I am in the process of designing all the lamps and lights in my house. For my living room I wanted to create a nice mood light. Its a little bit inspired by the commercial available mood lamps with my own personal touches. The final result is a bowl that can stand upright or its a side on the floor or on a table.
This mood bowl is great in the living room and creates a nice ambiance. You can choose your own color / mood for a movie, a dinner or a party with friends.
The LED controller I used has sixteen different colors and four different modes (flash, strobe, fade and smooth). You can adjust the brightness as you like.
With the right materials and tools on hand this mood bowl is relatively cheap (30$) and easy to make.
Step 1: Materials and Tools
- LED controller
- Approximately 1,5 m RGB LED strip
- Window foil
- Clear acrylic sheet
- 2 screws
- 12v power supply 1.5 amp
- Wooden board (MDF) 18 mm thick
- Steel sheet
- 4 5 mm by 5 mm magnets
- 4 hex nuts
- Wood glue
- Super glue
- Jig saw
- Wood file
- Sand paper
- Wood clamps
- Drill bit 6 mm, 10 mm
- Hole saw 90 mm
- Solder iron
- a pair of compasses
- paint brush
Step 2: Sawing and Gluing
Saw four circles 20 cm in diameter
Saw one circle 19 cm in diameter
Saw one circle 18 cm in diameter
Saw one circle 15 cm in diameter
Saw one circle 11,5 cm in diameter
Take two 20 cm circles, draw 18 cm circles on them and saw these out.
Drill a 90 mm hole in two 20 cm circles and in the 19 cm circle.
Drill a 6 mm hole in the three leftover circles.
Glue all the circles together from big to small.
All circles were drawn with a pair of compasses.
Step 3: Shape the Bowl
There are three ways to make a bowl shape out of these glued together circles.
The hard way:
Use a file and sandpaper to create the bowl.
Advantage: no special tools and machines necessary.
Disadvantage: time-consuming and the result is questionable.
The moderate way (my way):
Put a threaded rod through the glued together circles and use hex nuts to hold the rod in place. Attach the rod firmly to a drill press. Use a file and sandpaper to shape the bowl.
Advantage: fast, easy and a good result.
Disadvantage: Dangerous, because a drill press is not made for this purpose, the raw wooden piece can fly of the machine/drill press. If the drill press is not properly attached to a workbench the drill press will vibrate excessively.
The easy way:
Attach the glued together circles to a wood lathe. Use a file, chisels and sandpaper to create the bowl.
Advantage: fast, easy and a perfect result.
Disadvantage: you need a wood lathe.
File a groove on the bottom of the bowl so that the bowl can stand flat on a table without the cable interfering.
Step 4: Painting
Paint the bowl in a color of choice. Make sure to use a primer first, because MDF absorbs a lot of moisture. The primer will stop this process of absorbing so painting will be easier.
Step 5: More Circles
Saw a circle 18 cm in diameter out of clear acrylic.
Tape window foil on the circle.
The window foil is used for light distortion. If you think you don't need it you can leave it off.
Saw a circle 18 cm in diameter out of a sheet of steel, or any other material you like to use.
Drill a 10 mm hole in the center of the circle. Drill two 6 mm holes on the edge of the circle facing each other.
Step 6: Place the LEDs
Cut the LED strip on the scissor marks. The LED strips have adhesive tape on the back. Tape the LED strips on the steel disk until the disk is almost completely covered.
Step 7: Solder
Solder all the connections of the LED strips together.
Solder the wires of the LED controller to the LEDs. This is easily done by the color indications.
Glue the infrared receiver in the middle of the disk.
Step 8: Putting the Pieces Together
Put the cord of the power supplythrough the 6 mm hole of the bowl. The plug doesn't fit through the 6 mm hole so cut the plug off, put the cable through and solder the plug back to the power cord.
Glue four hex nuts evenly spread to the edges of the circle with super glue.
Put the plug in the LED controller.
Screw the disk with the LED strips in place.
Place magnets on top of the hex nuts.
Put some super glue on top of the magnets and place the acrylic on top.
With the magnetic connection I can always take the cover of if one of the LEDs doesn't work or ...
You can use any method to attach the acrylic on top, I just came up with this method.
Step 9: Done
Find a nice spot for this mood lamp on the floor or on a table and adjust the color depending on your mood, style or on the situation, ...