The Lightboard

I teach online and wanted to be able to do it in a more ‘direct’ way.

A Lightboard seemed like the perfect tool. It is built of glass/acrylic, lit through by an LED strip and when you write on it, the text sort of glows.

To put it more technically, the light is held in the glass by Total Internal Reflection. When you write on it, it frustrates that and some of it escapes where you wrote.

Why is this useful?

Because you can be facing the people you are talking to at the same time as writing, as if on a whiteboard or chalkboard.

Like this:

You may have spotted a problem there.


It’s backwards, Steve!

Yeah, but then you can use OBS to flip the image before you send it out to your class.

The end result looks like you are writing forwards!


I built my own because I wanted it BIG! And because the commercial ones are expensive (thousands).

I tested it in Spring 2021 in a Design Thinking course

I think it went pretty well…

So I made an Instructable!

Since making that, I’ve focused a little more on making it simpler, so I got rid of all the programming stuff (which was nice but really, that’s because I’m a CS!) and put HomeKit (I use Apple things) enabled LEDs in. It’s much cleaner and I can control it much easier. Now very happy.

To hear more about this kind of thing…