Introduction: Mood Light Mirror

Picture of Mood Light Mirror

This is a one of a kind framed mirror.  I made it for my wife and it is a wall decoration that provides fun and function.  My kids get the remotes and play with the different colors.  I hope you like it.

I made this just before discovering instructables.  So unfortunately, I don't have the cutting or assembly photos.  What I do have are detailed photos of the basic construction and methods I used to make this LED-framed mirror.  I will use images to try to do this justice.

Here's a video of the result:



What you need to buy for this project:
1x4 furring strips ($2-3 dollars per board)
particle board ($5)
4 - 2" desk grommets ($4 each)
4 - 1/2" grommets ($1 all four, Ace Hardware was the only store that had them)
4 LED lights ($15 each, from ebay.  each came with remote.  mine were the gu10 base spotlight RGB LED)
Vinyl covering (hobby lobby, I bought 2 yards for $20, used less than a yard for it)
spray paint ($4)
1 rope-pattern moulding ($11, it was an 8 foot long piece)
mirror (hobby lobby, $6)
mirror brackets ($3)
2 bus bars and wire ($10 radioshack)
power cord ($3 or steal it off something broken)
silicone adhesive/sealant ($4)
L brackets ($3)
hardboard ($5)
short screws! 
16 awg wires (make sure they can take 110V)

Tools and stuff you will also want/need:
Miter saw
drill bits (especially the 2")
Nail gun w/corresponding brad nails
Staple gun w/ staples
sandpaper
scissors
soldering iron w/ solder

Estimated cost of project: a lot more than I had planned.  If you have to buy it all, $140+  If I had known I would spend this much, I would have tried to make it anyways, I think....






Step 1: Measuring, Cutting, and Drilling

Picture of Measuring, Cutting, and Drilling

1.  Get the mirror out first, then the moulding.  Measure the length of the mirror, then use a miter saw to cut the moulding to frame around all four sides of the mirror.  Lay them out around the mirror.  Measure the new width and height of the whole thing, and add a 1/2" or so to the measurement for all four sides.  This will be the size of the main square board.  Mark out the square and cut it.

2.  After the main board is cut out, next is the 1x4 pieces for the outside frame.  Measure each side and use a 45 degree angle to cut all the pieces.  Important: The vinyl wrapped around the main board and the outside frame added to the thickness of the board.  So when I cut the boards they were a perfect fit, but when I added the vinyl it was too small.  I ended up having to remove the vinyl and recut the main board.  So compensate for this!  Add a quarter inch or so to all four sides before assembling them or they won't fit.

3.  Next get a 2 inch drill bit and measure to the center of each frame side and drill the hole for each light.

4.  Cut out some blocks for the future hardboard (if you're going to use it).  The one for the top corner I cut into a point (two 45's to make a tip).

5.  (OPTIONAL)  You need a 1/2 drill bit to drill 8 holes for vents (if you want them).  Now that I've left it on a while, it doesn't get very hot.  Part of the reason I put felt pads on at the end was to keep the mirror off the wall.

Step 2: Assemble Outer Frame

Picture of Assemble Outer Frame

Take the four 1x4 boards.  I used wood glue and brad nails to nail them all together. 

Step 3: Vinyl

Picture of Vinyl

You can see from the photos that It was simple attaching the vinyl.  Wrap it around, staple it on the back sides.  The only technique I used was to make sure the visible areas looked good.

Use a hobby knife (a really sharp one or it shreds instead of cuts) to exposed the holes for the lights.

Step 4: Attach LED Bulbs; Paint

Picture of Attach LED Bulbs; Paint


NOTE: This step took some tweaking.  One of the holes was barely too large, so the desk grommet did not want to stay in.  I just put some masking tape around it. 

1.  Put in the desk grommets.  Then slide in one LED light at a time.  This will take a little while, because the silicone sealant has to dry.  It dries clear, so you know when it's done.  Tilt each light slightly so that they angle towards the wall.

2.  The silicone takes a while, so while you are waiting would be a good time to paint the moulding.  Careful not to spray it on all at once or it will run and look bad.  Use 2 or 3 coats, you'll have time.

Step 5: Assemble the Framing

Picture of Assemble the Framing


1.  Place the outer frame over the main board.  Use the L brackets to secure it in place.  (see photos)  Make sure you use screws short enough to not pierce through the wood on the outer frame or the main board. 

2.  Place mirror on main board.  Secure it in place using 4 mirror brackets.  Use the moulding to help to center the mirror.

3.  Secure the moulding in place however you want.  I used a brad nail gun.

Step 6: Wiring, Hang It, Turn It ON

Picture of Wiring, Hang It, Turn It ON

IMPORTANT:  The mirror is secure now, and not coming off.  So once more, any screws on the back cannot make it to the front!  The mirror won't like it.

Wiring:

1.  Cut wires to reach each light from wherever you install the bus bar.

2.  Connect the jumpers onto the large bus bar (see picture)

3.  Get your power cord and secure it.  Connect it to the smaller bus bar. (see next picture)

4.  Connect small bus bar leads to the large bus bar (see 1st picture again)

5.  Staple/secure the wires.

6.  Solder the wires to the pins.  The circuitry is sensitive, so apply heat as short a time as possible to the pins.  You don't want to fry a $15 light.

Hang it:

I used a keyhole hanger.  You may need to add an extra block to make it extend out to the wall (again in the pictures).  It's hung off the wall with a bear claw picture hanger.  I got both at Lowes.

Turn it ON:

optional: make a remote holder for the lamp.  I simply used a regular stapler and a leftover rectangle of vinyl.  I used a velcro strip across the entire length of the pouch to help hold it all together.  Attach it wherever you want.

optional: cut out a square from a thin piece of hardboard to cover the back if desired.  It's against a wall when plugged in, so I don't have one on there.

The lights are supposed to last 50,000 hours.  This should last a LONG time. 

Comments

blinkyblinky (author)2011-09-24

What IS a mood light?

A mood light changes the atmosphere or "mood" of a setting by the light it casts. Here you go: http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-mood-lamp.htm
This one was in the living room, and now it's in my bedroom!!  It works well...

Thanks for all the info.

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