Introduction: LED Star Constellation Light

Picture of LED Star Constellation Light

This project is to make a larger LED light than the previous night light that I have done. It uses more LED's but had less electronics to do so it is easier for those that are not into soldering etc. It's really quite simple so I hope you'll give it a go. If it's not for you, your kids will love it.

Materials and tool:

Balloon
Newspaper
Scissors
PVA glue
paint brush
paint
Christmas tree lights(main not battery)
Glue gun

Step 1: Materials to Make Paper Mache Shell

Picture of Materials to Make Paper Mache Shell
To make the light/lamp shade we are going to make a paper mache shell using a balloon, newspaper and pva glue.
  1. Blow the balloon up to a good size. (if you have a unwanted blow up ball, this would be a better shape than a balloon )
     
  2. Cut some newspaper in to small strips.
     
  3. Mix some pva glue with a little water to make it easy to brush it onto the balloon.

Step 2: Create Paper Mache Shell

Picture of Create Paper Mache Shell

Using a paint brush. Brush some pva glue onto the balloon.


Stick some newspaper strips onto this and then brush some more pva glue over the paper.
(you may find it easier to use a plastic bowl to rest the balloon on while you are pasting on the paper)


Continue to do this until the majority of the balloon is covered.


Repeat to cover the balloon with several layers of paper


Leave overnight to dry.

Step 3: Finish Shell

Picture of Finish Shell

Once the paper mache had dried you can paint it. Paint the lampshade to your desired colour. Since we are trying  to create something that resembles the night sky, black and dark blue are good but any colours go.

I left the balloon in place so that the lampshade kept its shape whilst being painted. You may not need to.

When the paint is dry, burst and remove balloon.

Cut around the bottom edge to create a nice even edge that the lamp can stand on. The lamp should not be too oval shaped as this will not really look like a globe.

Step 4: Insert Led Lights

To create the star constellations, I have chosen a cheap and easy way of doing this that does not involve soldering LED's, resistors and leads etc.

Instead I have got a string of 40 x 5mm  fairy/xmas lights.

40 LED's will not recreate the whole of the night sky, so choose 3 or 4 of your favourite constellations and carefully mark them on the outside of the lampshade, spacing them evenly apart and at a scale that uses up the surface area of the lampshade.

I've chosen , Orion, Ursa Major, Hercules and Cassiopeia.

Use a pointed tool or knife to make the holes. You could draw the constellations onto some paper and place over the lampshade to use as a guide for making the holes for the LED's. Don't make the holes too big as the lights will slide out.

40 LEDs was just enough for my chosen constellations. I spaced them equally, having one at each point of the compass.

Step 5:

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After you have made all the holes you can start placing the LEDs.

Be very careful when pushing the LEDs though from the inside. You do not want to split the lampshade.

As you insert the LEDs use the glue gun to glue them in place. Make sure they are aligned to point straight out from the lampshade.

Continue to do this from one LED to the next, gluing as you go.

Eventually you should have something that resemble an LED Star Constellation Lamp.

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