Instructables

RGB Spoon Light

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What is a spoon lamp? This is a spoon lamp. Only because I don't know what else to call it.  It is made from the remains of decapitated spoons and a plastic water bottle with a light inside. Really simple to make, really cheap to find supplies, really entertaining to make and watch.

This version lights up with a high-power RGB LED programmed to cycle through colors. Originally I was going to have it fade between colors, but I like this better.

Credit for the idea does not go to me. I first saw this on tumblr, I don't know where it originated, but it is awesome. Just google "spoon lamp" and you will find much more intricately crafted versions of this.
 
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Step 1: Materials and Costs

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This is an incredibly easy craft to make. Best of all, its cheap and easy to find the parts too!

Lamp:
  • About 100 ~ 150 plastic spoons. (more or less depending on what size shape you are making)
  • Plastic bottle.
    • Choose a bottle closest to what shape you want
    • I wanted to use a large Martinelli's apple juice bottle but couldn't find one.
  • Hot glue + hot glue gun
  • Scissors (or knife) to cut the heads off the spoons.
Electronics:
  • Ribbon cable or wire of some kind
[Pick any 1 of the following]
  • Arduino                (if you have the money)
  • Microcontroller    (if you have the know-how)
  • Switch                   (if you just want it to be an on-off light)
[And another 1 of these]
  • Light bulb (really low power so as not to melt the glue)
  • Small fluorescent bulb
  • RGB LED (+ 3 100 ohm resistors)
  • Super bright LED of any color (+1 resistor)
Costs:
about $1-3 for the spoons if you don't already have them
about $1 for the bottle
about $3 for the bulb or LED
controller cost varies (arduino being the most expensive, and a switch or microcontroller costing less than a dollar)

Time:
About 45 mins to 2 hours to glue the spoons depending on how hot your glue gun is and how large your shape is. The hotter your glue, the longer it takes to dry, meaning you move slower. And then another 15 mins to upload a sketch and wire up the light.
eallies1 year ago
i like ur project it very nice may i know what bulb u use like the volts wats
LostRite (author)  eallies1 year ago
In the picture with the soft white glow, it is indeed an incandescent bulb. I used a small 40W bulb that I had just sitting around. I plugged it into my lamp to test it. I'm not 100% confidant that it wouldn't create too much heat and thus melt the glue. I would aim for LED lighting which isn't as wasteful with the energy it uses, thus doesn't emit as much heat. I do like the soft glow of the incandescent though :)

What I would recommend is to go find the smallest bulb you can find (they should be less that $0.75 at target or a hardware store). It will look like a Christmas ornament or something. Probably aim for 15-40W bulb. You will be plugging an incandescent into a wall outlet cord with a light bulb socket if you go this way, so you will need to find / salvage one of these... Sorry for the rambling answer.
Bosun Rick1 year ago
What about painting the inside (bowl) of the spoons in different colors or shadestomake it even more decorative (IE: Orange & Black to look like a Ladybug, or orange white & black like a clown fish) Just a thought that passed between my ears.
LostRite (author)  Bosun Rick1 year ago
I especially like the idea of fish scale colors :)
Arghus1 year ago
i love the idea, not the assembly with hot glue much
ashuavr1 year ago
Really awesome idea! It looks very nice!
Very nice project , I like the way the light filters through the spoons. Nice transitioning in the code as well.Thanks for sharing ,
Build_it_Bob
This is a pic of the lamp I made. I have a difficult time finding a good bottle that will hold a lamp socket firmly. I'll have to try the RGB control once I get the bottle problem taken care of.
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Awesome! (even with that one spoon that seems to be missing and even though it absolutely doesn't seem to go with the rest of the interieur, haha)

Your design also solves the not-so-aesthetic-cutmark issue.
LostRite (author)  tallpaul19461 year ago
Super cool! Looks way better than mine :)

What bottle / object did you end up using?
antioch1 year ago
well done! yet i'm looking for an easy way to cut 150 spoons off leaving a round point of intersection.
i plan to use a balloon instead of a juice bottle and use regular glue for the first layer, before continueing with the glue gun. can't wait to try!
I'm not sure a balloon will work with hot glue. When I made my lamp the heat from the glue "bent" the plastic bottle. I'm sure the same heat will pop the balloon. I do know regular glue will ot hold the spoons together - not enough strength. You might try epoxy but would have to work fast before it set.
Of course it won't. Hence my plan to use regular glue.
It's just to temporarily attach the first layer of spoonheads to the balloon.

Then the glue gun comes in. It's powerful to create a stable bond between the first and second spoon layer. And all the following layers.

It doesn't matter that regular glue won't hold the first layer because the balloon will be popped anyway. (I would only want to keep the balloon intact if for some weird reason I needed a subtle way to dim the light. Which I don't. I want it to light up some damn space.)

Epoxy is horrible stuff. Don't use it unless you want to seriously and permanently interfere with your own or other's plans of healthy procreation.
LostRite (author)  antioch1 year ago
What comes to mind is to use a grinding wheel. If done smoothly, it won't rip apart the spoon, and it will give a smooth rounded finish giving a nice oval shape overall. It would also be rapid enough. Granted, you still have to cut the spoons roughly first.

Not quite sure why you would use regular glue first?

Also, an interesting idea I came up with to get a hollow clear strong balloon shape is to start with a balloon, saran wrap it, use a cyanoacrylate (or any super glue will work) to make it rigid, then pop the inner balloon. Of course, if you like the inner balloon coloring and dimming your light, thats just fine.
Oh, regular glue because with the glue gun the balloon might burst.
Grinding wheel sounds like a good choice, maybe a dremel with this kind of head http://vvcap.net/db/vSLhn166sW5VEfrH2hhj.htp will be able to save the cutting step.
Or the right kind of band saw to save the grinding step.

bennelson1 year ago
Dragon Egg!
Neato!
Very nice! I just voted for you in the Lamp contest although I will be entering a project of my own.
Did you consider to call it the Artichoke Lamp?
zam2x121 year ago
zis is zooo owwsooom!!!!grrreyt jaahb!
zam2x121 year ago
zis is zooo owwsooom!!!!grrreyt jaahb!
This should be entered into the lamps and lighting contest! Great job on this!!