Author Topic: Fixing Kindle 4/5/Touch lighted cover - no more light shining in your eyes!  (Read 5526 times)  

Offline FearIndex

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Some of you may have been following my attempts to find the perfect late-generation Kindle reading and lighting solution and my disappointment with both Kindle PW and the $79 Kindle 4/$69 Kindle 5 lighted cover from Amazon (e.g. the thread here https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,129956.0.html). The biggest problem with the last-mentioned lighted cover is that it shines in the eyes when reading in bed. The old Kindle 3 Keyboard lighted cover light had such a perfect angle that you could read it anywhere, but the newer cover is worse. It is the same with Kindle Touch, I understand.

I had been looking for a "hood" to place on the light, but finally got around to searching for my own solution tonight. It turns out, the fix is remarkably simple. All it required was a piece of cardboard, some double-sided tape and scissors. I found that there is no need to "hood" the light all around, all you need is a sort of ledge or shelf over the light.

First I cut a piece of cardboard. Mine was black, to match my black cover and black $69 Kindle 5, you could of course use whatever color you want as long as it is opaque enough. This is just regular, thin cardboard, the kind you can buy from crafts stores. Mine is cut around 1.9 cm x 3.1 cm, so something like 0.75 x 1.25 inches or so. Make it large enough, bigger will cover the light from more angles. Mine seems like a good size.

Once the cardboard is cut, before any tape is applied, I checked how to best position it on the top of the light bar. The rear of the cardboard is aligned with the rear of the light bar, so the only trick is to find the correct horizontal position. Too much on the left and it will cast a shadow on the top left part of the screen, so make sure that doesn't happen... too little on the left and the light will shine from underneath. The "hard" part is getting the left edge position of the cardboard right, on other ends it can be too big without bothering much (unless it is so big that it overlaps the page or goes over the Kindle edge). So, get the left and rear edges perfect and the rest will follow.



Then I applied a small piece of double-sided tape on the top right corner of the light bar (on the straight portion, before it starts to slope down) and pushed the cardboard in place. What is great about this is that you can continue to operate the light normally and even close the cover with the cardboard still in place. It looks so solid that take care and chances are you'll never have to replace it (and if you do, it is not difficult or expensive).

It works pretty much perfectly. You can look at it from any regular angle, from straight on, from a little left, from a little right, top or down, and you still won't see the light itself. When reading in bed on my stomach I used keep the Kindle almost vertical to keep the light from shining into my eyes. Now I can place it horizontal without any issues, at least until I place it at such an extreme angle that the light starts to shine via the screen itself.



Here is how it looks in action, you can see how the thin cardboard remains opaque (the camera was overexposed a little, in reality the light isn't that bright on the top of the page):



This solution may not look pretty, but it seems practical enough and promising! :)

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    Offline KimberlyinMN

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    I used some black gaffer's tape. Works great!! The nice thing about the gaffers tape is that it doesn't leave any residue if you want to take it off.

    Offline Kathy

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    I used some black gaffer's tape. Works great!! The nice thing about the gaffers tape is that it doesn't leave any residue if you want to take it off.

    I was about to say someone else posted the same thing. Not sure it was you but the pics reminded me of an earlier post about this.  :)

    Offline FearIndex

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    I used some black gaffer's tape. Works great!! The nice thing about the gaffers tape is that it doesn't leave any residue if you want to take it off.

    Great to hear. If you ever get around to it, please post a pic. :) Yes, I'm sure I am not the only one who has come up with a solution for this unfortunate problem!

    I read a couple of hours yesterday with the new setup and it was great. When I read in the dark, the piece of cardboard just looks like a part of the light arm so I completely forgot about it - simply enjoying a well-lit e-ink page without the light shining in my eyes. It is also great how, when I was done, just push the light arm in and close the cover as usual. Because the cardboard just sticks there (no visible adhesive), it looks quote "professional".

    Originally I was thinking of some "hood" I would have to mold and then remove and place on the light every time I read on it, but with this simple cardboard piece it can stay there all the time. Also since the light arm is hard plastic, the little piece of regular, transparent double-sided tape attached to it is completely removable if I ever need to. In fact I had to replace it a couple of times, during the "trial and error" process.

    Offline laurie_lu

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    I was about to say someone else posted the same thing. Not sure it was you but the pics reminded me of an earlier post about this.  :)

    Agreed.  I've been using graffers tape on my Amazon lighted cover since I saw someone here post pictures of theirs like that.  Works great when lying in bed reading.

    Offline KimberlyinMN

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    I can't find my "original" photos... so I took a few more this morning. (And I had JUST deleted the other photos from my Picasa album.) Go figure!! LOL I noticed in the pictures that I probably need to straighten the tape a little... :)  The black tape matches the black case (and, of course, the black Kindle). The flash on my camera is super bright, so it makes the gaffers tape look a different shade. It really is a solid black color. I think my Decal Girl matte black skin arrives today. I really find the word Kindle distracting on the black Kindle. On the silvery gray Kindle, the letters sort of blended in.

    The tape is handy because, as I mentioned before, it is repositionable. I'm the measure once, cut a billion times kind of person - and all of the pictures that I hang on the wall are crooked until the hubs comes along with a level and straightens everything.  ::)  In other words, I need to be able to reposition lots of things!








    Offline KimberlyinMN

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    Hey cool! Yep, that was the picture I was looking for. :)  Still the same piece of tape!!

    Offline FearIndex

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    I recently got some new $79/$69 Kindle 4/5 official lighted covers and confirmed the design hasn't changed - it still needs the cardboard/tape trick in my opinion. Add to that, the LED itself has been changed (at least in the ones I got) to a warmer, slightly less bright one (see the differences article in my signature for more). While this helps to remove hotspotting, it does leave the bottom right corner a little dark for my taste.

    Anyway, the good news is, the cardboard trick can help here too. By using a glossy white cardboard, glossy at least on the side of the light that is, you can shine more light on the darker right-hand side of the screen. I made quick experiment and a quick photo below just to show how. Basically the same old cardboard trick, just glossy white.

    Obviously I need to create an opaque solution to stop the light bleed and also the cardboard I used could have been glossier still (some very glossy color printer paper might be worth exploring), but already this one visibly helps to lighten the whole screen better. I was thinking of gluing together maybe glossy white and black cardboard, so only the underside of the mod would be glossy white and top matte black.



    The things one does for their perfect Kindle experience, huh... :D

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