My older son was in desperate need of a nightlight next to his upper bunk bed to get out of bed safely, when he feels the need to go to the toilet at night. And he loves firefighters (even though he is very much afraid of fire).
In my shop in the basement I still had a nozzle, a hose and a helmet put away for a project like this (gifts from a firefigther I know and fleamarket scores). Add in a used lampshade, light sockets, and (later) some LEDs and I was ready to go for it....
While shopping for electrical parts I discovered that a LED setup would be cheaper then a standard bulb setup, so I went for it. That's why you sometimes see the standard setup of the very early planning stage...
Another changed came from missing supplies after messing up: I shredded the first LED set (so much for cheaper...). When I wanted to buy another set, it was out of stock. After checking the shop almost daily over the course of one week for a new set of white LEDs without succes, I went for the pricier colour changing set (did I mention that I wanted to go down the cheap route...?)
Step 1: Materials and Tools
- Firefighter helmet
- a fire hose
- a nozzle
- a fire hose socket (preferrably a wall or hydrant socket)
- plastic tube
- various screws, washers and nuts
- lampshade and lightsocket (if you want to go the old fashioned way)
- LED set of your choosing (white or colour changing)
Step 2: The Lampshade Aka Helmet
As I mentioned in the intro, i first wanted to go the old fashioned way with socket and light bulb. In the first two pictures you see a possible way to go with this setup. But be aware that like this, the lamp would have become much higher than it is now.
So with the classic socket out of the picture, I decided to mount the helmet with a carriage bolt diretcly to the tip of the nozzle. To achieve that, I had to drill a hole through the top of the helmet and file it square.
Then I screwed the tip of the nozzle off and fixed it to the helmet with carriage bolt, washer and nut.
Last but not least I sanded the inside of the helmet
Step 3: The Socket Aka Hose
For the socket I wrapped the hose around the hose socket very tightly.
After the first few round I screwed in some self drilling screws to fix the hose to the socket.
For the next rounds I used standard screws of increasing length.
To hide the screw heads I fixed the last round with a long screw and large washer trough the opening from the inside of the hose (see last picture in this step)
Step 4: The Stand Aka Nozzle
First I had to widen the opening on the tip of the red part to accomodate the nut from inside the silver tip. I did this with a dremel.
Next I drilled an extra hole on the side of the hose right underneath the tip to guide the power cable through.
Then I had to destroy the valve. It is a kind of a "ball valve". So if you turn the lever rectangular to the hose the valve is shut, if you turn it parallel the valve is open. But in the opened position it still had a kind of cross section in it to give the water a spin. It was impossible to thread a cable with plug trough it, so I drilled the cross out (very messy and very straining on the drill)
To guide the cable through the valve and nozzle and to avoid damage to the cable buy operating the valve lever (I wasn't able to block it otherwise), I used a piece of plastic tubing I had laying around in my workshop. I cut it open on one side and threaded the cable in with the help of a screwdriver (be careful here, that's where I ruined the first set, by ripping open the cable on the sharp edges of the plastic tube).
Now it's a piece of cake to thread the cable through the nozzle and out through the hole underneath the tip.
Step 5: Debugging Aka Light Up the Fire... Err ... the LEDs
The first attempt seemed to work fine, but then started flickering very soon. Later i found out that I accidently shorted the cable (see also last step)...
If you read my intro, then you know already that I ended up using a colour changing LED set.
Unlike in the first attempt (first two pictures) I didn't used the full length of the LED strip, because it was easier to stick it to the curvy shape of the helmet without kinking it to much. I just made one round, which gives more than enough light at night (third and fourth picture).
With the help of two screwdrivers I pushed the IR-sensor trough the wound up hose.
All the electronics went into the socket, which I closed up with a round piece of PU foam.
Know you can lock the nozzle to the socket, screw on the tip/helmet and plug the strip into the cord and you are set.
Step 6: The Final Result
Here you see the finished lamp set up next to the top bunk. The remote is fixed to the bedside with some doublesided tape to avoid disappearance in the kidsroom aka "black hole for small stuff"
A very nice bonus is the fact that the colour of the helmet is luminous, so there is a nice glow for falling asleep after switching of the light...
Both kids like the lamp very much. Now I have to come up with an idea for a lamp for the little one....