Picture of Desk lamp

If you spend a lot of hours behind your desk in the evenings, than good lighting is crucial. Make yourself this ecological and economical efficient desk lamp.

The total cost of the 10w led lamp plus dimmer plus power supply =  26 dollar. All the other parts were laying around in my garage.

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Step 1: Materials and tools

Picture of Materials and tools


  • Four bolts M3
  • Four bolts M6
  • Four screws
  • Wooden board approximately 9 cm x 324 cm
  • Four dowels
  • Heat sink
  • Aluminum disk 20 mm
  • Led dimmer (Velleman MK 187)
  • 10w high power led
  • 12v, 1 amp power supply 
  • Thermal paste
  • Electric wires



  • Wood glue
  • Wood wax
  • Jig saw
  • Screw driver
  • Sand paper
  • Wood clamps
  • Drill
  • Drill bit  2,5 mm, 5 mm, 6 mm,  10 mm, 32 mm
  • Router
  • Router bit 12 mm
  • Solder
  • Solder iron

Step 2: Sawing and gluing

Picture of Sawing and gluing

I got my scrap wood from the dumpster of a parquet company. No worries, I asked permission to do so, most people come here to collect the wood for their wood stove.

All the wood pieces have different sizes. For this project the wooden pieces have to be 9 cm wide.

I don't have a table saw, so I used my jig saw to saw the excess wood off. 

Glue the wooden pieces together 2 layers thick until you have a length of 108 cm.

Glue one layer of wooden pieces together until you have a length of 108 cm.

Saw these long pieces in to three lengths: 65 cm, 23 cm and  20 cm.

Sasando_Rote2 months ago
like it
d.moskalyk1 year ago
Thanks for posting this. Worked out great for a puzzle building lamp for the wife. Not as complicated as yours, but works great.
It won't let me post a pic of it but if your curious here's a link.
Thanks again.
nwlaurie1 year ago
very elegant!
masmarius2 years ago
buddy, this is awesome... and the wooden box fan blew my mind too!
In step 2, how thick should the boards be after you glue them together? That step confuses me just a little bit (first project), do you mind going in to more detail?
HHarry (author)  cabolero19933 years ago
Each wooden board is 9 mm thick, so 2 layers equals 18 mm and the total thickness (3 layers) equals 27 mm.
acoleman33 years ago
if anyone wants an outlet for leds and drivers, thecustomsabershop has what you need i believe.
newbeatle3 years ago
hi so nice the design of the lamp, congratulations !! i like the minimalist concept of the lamp, and also that wooden detail to avoid the "coldness" of the strict minimalist things.. i oly have a disappoint , and is that you can do you own dimmer!! i have not so much time to post how to build one, but if someone makes a google search about pwm circuits ( i have found one that seems to me so simple to build, but i dont know if its ok to post it here, but google it and its the second) and that can do the job for the dimmer. instead of a motor, you can put the led , just bear in mind that you need a resistor for current control .
again , nice design

salutes from mexico
acoleman33 years ago
oh wow....this would be the perfect lamp for the desk in my scriptorium. i say 5* mate.
HHarry (author)  acoleman33 years ago
paulstaf3 years ago
Great, but where did you get the LED, and where did you get the dimmer.

HHarry (author)  paulstaf3 years ago
The 10w led is from ebay (just type 10w led) . The led dimmer i got from a local electronic store, it is a velleman MK187 kit http://
Klister3 years ago
I've never worked with an LED before, so it would be nice to know exactly what parts you used. But here is my real question. Does a 10 W fixture really need a heat sink? I know its in wood, but the residual heat has to be minor. Most of the electricity from the 10 W goes to light and only amount not converted to light becomes heat, or are these fixtures not as efficient as they claim?

HHarry (author)  Klister3 years ago
You would be surprised how much heat this led creates. The created heat is not a problem but the fact that the 10w led cant handle the heat is. If i would power the led without the heat sink the led will burn down after approximately 45 seconds. The bigger the heat sink the longer the lifespan. The commercial available heat sinks for the 10w led are even bigger than my CPU heat sink. If you don't like the big heat sink you can choose for cob leds they have better heat dissipation properties. The 10w led is from ebay (just type 10w led) . The led dimmer i got from a local electronic store, it is a velleman MK187 kit http://
chelliot3 years ago
Which LED dimmer/driver did you use?
nmasoud3 years ago
really great design.
simple and elegant.
billgeo3 years ago
That is simple, effective, flowing design. Just plain beautiful.

But, I think it need a wider "base" structure.
It's tall and a bit top-heavy.
You should add weight to the bottom or a wider base (or both)

Other than that it's a great idea and a nice build
sreeci billgeo3 years ago
Yes, Correct. The weight is more on top.
The base structure may also be cut 45 Degrees so as to get more footing and one kilo of weight added into the triangle base. That may keep the lamp steady.

Since the advent of LED modules and dimmers, the imagination is the limit to create LED lights.

FYI, all the incandescent lights at my home has been replaced with LEDS that give more illumination than the counterparts, less the energy consumption.

Bravo good design. Thanks Harry.
DIYhelen3 years ago
love the lamp and the fact you use items you find around the house, a true craftperson!
0_Nvd_03 years ago
Beautiful and simple. I agree, the heat sink can be shrinked. Make some convection holes as those will assist in the heat dissipation.
clazman3 years ago
One commenter didn't like the screws holding the light.

May I suggest flat head phillips brass screws. I use them a lot in wood projects the brass goes very nicely with most woods. The flat head gives a very clean look.

Another nice looking screw would be the "blackened flat head socket screw. It looks better with the darker woods.

As to the heat sink, be careful when reducing or shrouding the heat sink fins. Air "MUST" be allowed to circulate around and between them.

Another possibility would to design your own heat dissipation system. A large flat plate positioned slightly above the wood, using standoffs, might suffice.

The wax is a very nice idea.

I've use a product from "Watco". It is an oil based product. I learned many years ago to wet sand it into the wood using 220 grit. With a little effort it produces a very nice "feel" to the wood while imparting a nice subtle color. Watco also has a product called Satin Wax that would be applied over the oil finish. This system would be more durable than using just wax. You could apply your wax over that for even a more lustrous finish. Oh, Watco also handles a "natural" finish.

All in all though, a very nice piece of work!
sarawelder3 years ago
Beautiful lamp. Great instructions.. wish I knew how to do the electrical stuff..
batonas3 years ago
its just so minimal and i like that, I think you should call it lambda lamp because of its shape
HHarry (author)  batonas3 years ago
Thanks! But i am not sure to name it the lambda lamp :)
ChrysN3 years ago
Nice design, it looks really sharp.
HHarry (author)  ChrysN3 years ago
asoo3 years ago
Wow! Simplicity at the best!
HHarry (author)  asoo3 years ago
Thanks! Simplicity was my goal.
Great photos! I love the design of the lamp, too. I like that you just waxed the wood!
HHarry (author)  jessyratfink3 years ago
Thanks! I Just have a lot of wood wax and it is easy to apply.
MisterHay3 years ago
Very nice. You could also use this design to make a document camera, using a webcam instead of the lamp.
I second that comment that you should call it the "lambda lamp"
dimtick3 years ago
Nice project. I really like the simple clean lines.

only comments are that it would be nice if you could cut down the heat sink so that it doesn't protude so much. if it could be entirely withtin the thickness of the wood that would be best but i don't know if that's possible. i think if you widened the heat sink recess and used insulated washers so that the heat sink doesn't come in direct contact with the wood, then you could cut back the heat sink. heat rises so you should still get good heat dissopation.
it would also be nice if you could mount the light differenlty so you don't have the 4 exposed screws. i love how clean the knob is and would like the light to have the same simplicity.

nice job!