Introduction: Dimmable Lamp With Usb Charger
A bedside lamp that has a CFL and LED compatible dimmer switch and an electrical outlet that you can plug your alarm clock into plus 2 usb ports for charging your phone. All in one nice and neat package.
Step 1: Select Your Materials
I use 3/4" thick MDF (medium desinty fiberboard). You can use whatever you want for wood if you can find some scrap pieces from a lumber yard.
Please wear a protective mask when working with MDF
2 pieces 5 1/4" by 4" 2 pieces 3 3/4" by 4" 1 piece 3 3/4" by 3 3/4"
Cut to fit around the electrical box, you may have to adjust the sizes slightly.
Step 2: Electrical Box
Cut or bend the tabs out of the way to fit the electrical box inside the MDF box.
Step 3: Begin Assembly
Mark 2 screw holes and pre-drill the MDF to avoid splitting the wood.
Attach the box to one of the side pieces (3 3/4" x 4")
Step 4: Drill the Hole for the Power Cord.
Drill a 1/2" hole in the back piece (3 3/4" x 3 3/4") for the power cord.
Step 5: Assemble the Box
I glue and nail the box together.
Once the holes are drilled in the top use wood filler on any gaps and holes left by the nail heads.
1/2" bit for the power cord.
7/32" bit to pilot drill a hole in the top of the base. 7/16" bit for the lamp to attach to the electrical box (drilled into the box) 5/8" bit through the wood at the top of the lamp base.
Step 6: Sanding
I have a dust collection system setup while sanding and I am also wearing a respirator.
Step 7: Primer and Paint
Always the fun part of a project, I put some screws where the feet will be mounted to allow me to paint the whole box, 2 coats of primer and 2 of what ever colour you pick.
Step 8: Lamp Parts
Due to the remote area I live it, it is easier and cheaper to buy an whole lamp and strip it for the parts that I want.
Step 9: Mounting the Lamp
Insert the lamp stem through the top hole and put the rubber feet on, use the nut and washer from the lamp to secure it to the electrical box. Fill the gap in the top of the lamp with a paintable silicone.
Step 10: Electrical
If you are uncomfortable working with electricity, please get assistance from someone, I talked to an electrician and he said while it is not a standard use for the parts the way it is built is safe enough.
I use a grounded flat extension cord and cut the end off. I make sure it is fully grounded, the wires with the ribs on them are the "neutral" wires or the white wire. Since the screw terminals have places for two wires I just double up the connections instead of having marret connectors and pig tails inside the box, keeps it a little neater.
Step 11: Completed
Make sure you test it, I have a circuit tester that I use on every lamp to make sure I wired it up correctly and did not switch out the polarity somewhere and that the ground is properly hooked up. Once everything was working I touched up the paint around the lamp stem.