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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Using hot glue, attach the plastic circle to the spool ring.
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.
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).
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.
Glue the pieces together using hot glue as shown.
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.
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.
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.
Optional: Paint the top of your jelly to give it more of a realistic look.
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.