Introduction: Jellyfish Lamp

Picture of Jellyfish Lamp

Hello, this is Aaron Wasserman, Customer Service Rep here at Elemental LED.

This Jellyfish Lamp, which now proudly sits on my desk and keeps me company, was my first attempt at working with LEDs. So if I can do it, so can you!

Basically, it is a purple light made of translucent materials that "glow" as the light shines through them. Although it took about four hours to build, the step that takes the longest is making a structure that looks like a jellyfish. Besides that, all you have to do is string up the lights and turn it on.

Let's get started!

Step 1: Materials Used

4 x 6 in LED Light Bar Extension Cables

4 x 12 in LED Light Bar Extension Cables

2 ft UL LED Strip

2 ft LED Lamp Wire

1 DC Wire Plug

2 x  Female DC Wire Plug

1 Mini RGB LED Controller

1 12V Adapter

1 RGB Strip Light to Bar Connector

1 x plastic strip light spool

1 x plastic to-go container lid

1 x Ziplock Bag

2 x long Ziplock shipping bags

10 sheets of packing bubbles (multiple colors optional)

1 x Hot glue gun

3 x Hot glue sticks

Step 2:

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If you buy a spool of light strip from Elemental LED, it comes on a white plastic spool. If you don't have one of these, you can use some wire from a coat hanger or something else that you can bend into a round and sturdy shape. I used the spool because I like reusing materials instead of throwing them away if I can help it.

Start by cutting off one side of the spool support (the four arms coming off the center with a ring). This will leave you with a central piece and the other four arms and a ring. Be careful when cutting so you do not split the rest of the piece as the plastic is very brittle. You might have to file the edges of the ring down to dull down any sharp edges left from the cutting.

Step 3:

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Cut 1" strips of thin plastic and make a small incision (about 1/4" deep) half way down the length of one side. Make four of these strips. I used the lid of a to-go container from a local grocery store but, in hindsight, a piece without any markings on it would have been more aesthetically pleasing.

Step 4:

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Next, fold along the edges of these strips with the incision and glue the folds to the edge of the spool so that the remainder of the strip hangs over the edge and faces the "inner-circle" of the spool. The incision you made half way along the strips will allow you to bend the strips to conform to the edges of the spool--wrapping around the curve.

If you do not have a spool, instead of gluing the strips to the edges you will probably fold them all the way over and glue them back on themselves to achieve the same effect.

Step 5:

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Using a zip lock bag, cut out a circle the same size as the outer ring of your spool. When applied, this will prevent the "stuffing" from coming out.

If you do not have a spool you might want to accomplish this with a piece of fabric or plastic that causes the ring to become a disk.

Step 6:

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Using hot glue, attach the plastic circle to the spool ring.

Step 7:

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As soon as the hot glue has dried from the last step, glue the zip lock circle to the top of the spoor on the same side. Trim off any excess plastic.

Step 8:

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Tear up packaging bubble wrap that will be stuffed into the top of the jellyfish to give it volume. I used pink (for the middle) and white (for the edges).

Step 9:

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Cut out some other strips of bubble wrap with triangular-tipped edges such as these. They should be shaped a bit like a house. Look at the next step to get an idea of the reason behind the triangular tips.

Step 10:

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Glue the pieces together using hot glue as shown.

Step 11:

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Attach the arrangement of triangular bubble wrap pieces to the spool and before you seal it off, stuff it with the torn up bubble wrap.

If you have different colors of bubble wrap, make sure to stuff them where you want them around the inside of the jellyfish.

(Bottom view)

Step 12:

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When you are finished, it should look something like this. Trim off any excess plastic or fold it over repeatedly and hot glue it down until there are no dangling pieces.

Step 13:

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Run the strip light along the inner circle and and outer circle (using the thin strips of plastic you attached as places to attach the strip). Make sure the end that will attach to a power source ends up on the inner circle. Tuck the plug under the support wall and out through the center hole as shown.

Step 14:

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Optional: Paint the top of your jelly to give it more of a realistic look.

Step 15:

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Run the wire you left hanging out of the hole in the middle down some sort of stand. I used a paper-towel dispenser with the screw-on top removed.

Plug it in and turn it on.

You're done!


Dreamchronic (author)2014-05-04


awesomecreations (author)2012-12-16

And here is my version:

I would have used 1 switch instead of 2 and more LEDs, but my budget was 0 and I made this one using only stuff I had lying around.

awesomecreations (author)2012-12-16

Building mine now, only uses 2 LEDs and is about 10 cm in diameter. I will make an instructable of it and share the link in comments.

fvillalpando (author)2012-06-19

I have a doubt, in what step did you put the leds??

Step 13

curious youth (author)2012-04-23

i dont see what the tentacles are. but you could make some into lighting strips aswell. that would be cool

They were made out of our waterproof extension cables which you can see here: but yeah strip lights could definitely work - if you make a version of a jellyfish lamp - let us know :)

mochimaster (author)2012-04-18

Very cool. I would change a few of the materials to make a cleaner, more efficient design though...

Thanks! Let us know if you make a variation on it. Would be cool to see.

motleyjust (author)2012-04-12

What is that "strip light"?

I think it would have been better to provide a complete list of materials at the beginning of the instructions.

Elemental LED (author)motleyjust2012-04-12

Thank you for bearing with us as we are new to Instructables! I just updated with materials that were used including links to the products we provide on our site. We will do our best in the future to make our step-by-steps easier to follow.

motleyjust (author)Elemental LED2012-04-12

Thanks. That helps a lot.

MrRedwood (author)motleyjust2012-04-12

Click through to the instructor's company (up where it says "Check out our site", which is a link), and you'll see that they sell LED strip lights, among other LED gear.

motleyjust (author)MrRedwood2012-04-12

But, It doesn't say that in the directions. It would be easier for people, just to give a list of materials, the way most instructables do.

MrRedwood (author)2012-04-12

My suggestion: Use colored plastic to cover the jellyfish body (e.g., photography gels, colored cellophane, or "festive" cling wrap), then use white LEDs in the body, so the lamp is a functional desk lamp.

Alternatively, use a multi-position rotary switch to let the user choose usable white light versus moody blue light.

Elemental LED (author)MrRedwood2012-04-12

Thank you for helping out by suggesting alternative materials. Really loving the response from the community as this was our first project published!

mckeephoto (author)2012-04-12

Okay. Another "must do" project for my studio!

The list is getting rather long, but I think this one will get bumped to the top.

Great job!

Elemental LED (author)mckeephoto2012-04-12

Awesome! Be sure to let us know when it's up!

browfurd (author)2012-04-12

Beautifully done - kind of has an "Encounter at Farpoint" look to it. Very cool!

Elemental LED (author)browfurd2012-04-12

Excellent comparison! Live long and prosper, sir. V ^___^

porcupinemamma (author)2012-04-12

Well done! Very cool!

Thank you very much!

jessyratfink (author)2012-04-06

That looks so neat! Good reuse for plastic, too. :D

Ah thanks for noting we forgot that part. The tentacles are made of our LED Light Bar Extension Cables. Aaron cut each one in half and then glued the connector ends to the underside.

samalert (author)2012-04-06

what are those tentacles made of.........what is tat material

Elemental LED (author)samalert2012-04-09

Ah thanks for noting we forgot that part. The tentacles are made of our LED Light Bar Extension Cables. Aaron cut each one in half and then glued the connector ends to the underside.

finist1977 (author)2012-04-07

What a beautiful soft blue color!

Elemental LED (author)finist19772012-04-09

Thank you! IRL when you look closely the light pulsates a bit and almost looks like it's moving.

Flying Ace (author)2012-04-07

Awesome use of creativity. Love the Blue

Elemental LED (author)Flying Ace2012-04-09

Thank you! Yes, the blue is a calming color.

tbielski (author)2012-04-07

so cool

Elemental LED (author)tbielski2012-04-09

Thank you :)

janw (author)2012-04-07

This looks very very cool!

I like the fact that it uses a lot of recycled materials.

Elemental LED (author)janw2012-04-09

Thank you very very much! :) It is important to us to incorporate recycled materials in our projects when we can. Didn't hurt we always have extra packaging material lying around the office!

johnsena10 (author)2012-04-08

Very informative!

LED lights are very in now days as it saves electricity as well as cuts down our electricity bills. We can replace bulbs and lamps with LEDs.

Elemental LED (author)johnsena102012-04-09

Yes, we love hearing how other people are excited about LEDs as much as we are!

About This Instructable




Bio: Hi, we're Elemental LED. We are committed to the importance of LED lighting as a revolutionary technology that can help people integrate green practices ... More »
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