowing you to see the LED and reduces the glare at the same time. So that you don't have to fight to take the tape off when you want to remove it, fold the outer edges of the tape over on itself on both sides. This will give you "wings" to grab hold of. This allows you to easily remove the tape without the need for long fingernails or scratching up the face by using some type of tool trying to scrape it off.
If you are near an urban area, you could also go to a local professional camera or movie supply and pick up a small sheet of Neutral Density filtration. This comes as a very thin sheet of plastic (gelatin) that is transparent but has a grey (neutral) coloration to it (you can also get various colors, but they likely will not change the color of a bright LED as you perceive it). It can be purchased in varying densities to cut the intensity of a light source by as much as three stops or more if you choose to stack it. One stop cuts the light in half, two-stops by 1/4, and three-stops by 1/8. You can cut it to shape with scissors or xacto and attach it with tape, or as you choose (fun-tak or butyl or tacky wax also might work), to the face of the display. If you need a large piece ask for Rosco gels or something like them. They are usually sold in sheets around 18X36 inches or so to filter a light source. If you just wanted to cover the small display itself you could just get small wratten filters used normally to filter at the lens which have less optical distortion and are a bit thicker (sizes are usually around 3" square or 5" square). The latter would likely be more expensive per square inch, but either would be an investment of under $15.



For what ever it's worth, in the past I've cut a piece of cardboard to match the size and shape of the offending face plate and attached black velvet to it. Prop it up when I need to, pull it down when I need to.


Red, Blue, or Black the most common. You can control the darkness (brightness to the LED)through layers of coating, not to mention that you can combine colors to create what you want. What about removing them later you say? For a glass or plastic surface(LED,etc),use ISP(isoprophyl alcohol) on a soft cloth or cotton ball. For paper like material...you're on your own. It is definitely permanent on paper products!!!!

hope this helps
Sean, LED burning out? The unit will probably die before the LED burn out.
Arcam: You sound like my business partner. He keeps preaching the same "LED's last forever" or "LED's never burn out", yet i keep replacing them or seeing them burned out on units coming in on a daily basis. While i know that newer technology LED's are lasting a LONG time, some do fail. This is besides the fact that some engineers don't know what they are doing and the LED's aren't being fed power in the most optimum manner. Sometimes it's not the parts' fault that it failed, but that of the engineer that doesn't know how to design proper support circuitry. Sean
The 'Sharpie' marker is best.
I have used a black marker and just put a "dot" in the visible center of the offending LED. It dramatically cuts the glare, yet allows one to see that it is still on.
If the dot does not quit do it, just make the dot a bit bigger.
A Q-tip with any solvent will wipe the dot right off.
Going inside any equipment is a bad idea if you still have a warranty.
Sorry Sean, I did not elaborate. I mean if used properly in a circuit it will last decades.
These are cheap computer grade line conditioners and are also annoyingly white. I just spray painted one of them black and it came out really nice. A beneficial side effect was that the LEDs are less bright because of the darker surrounding. I'm gonna give this some time because I might not have to do anything else. Thanks! leo.