A Backlit Picture Frame for Movie Film


During the holidays, One of the gifts I received was mounted film cell from one of my James Bond favorite movies!

When you put it in a frame, It’s kind of easy to see the film during the daytime, but not so much when it’s dark. Luckily, I have a bit of electronics knowledge and some spare parts lying around. I wanted to backlight the film strip in the frame so that it’s easy to see.

I used an off-the-shelf pulse width modulation (PWM) module, an LED backlight, and miscellaneous small parts. I cut a hole in the back of a picture frame and designed a 3d printed mount to attach everything to the back. The result is a dimmable backlight that makes the film strip and all its details easy to see.

The Project



We’re using an LED with a built-in diffuser designed for lighting up LCD screens. It just so happens that it’s the perfect size for the film strip we’re lighting up. This can be found for a few dollars on Adafruit or sometimes Amazon for a bit more.


This is the circuit used to power and control the backlight. We take the power from a micro USB cable and send it to the PWM module which rapidly switches the LED on and off to control its brightness. The 100 Ohm resistor is used in series with the LED to limit the current. I 3D printed a mounting bracket to hold all the circuitry and the LED in place, and a cover to protect everything.

Light Testing

This is the final result. You can adjust the brightness of the light using the PWM module’s potentiometer, or turn it off entirely.

Change Log

  • 5/19/2024 - Initial Revision

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