This instructable demonstrates three processes:
1. How to build an attractive and efficient main light source for the living room.
2. How to perform the life cycle assessment to quantify its advantages.
3. How to relate those improvements to a person's ecological footprint.
Too often living rooms are dimly lit, or use a central ceiling-mounted fixture that creates an unwelcoming atmosphere. This design provides a remedy by casting a lot of light through an effective diffuser, and can be set on a table for more pleasant effect.
However, the larger ambition of this project is to create a light fixture that minimizes the environmental impact of its manufacture, use, and disposal, so every task is considered with this in mind.
A life cycle assessment is used as a tool to analyze the design decisions.
To conclude the project, I estimate the fixture's ecological footprint.
As you can already see, this will be a wordy instructable.
I promise that you will find something of interest.
Each step tackles a discrete phase of the project, so skip around to see what interests you.
To help you choose, please scan each step's summary and take a look at the pictures.
Step 1: Construction of the base
This step details the construction of the wood base. I use short explanations, drawings, and some photographs. The base material is oak reclaimed from packaging material.
I have attached drawings to supply full dimensional details.
The construction steps are as follows:
1. Prepare two pieces of wood, square across all surfaces:
-the larger piece is 2.5" x 2.75" x 15"
-the smaller piece is 2.125" x 2.375" x 9"
2. Cut the 55 degree slots to get a tight fitting joint.
3. Cut the chamfers on the bottom corners. When cutting the chamfer on the smaller piece, fit it to the larger piece to ensure you do not cut past the point of chamfer intersection.
4. Cut the slots for the the shade mounting pieces.
5. Drill the holes for the light socket assemblies.
6. Drill the hole to house the wire connections.
7. Drill the pilot holes and counter-bores for the screws that will fasten the shade mounting pieces.
8. Rout the slots for the wire runs.
9. Now is a good time to do most of the sanding, as prep for finishing. I found it easier.
10. Glue the pieces together.
11. Clean up the chamfer intersections with a chisel.
12. Drill the wire exit hole.
13. Sand any remaining blemishes.