Published on December 1st, 2010 | by Jules Yap


FnordBoard – Color changing RGB backlit whiteboard

Materials: Vika Lauren, Expedit plastic caps, Sultan leg bolts

Description: Turn an IKEA Vika Lauren into your own color changing RGB backlit whiteboard: useful in daylight and pretty at night. For extra coziness while working late hours in the lab.

I needed a whiteboard and had this spare IKEA table top: frosted glass plate with an aluminum frame. While putting it up onto the wall with two strong hooks, I thought it would make a great diffuser for a lamp. Let it be a white board and a source of indirect light in arbitrary colors. And that’s the idea of my FnordBoard.

FnordBoard Parts and Assembly
To make a backlit whiteboard, a FnordlichtMini is a perfect match. That’s an inexpensive Open Source RGB color changing LED hardware, based on an Atmel AVR ATmega8. Several of these can be chained up and individually controlled. Since my whiteboard should be backlit, one or more of those shall be mounted on the bottom side of the table top. It should shine right across the glass plate, so a lot of light would be diffused. The table top is actually an IKEA Vika Lauri. The bottom side is frosted, the top side is easy to write on with a whiteboard marker.

Frosted glass table top with aluminum frame
The frame is held together by each a metal plate and four rivets in each corner. The bump in the middle of the plate has an M10 thread to attach a leg onto.

How to mount it now? I had some of these white plastic caps that come e.g. with IKEA Expedit book cases . (One is supposed to affix these shelves with a metal brackets to the wall, covering each bracket with a plastic cap.) Conveniently, one of these RGB color changing lamps just fits onto one of those white plastic caps. Even more conveniently, when sliding a plastic cap under the metal plate holding the table top frame together, it just fits under the threaded hole so you can bolt it down.

I did have some spare M10x40 bolts (from Sultan legs), yet the head would’ve sticked way out. I cut the bolt off with a metal saw, so it would be flush with the metal bump, about 22mm (7/8th in) long. To make it a headless bolt, there shall be a slot in one end so it can be turned with a screw driver. It should look like this:

Picture Headless Bolt
With the plastic cap bolted down, a FnordlichtMini can be attached to it. You might want to use a bolt for this, since the PCBs have mounting holes. Last step: add power cabling. That can be drawn along inside the mortise of the aluminum frame. Supply voltage is 12V DC.

Attach to wall and enjoy!

See more of the colour changing whiteboard.

~ SkyTee

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The Author

Jules Yap

"I am Jules, the engine behind IKEAHackers and the one who keeps this site up and running. My mission is to capture all the wonderful, inspiring, clever hacks and ideas for our much loved IKEA items".

4 Responses to FnordBoard – Color changing RGB backlit whiteboard

  1. Jekisca says:

    Wouldn’t this work better if you used the Ikea color changing led strips that are longer instead? That way it wouldn’t just be in one spot on the glass but all the way around?

    I never thought of back lighting these though I like the idea thanks!

  2. Tim Gray says:

    A buddy of mine did that but edge lighted the glass.

    He found white markers that glowed with the led light when you write on the glass. Looks FANTASTIC and evens out the light a lot.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Neat idea but not a big fan of the finished product. Think it’d look more appealing if the fnordboard was lined with a color changing rope light that evenly distributed the glow around the entire frame instead of having narrow beams shooting out from the corners. That’s just my preference but still, a noteworthy idea!

  4. G says:

    I think there is a typo. It is a VIKA LAURI not LAUREN. Thanks

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