f you've followed StereoNinja's previous logs, you'have seen that we have used a lighting setup based on a single IKEA Jansjö light.
While this might seem like a primitive and cheap solution, consider its benefits:
- Anyone can acquire IKEA lamps easily, worldwide. No more need to worry about the much feared "This item is not available in your country yet" warning
- It's easy to setup for every individual situtation, so when you've got a special situation with some element that requires you to move the lamp, it's trivially easy to do.
- It's trivial to experiment around with the placement
- It's inexpensive - much more so than having a customized lighting PB
- It's bright. 3W of LED output for 15€.
- If it breaks, it's easy to replace
- It's just a single LED, so it only creates one shadow
- You can easily use multiple ones if you need more light
Look at how nicely this PCB is lit by the Jansjö light:
You can see the slight shadows, which add a little bit to the 3D effect. In general, our tips on how to light your board for StereoPi are:
- Place your lights as close as possible to your PCB, but keep it so far away that your entire work area is lit evenly and that the camera doesn't obstruct the view.
- Angle is more important than distance. In order to prevent large shadows, try to light mostly from above, not so much from the side
- If using multiple lights, try to keep them at approximately the same angle from the vertical in order to prevent one light casting short shadows and the other light casting long shadows
- Keep in mind that if you're using tweezers or a soldering iron, these will cast a shadow themselves, depending on where you are holding them. So you might need to adjust the position and angle of your lights so whatever you're soldering will still be lit properly
This is how too long shadows look on a PCB: They will typically not add to the 3D effect too much, they will just hide things from your view.
Or look at this image of our StereoPi where the middle part is lit just fine, but the shadows from the camera cable obstruct a lot of components behind them.
As a final note: We are working on an easy-to-do modification of the Jansjö lights so you'll be able to mount them directly on our StereoPi stand - in other words: In the future you won't need any more desk space to mount your lights :-)