Introduction: Zip Tie Light
Want to make a light to place in the corner of your room?
A light to read by and fall asleep to?
Well then, this is NOT the instructable for you. Once you build this, everyone you know will be asking you where you got it, what's it made of, and how did you do that? If you want something that will blow people's minds and have them saying, "That is the coolest light I have ever seen!", then continue reading below.
Step 1: Materials
522 - 7.5" (19 cm) cable ties,
4 - 6 feet of RGB LED lights strips, or
1 - light fixture to give your lamp a starry glow.
Note: The finished hole for the light fixture will NOT be big enough for a standard light bulb. While a 40 watt chandelier bulb will work fine, it will get hot. Even though there will be multiple holes in the finished lamp, I prefer to use the color changing LEDs especially if the light will be on for a while.
Step 2: The Shape
The design of this light is based on a truncated icosahedron or soccer ball. Geodesic domes and bucky balls are built like this and the shape is very strong once complete. They are comprised of 12 pentagons and 20 hexagons. The cable ball light is made from 19 hexagons giving some extra room for the light fixture.
The pentagons are built using 15 cable ties and the hexagon use 18. So 522 cable ties in total.
Step 3: Building the Hexagon (part One)
Starting with 18 cable ties, separate them into three groups of six. Take six ties and loop them in on themselves. Make sure not to tighten the loop all the way, yet. With the second set of ties, thread a tie through one of the looped ties and into another tie of the second set. Make sure the fat side of the head is to the top. Continue the same pattern of tail through loop to head until all six are connected.
Step 4: Building the Hexagon (part Two)
With the remaining six ties, place each one through the looped tie until the two heads are touching. Make sure the fat side of the head is facing down or touching the other cable tie head. Pull the looped tie nice and tight to lock the two ties together. Once the remaining six ties are looped through and pulled tight, continue to sinch up the remaining ties.
As you are pulling the edges of the hexagon together, place the tails of the looped ties under each other in a counter clock wise pattern. As the hexagon gets tighter, the looped arms will stand up through the middle.
The cable ties that are forced up through the middle of the hexagon can be gathered up and bound together with tape of elastic bands. As the build gets more complex, the less ties in the way, the better.
One hexagon complete, 18 more to go.
Step 5: The Pentagon
The pentagons are built the exact same way as the hexagon, but using 15 ties instead of 18.
Loop five ties, head to tail. Thread the ties through the loops until five are connected. Place the remaining ties through the loops and tighten everything together. Use different color tape to bind the tail in the middle so you can tell the difference between the hexagon and the pentagon.
Step 6: Connecting Everything Together
This step can be a bit tricky, so take your time. Using the ties that were threaded through the loops, connect one tail from the hexagon to one head of the pentagon. Then take the tail of the pentagon and connect it to the same hexagon tie as was used previously. Pull the two tails to tighten up the shapes and continue adding pieces. Starting with a hexagon in the middle, connect a tail from each of the five hexagons to the tails of the pentagon. Having a soccer ball near by for reference at this step helps.
If you messed up and connected two of the wrong pieces, don't worry. Using a push pin or a small screwdriver you can pry apart the teeth in the head and pull the tail back out. Just make sure all your pieces are correct before pulling everything tight as it is much harder to free the tails afterwards.
Step 7: Continuing the Ball
Keep adding pieces of hexagons around pentagons in the style of a soccer ball until all are used.To close the ball, take the remaining tie tails and thread it through the closest heads, forming a ring. This is the hole to insert the led strips into.
Once all the cable ties have been used, its time to fluff. Take the rubber bands or tape off of all the ties and rearrange the tails to fill out the space. Take your time on this step as the more rounded the lamp, the better it will look.
Once your done moving ties around, wrap the led strips into figure eights around the controller and place (cram) them with the lamp, leaving the infra red remote out.
Step 8: Hang Your Work
Congratulations on finishing your cable tie light. Place your finished piece above your dinning room table, in the centre of your living room or even in a fire place for faux flame effect.
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