More complicated than it looks

My wife asked me to make an illuminated sign with our house # to put next to the walkway leading up to our house.

It’s a mix of acrylic and heavily sealed PG draftboard.

It uses solar LED’S. There are 30 bulbs inserted in a frame on the inside of the box to spread them out, with the solar receptor tucked in a cutaway on the top of the box.

On the inside of the box, there is also a vertical cylinder, glued to the inside bottom of the box, into which the dowel post is inserted and glued.


Looking good! 30 LEDs running on that seemingly tiny solar panel! How long does it stay on? I want to make something like that. Did you “re-purpose” a solar garden light? :sunglasses:


My unlit Glowforge house numbers can be seen here with a description here.

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I bought a solar LED light string off of Amazon.

They say they stays on for 8 hours, but I have not stayed up that late to see if it is true. The lights come on when it is dark, and I have seen them still lit up after midnight.

My light box is about 12 inches wide, and the solar collector is about 3" square.


Looks great!


Brilliant. I appreciate the pattern on the acrylic. Thanks for sharing!


Both links go to the same place/thread …

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I need to add lights to mine at some point too. But so far three separate food delivery guys have thanked us for having them.


i need to do something for down near the street. our porch is hard to see. the curb is hidden by our cars. i need to make a sign to go either hanging from the maple tree below the leaf line or somewhere visible in the yard. not an easy task either way. but on my list.

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@Bigjohn: Odd. Both “here” links work for me. Same “Topic” but two different “Replies” to that topic, both by me.

Here are the two links in a different form…

No doubt I’m missing something important about forum links! :sunglasses:

P.S.- I’m a Firefox user!

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Oh, probably partially my misunderstanding - I thought your ‘description’ showed how you made it.

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@Bigjohn: Maybe not enough detail…

I used one white and one black sheet of PG medium (~3 mm) acrylic. After adding identical sized “8551” letters to two different SVG files (one for each sheet) and converting the text “Object” to a path in Inkscape. I needed to “fatten up” the black letters in all directions by exactly 0.2 mm. This is how I did it using Inkscape (thank you @Jules)…

This seems complex, but in fact is quite straightforward. You turn your letter outline “strokes” into “fat” strokes, convert those “fat” stokes into two “thin” strokes and then delete the “inner” stroke. Simple! :smiley:

I reversed the letters before cutting using “Object->Flip Horizontal”. After you cut the white base plate and the black letters you will want to insert the letters into the backside of the plate. That’s because the laser’s kerf is not straight up/down. The laser’s cut is more like a cone than a cylinder.

If you do it right the fit is perfect—in my experience. YMMV. :sunglasses:



Great idea! You could’ve gone all “Tim The Toolman” (hruf hruf) with this 200 LED set!


I see what you did there. :wink:


Pretty awesome! Pizza delivery people will love!

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