Few weeks back I was asked for help on building a LED lit head wreath for a photoshoot by my friend. A light weighing attractive LED head wreath was the requirement.
I started browsing through making of some basic head wreaths. Hit the store and bought few materials for making a wreath, like flexible sticks, tapes, adhesives, LEDs, 9V battery etc and got started with it.
For better illustration, let's say there are two parts for this LED wreath
- Electronics part - Base frame setting, LED connections and so
- Aesthetics part - Decorations
- Flexible sticks or Wreath Twigs
- LED's ( White, Red and Blue) - 10
- Resistor (150 ohms) - 5
- Adhesives and Tapes
- Decoration materials.
- Soldering Gun
- Glue gun
Step 1: Planning the Wreath
I started planning the wreath with all the colored LED placements. I have been using 3v LED's in my project, so planned to connect LED's in pair with series resistor of 150 ohms along with it. That makes a total of 5 pairs to be connected with the 9v battery.
In the second figure you could see the LED connections that needed to be made for powering with a 9v battery. As you can see there is a total of about 5 pairs of LED's and resistor. Each pairs will be parallel to each other in means of connections. Done with the planning now.
Step 2: Base of Wreath
I started with making base of the wreath in which all other elements can be fixed. The flexible sticks I have bought has conductor enclosed within. In the 2nd image above you can see the conductor within the twigs. I have used these conductor in the twigs to provide power and ground connectivity from battery to LED which will eliminate the need of wires in this project.
Fix the diameter of the wreath, you can then decide how may twigs you may need to make the base. I want to attach two and half set of twigs together to achieve the desired diameter. I have taped the power and ground conductors (3rd image) using green and white tape for easier identification and debugging which will be removed later.
4 twigs are needed in each set (as shown in the final image)
Green taped - Power (+ terminal of battery)
White taped - Ground (- terminal of battery)
No tape - internal LED connections
Now let's connect corresponding taped twigs together.
For those who didn't get such flexible sticks/twigs with conductors inside, you can use normal flexible sticks and later we can use wires to connect LED's to the battery.
Step 3: Setting Up the Base Frame
Now preparing the base materials is all done. All we have left now this to set up the base. Start by soldering the green tape twigs together. Also solder two 150 ohms resistor to the twig junctions as pointed out early in the circuit diagram from step 1. Now after connecting all the three green taped sticks together you were done with power plane of this LED wreath.
Now solder the non taped sticks together. Make sure you are insulating each junctions with the help of glue gun. This non taped twigs will be used to make internal LED connections. Similarly solder the white taped twigs together. Now you have prepared the four separate twig for the base.
Combine all the four twigs together by twisting and turning against each other. Now you would have got rigid wreath like structure all together. Bend the twigs slowly and bring it into circular shape and solder them together. Now base of the wreath is ready.
Step 4: Adding LED's to the Base
Connect the LED's together as pointed out in the circuit diagram early. Solder the LED pairs with the resistors in the base as per the diagram. Now that all your LED set up in the base is complete.
Now we should connect the ground points of the LED setup to the ground plane (white taped twig) of the base. For that purpose I have cut open the twig in places (final image) wherever LED setup needs to be grounded with the battery. As shown in the final image, once the conductor inside the twig is exposed, solder the ground points with exposed point and insulate them properly with a glue gun.
I have repeated the above for making the internal connections of LED. For this we have to use the non taped twigs in the base. I have now completed seating and connecting the 10 LED's to the base as planned.
Step 5: Adding Battery and Switch
Now I need to add the battery and a switch to turn the LED ON and OFF easily. Carefully solder the positive terminal of battery cap to Green taped twig ( Power plane ) and Negative wire to White taped twig ( Ground plane). Affix the battery to the wreath base using common tape.
I have used a simple Slide switch in this project. Make a cut between black wire of battery cap then solder the severed terminals to switch terminals. I have then affixed the switch to the base of wreath using glue gun. This keeps the switch firm and makes it easy to switch.
I have added insulation tape for making the joints more sturdy. Now the Electronics part of wreath is almost done.
I know you might have been thinking that's one damn ugly wreath you have ever seen. But we are not done yet. We are now moving into the aesthetics part of this wreath, am gonna keep it short because the decoration is basically up to your imagination and creativity.
Step 6: Aesthetics : Decorating the Wreath
I began decorating the wreath by wrapping with a green decoration tape which gave a subtle and natural look. Then weaved the golden color pollen using thread. Finally finished the wreath by sticking colored flowers in it. I have used common adhesive for this purpose.
Step 7: Another Version of Decoration
This is another version of decoration that I have tried with the wreath by using white flowers which gave a vibrant look to the whole setup. And finished the decoration with couple of stuffs added to the wreath.
That's it! Am done with two beautiful wreaths now :) Try this out and let me know the outcome. Do leave a comment if you have any queries or thoughts on this project. Kindly vote this project for the lights contest, Thank you.