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How to make LED display glow like a clock

  1. Sep 5, 2013 #1
    I machined my own 7-segment display out of clear polycarbonate, each segment is about 1.5" long (it's a rather large display) and now it's time to add the LEDs. Turns out that the usual LEDs with the epoxy lens focus the light too tightly on one spot, so I get more of a dot rather than illuminate the whole segment.
    I want to know how to make the LED light up the entire segment as uniformly as possible, just how they do it on alarm clocks and everything else. I tried diffusing it with many things and nothing really works. Any ideas?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 6, 2013 #2


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    for a display with large segments like yours commercial units would use multiple small LEDs per segment
    thereby spreading out the light

    you could try diffusing the light from your LEDs with some thin white plastic between the LED and the front of each segment ... but even doing that I suspect for 1.5" segments you will probably need to use at least 3 of the small 1-2 mm diameter LEDs

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