Introduction: LED Chandelier
Easier to make than it looks.
Step 1: What You Need.
What you need:
Skewers (the sticks used to make shish kabobs)
Power supply (I used a 12V power supply)
Resistors (I used 560 ohm resistors, but the resistance you need will vary depending on the supply voltage. You can use this site to calculate the resistance. http://ledcalc.com/ )
Glue (Elmer's Glue works fine)
Glaze / finish
Hot glue gun
Soldering iron (with a small tip for electrical work)
Step 2: Base Structure
For the base, you can really create any 3-D shape you want. I created a lot of individual triangles of different sizes, which I then connected to each other.
To connect the joints of the skewers, use masking tape which can be reinforced with a hot glue gun. The masking tape is good at first because it is flexible which is good when joining the two skewers together. The glue helps solidify the structure.
Step 3: Soldering the LEDs
To maintain the electric current in the case of failure of one LED, the LED lights must be wired in parallel, rather than series. This means that there will be 2 wires running side by side, one connecting all of the cathodes, and the other connecting all of the anodes.
To solder things together (whether its wire to wire, wire to LED or LED to resistor) make sure that the metal parts are wound together, then touch the end of the solder to the wire connection. Use the soldering iron to melt the solder onto the wire connection to hold the wires in place. It helps to use different color hookup wire for the positive and negative ends so that you can tell them apart when adding on more lights.
Connect each resistor to the positive end of the LED light. Then wire the LED-resistor to hookup wire. Use the wire strippers to remove part of the plastic coating on the hookup wire so as to expose the actual wire which will be soldered to either a resistor or an LED.
Use this process when putting together the final project.
If you're still unsure about how to wire LEDs, you can check out some other instructables such as this one:
Step 4: Putting It Togther
I would recommend soldering and cutting the hookup wire while winding and gluing the wires to the base structure. Varying the length of the hookup wire will allow you to place the LED where you want it on your base.
Make sure to periodically test the LEDs. If you do this more often, it will be easier to locate the problem should you run into one.
When adding the LEDs and wire to the base structure, make sure that none of the exposed wire (any metal that is not covered by the plastic coating) is touching any other exposed wire. The wires can be separated by wrapping the exposed metal in electrical tape.
Make sure that all the LED lights and wiring are either inside the structure or along the frame so that you can cover them with tissue paper
Once all of the LED lights and wire are in place (these can be secured with masking tape or hot glue gun) the base structure can now be covered.
Step 5: Tissue Paper
Mix glue with water (at about a 1:4 ratio glue:water). Rip (or cut) strips of tissue paper and wrap them around the frame, using the water-glue mixture to secure them in place.
I used a combination of blue, red, orange and yellow tissue paper but any color can be used. To fade colors and create a gradient, it is easiest to rip the tissue paper and overlap the pieces of the two different colors.
Because tissue paper is very thin, the easiest way to apply the water-glue mixture is with a brush.
Make sure that one end of the wiring is not covered by tissue paper so it can be hooked up to a power supply. The other end can be concealed inside the structure.
After covering the structure with tissue paper, paint over the tissue paper with a glaze or finish. You can also use a spray on finish.
Step 6: Power Supply
To light up your chandelier, you will need to hook it up to a power supply. To do this, first cut off the round end of the inverter so that you can see the two wires (one of which is positive and the other is negative). Separate the wires and figure out which one is positive and which is negative by testing it with a spare LED and resistor. If the LED lights up it is wired correctly, if not switch the wiring and test again (alternatively if you own a multimeter you can check which is positive with that). Connect the positive wire on the power supply to the positive LED wire, and the negative to the negative.
Important: don't touch the two ends of the power supply together (or lick them).
Step 7: FINISHED!
...And you're done!
To display, either just set it upright, or hang it up.
While the glaze should prevent the tissue paper from fading as well as make it more durable, it would probably be best not to leave your chandelier outside or in direct sunlight. Since the bulbs are LED lights, they won't heat up but you should still be nearby when it's on and not leave it on for too long or the bulbs will burn out.