This is a little project that I came up with to use an 5M 3528 RGB LED Strip Light that I won in an auction on eBay. The strip light came with a 24 key IR remote control and a LED controller. I had to add a 12V AC Adapter and some other bits and pieces, but the build came to just $27 AUD.
The parts list:
- 1 x 5M 3258 RGB Strip Light (note, the 3258 has three LED for Red, Green and Blue, rather than an integrated RGB LED);
- 1 x 24 key IR remote control;
- 1 x 12V DC adapter (1 amp);
- 1 x RGB Control Box;
All of these parts can be bought together or separately on eBay. If you buy wisely, you can get away with around $12 AUD.
- 8 x 1250mm x 6mm Aluminium rods
- 2 x 200mm 5-ply timber discs
- 1 x 1250mm x 24mm broom handle
- 1250mm x 580mm white material (I used a fine white cotton material) diffuser
Step 1: The Floor Lamp Part
The construction of the floor lamp is a pretty straight forward affair. I started with an old off-cut of plywood (5 ply) that I cut 2 20cm discs from.
To do that, I simply marked the center of the circle and made a protractor from an old piece of batten. I drilled two holes 10 cm apart, screwed one end of the batten to the center of my circle and then placed an awl into the other hole and then traced a circle in the timber by turning the batten around the central axis. Then I cut the discs using a jigsaw.
I then marked lines at 0, 90, 180 and 270 degrees to give me my 4 cardinal points and with the 45 degree line from a set square, I marked in the 45, 135, 225 and 315 points so that I ended up with 8 radiating lines from the center of the disc.
I drilled a 3mm hole through the 45 degree line (8cm from the center) and screwed the two discs together firmly. With the discs held together in my table vice, I then went around the discs making them the same circumference.
Then, I drilled the remaining 7 holes with a 3mm bit so that I ended up with 8 3mm holes that were equally aligned on both discs.
Taking a 6mm drill bit, I drilled the inner surface of both discs to a depth of 20mm (about 3/4 of the way through the disc. And, taking a 23mm forstner bit, I drilled the central hole of both discs to the same depth. The outer holes will accept the aluminium rods, while the central hole will accept the broom handle ... you may need to file or pack depending on the size of your broom handle relative to the forstner bit. A snug fit is good.
The discs were sanded and lacquered. The aluminium rods and broom handle were test fitted.
When I was happy, I put a screw through the bottom hole (only).
I cut out a piece of material, hemmed it and made a pocket for 1 of the aluminium rods. This was kinda like making a big cloth cylinder. The pocket is simply there to make sure that the cylinder is aligned and, honestly, you don't really need it. The trick with this part of the floor lamp is that it is there to diffuse the light, so it doesn't need to be perfect ... a little loose is good. You can see, in my picture, that the diffuser is a little tight ... but that's OK too, I think that it looks pretty good.
Step 2: Add the Light
The strip light that I have has a sticky side that is used to fix it to another surface. I wrapped the LED strip around the broom handle without removing the backing, so that I could change the density of my "wrap" and to make it even. I started at the bottom by pushing a drawing pin through (between) the 4 wires that connect to the controller. The LED strip needs to start about 2 cm from the bottom (allowing for the space needed for sliding the broom handle into the central hole in the bottom disc. Then I simply twisted the tape up the rod until I reached the top ... and then adjusted it, pinning the LED strip at the top.
When the tape was in place, I started removing the backing and pressing the LED strip adhesive to the broom handle. I found that, for the length that I had, the spacing between the passes of the LED strip was about 1 cm. I recommend fiddling with it as you go making sure that the spacing is, more or less, even.
The controller was then attached to the bottom disc with a couple of small wood screws so that it was well inside where the diffuser would be. The LED strip was then connected to the LED Controller and the diffuser was put on.
Getting 8 equal length aluminium rods and the central broom handle into their respective holes was a task requiring a modicum of agility and a vast amount of patience. In the end I cracked it by sliding the aluminium rods up into the top hole one at a time so that I had about 5 mm of "play" in each rod. However, doing this while the rods are restricted by the material diffuser saw me issue forth a volley of Billingsgate that would make an old sailor blush.
Alright ... lamp base together, LED strip attached to the controller ... let's plug it in!
Step 3: Pretty Lights
Well, what can I say, the LED strip does what it's supposed to do ... I haven't modified anything there.
The play of LED light reflecting on the aluminium rods gives a pleasing, if somewhat blinding effect.
In this mode, without the diffuser, the light was an "instant disco" to a coven of 4-8 year old girls on New Years Eve that, according to a post party discussion with the "picken" in question was the best part of the party for them (they even rated it above the fireworks!)
Anyway, to make it an acceptable "mood light" installation in my lounge room, the diffuser was installed and the adults released a sigh of satisfaction.
The light now resides in the corner of my lounge room where it adds an ambient light without requiring tubs of Visine.
Anyway. I hope that you have enjoyed this walk-through of my "WTF to do with LED Strip Lights That I accidentally bought on eBay" Instructable