Do you have a painting or a photograph, that you want to illuminate? Why use an old, boring light bulb, when you can make a much more energy efficient illuminator, that is a piece of art by itself.
Copper is a really good looking metal. It's rarely used for domestic applications, such as light fixtures. Almost everything, that is made out of metal these days is made out of stainless steel. I'm tired of it, so I thought: why not make something different. Something unique.
This instructable will show you how to make a very energy efficient and unique light fixture for illuminating your paintings or photographs.
I will also show you how you can make it light sensitive, so that it automatically turns on at night.
Step 1: Materials
Here is an overview of all the parts, you need to make your very own Copper style LED Painting Illuminator:
- A copper tube. These are widely available. You can get them at Home Depot and other stores that sells plumbing supplies. They're available in many different diameters. Try not to get one, that is too thin, as it will make it difficult to wire up the LEDs. The one I used was 1.5 centimetres (0.59 inches) in diameter, and I don't recommend using a smaller diameter than that.
- LEDs. For this type of project, you'll definately want warm white LEDs. The normal white or cool white LEDs will often be more bluish in their light, and you don't want a bluish light on your painting or photograph. In the next step, I'll show you some of the many LED possibilities. The quantity depends on your needs and the length of the tube. I used 9.
- Some enemaled copper wire a.k.a. magnet wire. It's a good idea to use two different diameters, so you can easily identify the polarity.
- Resistors. The quantity and value depends on the type of LEDs and how many you use. I will show you how to calculate the value of the resistors in step 3.
- Two screws for mounting your fixture on a wall. Brass screws are the preferred ones for this project, because they almost have the same color as the copper tube.
- Some hookup wire to connect it to your power supply.
- Some thinner hookup wire to connect the two ends of the tube together.
- Heat shrink tubing. You'll need different diameters of it.
- A sheet of ordinary paper.