Introduction: Versatile Flickering Love Lamp :)

Picture of Versatile Flickering Love Lamp :)

We are going to make an array of 20 LEDs which flicker and make your room seem like it is lit with a fire or candles! Perfect for that romantic night in :)
To power it, we are going to use the increasingly popular 5V USB charger.
You can decide to print out the whole lamp or just the part that holds the LEDs place it wherever you like! I decided to place one into a Glass Jug and fill it with glass marbles. It scatters delicate light everywhere and is great for creating a romantic ambiance in a livingroom or bedroom. :)

Step 1: What Do I Need?

Picture of What Do I Need?

To power the lamp up you need a 5V supply (a cellphone charger usually works nicely, but make sure to check it is infact 5V :)

To create the circuit, we need:

1) The 3D print (or some of it) :)

2) A USB cable and some wire

(if you are plugging the lamp into the charger via USB)

3) Long nose pliers

4) Shrink Wrap

5) Wire cutters

6) Wire end connector pins are extremely useful

7) 56 Ohm Resistor

8) 20 Candle flicker LEDs
(10 red 10 yellow for a flame effect, but obviously you can make it whatever colour you like! :D)

9) A butane lighter or small flame torch to heat shrink the shrink wrap

10) Solder and Soldering Iron
(this is ideal but is not a complete must, we'll see why later :) )

For the pros! (Optional) :)

11) A switch and/or a 1kOhm Potentiometer and some sort of switch housing box
(these would be placed into the yellow circle area of the circuit diagram)

Note:
The people who sell the LEDs recommend that you connect the pairs as:
(candle flicker LED -- normal LED) however, that way, their flicker is not pronounced (they were made to flicker best when only 1 is used at a time) and you will hardly notice the flickering light when you look anywhere in the room.

What you can do is:
hook them up as:
(candle flicker LED -- candle flicker LED) this results in the LEDs flickering more and cast a much better flickering tone through the whole room. :)



Step 2: Get Your Print :D

Picture of Get Your Print :D

You can either print the whole lamp:
"Base dowel", "LED lower", "LED upper"and "Shade"

or just the part of it that houses the LEDs:
"LED lower"and "LED upper"

or you can also just print the base and the LED housing:
"Base plain", "LED lower" and "LED upper"

All depending on how you'd like it.
You can also 3D model and print a new shade design that fits into the dowel of the base :)

Also, since different printers fill in the print's wall in different ways (some hexagons, some hatched, etc) will give a different appearance to the shade when light is shined at it. Different materials play a role too, especially if you print the "shade" in a material such as T-Glase, which is translucent. :D

Step 3: Insert the LEDs

Picture of Insert the LEDs

Grab a hold of the "LED lower" print and label it's underside as shown in the picture.
The +ve represents the long lead of the LED and -ve the shorter one.
Next start inserting the LEDs through making sure you obey the polarity as shown in the picture.


Once you pass all the LEDs through, it's time to fit the "LED upper" print over the LED bulb.
The part of the LED from which the leads come out should be sandwiched between the two prints.
The array is not symmetrical, so you might need to flip it over to fit it like in the photo :)
This should be a snug fit, and you might need to knock down a couple walls as shown in the picture to be able to close the "sandwich". The little gaps won't show in the end, but be careful not to break the print.

After closing the two prints together, is a good time to double check the LED polarity as shown in the third picture. Remember the orientation should be the same throughout the whole array, meaning that the innermost leads should all be the longer leads (+ve) and the outermost should all be the shorter leads (-ve).

Step 4: Twist and Shout :D

Picture of Twist and Shout :D

Starting from the outer leads, twist them around one another as shown in the picture (without long nose pliers, this part is very hard, you have been warned). LED leads are really stiff so if you twist them nicely there won't even be a need to solder (still encouraged)

Next is grab those wire end connector pins and break off half of them by twisting back and forth a couple of times.This will leave you with half the part as shown in the picture.

We will now be putting this sort of sleeve over the 2 middle leads to end up with something like what is shown in the picture. ( In the picture there is the whole connector pin to be more visible)
What you'll be doing is shown in the video, but unlike the video, you should have the outer leads twisted together by now. :)

After you are done passing pairs of the middle leads (every pair should have one long and one short lead!), cut the excess as shown.

The next thing is twisting the inner leads (again as shown), leading to the resistor and incorporating its lead in the twist.
Note it doesn't matter what way the resistor is facing :)

Here is when you can solder the connections together if you choose to. (advisable)

Step 5: Hook It Up and You're Done :D

Picture of Hook It Up and You're Done :D

Cut small pieces of shrink wrap and place them over the middle pieces as shown, use a small butane lighter to heat up the shrink wrap and ensure a secure fit. I forgot to but you can also put some around the part where the resistor meets the first +ve LED since resistor lead is somewhat soft.

If you did everything right, the piece should fit into the base nicely as shown.

Now get your USB cable and strip it open, you only need the red and black wires, so cut the rest and later on cover the lot with electric tape.

Next connect the resistor lead to red wire (+ve) and the last LED lead to black wire (-ve), by twisting wire around them and then heating up some shrink wrap. (remember to slip the shrink wrap over the wire before you twist the wire around)
Alternatively, if you plan to use this in another application, for example inside a jug like shown in the intro picture, get a hole drilled in the jug and pass the wire through it before connecting to the parts as shown. I used the red and black wire because it was thin enough to pass through the hole in the jug, and then connected it to the USB wire. :)

Now there are a number of leads and pieces which are not insulated. If you are using the base, you should be fine, but what I did was used some SUGRU for extra safety because I did not want any of my glass marbles to bend anything that shouldn't. Sugru is self setting rubber and you can use it to cover up all the leads. (Make sure it still fits in the base though if you're using it in tandem with the base) Overnight it hardens and you are good to go :)

IF you are extra tech savvy you can introduce a switch and a potentiometer which would allow you to vary the resistance and thus the LED brightness, but I am fine with switching the thing off/on from the USB charger :)

Step 6: ET ​VOILA :D Switch It on and Enjoy the Atmosphere :)​

Picture of ET ​VOILA :D Switch It on and Enjoy the Atmosphere :)​

Thank you for checking it out :)

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