Laptop Lid Becomes Lighting Frame

I think I’m going to have a lot of fun repurposing LED backlight modules salvaged from obsolete LCD panels. I just verified I had successfully salvaged a backlight from the Toshiba LTD133EWDD panel of a Dell XPS M1330 laptop. But the airy thin nature of these backlights also have a downside: there’s very little to hold them in place. For my first experiment I had a bulky cardboard contraption, but I know I want to do better for future projects.

For this backlight module I pulled from a Dell laptop screen, I had the foresight to also keep the laptop lid and all the mounting hardware to fasten this screen to the lid. This gave me a ready-made metal frame I could drill mounting holes into. I don’t know enough metallurgy to identify the metal used to make this lid, but it is darker than what I associate with aluminum. Perhaps magnesium is involved? Whatever the metal, it was cast into shape then machined and surface finished for this application.

The cast included metal covers for what used to be this laptop’s hinge. The graceful arc added a styling flair to this laptop, but I don’t foresee this arc being very useful for my future endeavors. Furthermore, the arc has proven to be annoying because its presence meant I couldn’t stack this lid flat with other flat salvaged components. In preparation for this module’s return to storage (awaiting appropriate project idea) I’m going to remove the arched portion of this laptop lid for better flat stacking.

I was able to cut this pretty cleanly with a Dremel cutting wheel. Some gummy materials would leave melted edges abound, but this one was cooperative and easy to cut. I hope I don’t regret cutting these off later, but in the meantime at least they will stack well.

Next on the panel auxiliary items list is its polarizer film, and I want to try a different tactic than my past efforts.

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