Discussing the current project to create a lightboard for usage in the Library Studio.

Lightboard Project

This page chronicles the construction of PLU’s low-cost standing lightboard, which will be widely available for campus use. Photos, guidelines, failures and budget expenditures will be added as construction progresses.

Update 9/15/2017: All the hardware has been purchased, and the frame has been cut to size. Now that the theater shop is re-opened for the school year, we look forward to cutting and constructing the scene jacks for the base and sanding the whole lot of wood down. The design for the legs has changed somewhat–we will post a new mock-up when we have committed to a specific shape so we can share all the exact measurements we use. Additionally, we have opted to string the lighting around the plexiglass on the inside of the frame, rather than embedded in the frame; this was due to concerns with overheating, as the heat would be trapped in the frame. Lining the frame with the LEDs should also give better light coverage to the writing on the board.

A graphic diagram of a 72"x36" lightboard.

Front view of the lightboard.

The board is clear Plexiglass acrylic sheeting. The standard size is 36”x72”, but can be cut down, especially if there is a local plastic company you can purchase from. The glass should be at least .22 inches thick, to cut down on the amount of vibration that moves the glass when it’s written on.
The frame is regular 2”x4” lumber; kiln-dried is recommended as it is lighter (less water in the wood). The corners of the frame will be mitered at a 45° angle and held together with corner braces.


A cutaway view of the lightboard frame- a 2"x4" board with a .5inch groove cut halfway in. Inset are an LED lightstrip and a glass board.

Cutaway view of the frame.

The 2”x4” frame will have a groove cut to insert the plexiglass and house the LED light strip. Because the LED light strip is wider than the plexiglass, the glass may need to be padded with adhesive foam.


A close-up of the lightboard stand, an a-frame with a sandbag draped over the lower plank, to stabilize the frame.

Side view of the leg construction.


The legs are structured to brace the opposite side of the instructor, to counteract against the forward pressure of writing on the board. Sandbags help weight the legs down and stabilize the entire frame.

Expected Costs (approximated)

Note: this table does not include taxes and shipping costs, which will likely put the final cost of the project in the $300-350 range.

Plexiglass - Optix Acrylic Plastic Sheet36” x 72” x .22”, 29 lbs$130
Kiln-dried Lumber x3 (the frame)2” x 4” x 16’
Impact Saddle Sandbags x2 (to stabilize frame)15 lbs, black
LED tape light, cool white, high density x2
(to light up the plexiglass)
16.4ft roll, adhesive backing
LED power supply, strip-to-strip connectors60 watt$20
Corner braces x2 (to hold together frame)
Mending plates x2
misc screws, wood glue, ebony wood stain$15

Pedagogical Sources

For more information on the pedagogical background on this project, check out these books and articles:

  • Chih-Ming Chen, Chung-Hsin Wu – “Effects of different video lecture types on sustained attention, emotion, cognitive load, and learning performance.”
  • Louis Deslauriers, Ellen Schelew, Carl Wieman – “Improved Learning in a Large-Enrollment Physics Class.”
  • Timothy Slater – “First Steps Toward Increasing Student Engagement During Lecture.”
  • H. Korving, M. Hernández, E. De Groot – “Look at me and pay attention! A study on the relation between visibility and attention in weblectures.”
  • Ming-Zher Poh, Nicholas C. Swenson, Rosalind W. Picard – “A Wearable Sensor for Unobtrusive, Long-Term Assessment of Electrodermal Activity.”
  • Jean Mandernach – “Effect of Instructor-Personalized Multimedia in the Online Classroom.”

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Keywords:cannot be checked out, studio resources, video, upcoming, new   Doc ID:84110
Owner:Misty B.Group:Pacific Lutheran University
Created:2018-07-18 11:17 PDTUpdated:2020-12-08 12:06 PDT
Sites:Pacific Lutheran University
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