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Picture of Stylish Half-bottle LED Lights
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2013 14:25.jpg
Hello everyone!

I want to show you how I converted some daily used objects into a stylish array of four LED lamps that can be used anywhere in the house. I made them for the kitchen table, and they look so good that I will make another set for my desk.

These are not capable to replace your standard bulb and only add some light above the place you hang them on. They will add a stylish touch to any room.

I have tried to make lots of photos to avoid reading long boring texts, so if you need more info, just tell me! Check out my photos and instructions and leave your comment. I will be glad to hear what you have in mind!
 
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Step 1: Use Reuse Recycle

Picture of Use Reuse Recycle
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I have tried to use only stuff that was laying around the house, we all want to be sustainable after all.
  • Glass bottles
  • Phone charger
  • Bottle cork
  • Nail polish
How would you use your old phone battery charger?
Do you always recycle glass bottles?
What about wood material such as cork?
Where do people bin the nail polish that they don't need?
How many energy saving lights do you have at home?

Answering these questions shows where my inspiration came from. I was just thinking about daily life sustainability ... all items which come in shiny packaging and when we don't need them ... we throw them in te bin.



What you may need to buy is:
  • LEDs (I used 32 white 5mm LEDs)
  • Resistors (fixed and variable)
  • Cables
  • Prototyping PCB
  • Switch


You also need some tools like:
  • Screwdriver
  • Drill
  • Wood carving kit
  • Soldering iron and wire
  • Glass cutter


Don't forget!
  • Safety glasses

Step 2: A Special Brightness Control Feature

Picture of A Special Brightness Control Feature
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I have used a bottle cork and built a switch and a potentiometer inside.

The switch turns all lights on/off and with the potentiometer you control the brightness.

You can see the switch on the side. The lower part below it can be rotated clockwise to make the lights brighter and counterclockwise to make them dimmer.
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baecker034 months ago
might try this, although I would use a higher power Led and would probably silver the enclosure
also might want to get a buck converter to regulate current
spylock1 year ago
Love the half bottles cut high like you did,they look so much better than the Mason jars that you see a lot of people using.Did you consider using the small candle type bulbs,or was the LEDs always your intention?
ragnotis2 years ago
One oh the best instructables ever seen!!!
Just some question that may help me understand the whole thing: what did you use to join the 4 ligths cables with the regulation one? Did you use some kind of external box joined to the ceiling? And, OK for the phone charger, but how did you bring the CC to the ceiling? Thanks in advance for your answers (and be patient with my poor english...).
kukubee (author)  ragnotis2 years ago
Hi!

I used just two pieces of shrink tube. I soldered all connections on one spot, then put the shrink tube on top and heated a bit with a lighter.

And all the lights and cables are hanging on a piece of wood attached to the pipe that is the exhaust pipe from the flat heating system - this is a plastic NOT hot pipe.

What do you mean by CC?
I've done it!!! Tnx Kukubee for inspiration. I've followed your instructions for the electrical side of your Instructable. But I've put together some IKEA (God always bless them) stuff to build the rest. In the pictures you see how it looks like.
foto_01.JPGfoto_02.JPG
Sorry, "CC" is the italian for "DC" current.
Awesome idea, I love it.
I did something similar using coke bottles and colored water check it out on my page!
JFabor2 years ago
Super cool! I'm totally going to get down with this instructable!
ZaneEricB2 years ago
seriously.....awesome..

but, could you incorporate this http://www.instructables.com/id/Phone-line-powered-flashlight/ into the design??
kukubee (author)  ZaneEricB2 years ago
That would make it run on free energy. I have never thought about this, thanks for sharing :)
valcider2 years ago
Nicely done!I cheated and bought pre-wired led arrays from AllelectronicsI also used some Japanese soda bottles that were already pretty decorative so I skipped a lot of steps but still came out well.
kukubee (author)  valcider2 years ago
I'd love to see how you made it! Post a picture in the reply here.
Awesome!! Very Creative and nicely explained.
kukubee (author)  Tarun Upadhyaya2 years ago
Thanks!
Broom2 years ago
Lovely and brilliant. It bothers me that you didn't sand down the edges - sooner or later someone will pay for that skipped step.

So, next time, just use an emery board if you don't have sandpaper handy. From your manicure in one of your shots, I'm betting you have some of those around!
neat bananas
DeeRilee2 years ago
I love this!!! I've got some bottles that I love the shapes of....this would be an awesome way to enjoy them!

Very well-written Instructable!
londobali2 years ago
HA!!! The cork dimmer-power is a fantastic idea!!
thanks for sharing!
kukubee (author)  londobali2 years ago
Thanks! Please vote for me in the contests that I have entered if you liked the instructable.
:)
kostya kukubee2 years ago
Thank you, kukubee! My vote is yours.
done!
with pleasure.. :D
If other Half of the bottle sticked and bottle filled with soap water, it glow as frosted (milky) bulb. May become more useful.
kukubee (author)  Sanjay Limbore2 years ago
Hi, I tried to do this to see how it looks. The result is like light through milk.
kostya2 years ago
Nice instructable! Thanks for sharing. I have a few phone chargers and would like to build small grow LED lamps. Could you answer some questions? 1.Can I use red LEDs or should I add more red ones in parallel due to the fact that voltage drop is lower across a red LED?2. If I remove a potentiometer, should I substitute it with a 8K2 resistior?
kukubee (author)  kostya2 years ago
Hi!

You can put red LEDs instead of the white ones, this is not a problem. A problem could come if you wish to mix different colours (and use this schematic that I use) because they have different voltage drop. If you mix colours each LED should have its own limiting resistor.

Best way is to put some resistor, say 2kOhms and power the LEDs with 5V DC. If they burn right away, put a bigger resistor. Then measure what current flows through one individual LED and choose such resistor to limit the current to around 15mA. Overcurrent may damage the LED and it will shorten its life.

If you wish to remove the potentiometer, remove the 8.2kOhm resistor below it too. Leave only a resistor between the supply and the chain of LEDs - I think around 1-2kOhms. Experiment with bigger values of resistors and measure current, then try different resistors.

Any other questions, please ask me!
marksstudio2 years ago
A great project and well documented. Using a tile/marble saw I was able to cut jaegermiester bottles and the water lubed 10" blade made smooth cuts. The green glass is appealing.

A great Instructable! Thank you.
rfburger2 years ago
This is excellent, keep it up
jjaminc2 years ago
Loved this one! Will be doing this one very soon!
kukubee (author)  jjaminc2 years ago
Nice! If you post pictures of your bottle LED lights here in the comments you will get a pro membership code from me as a reward!
c-face2 years ago
Great Idea, I think the LED lights I have available in my town, kind of blow.
Making my own, might be the better route.
heibert2 years ago
What about using plastic bottles? Its easy and safe. I'm sure we can find enough beauty bolttles :-)
kukubee (author)  heibert2 years ago
Yeah, and easy to cut and .... maybe heat bend also? That's the option for those that don't want to mess with glass.
Excellent all around. Great 'ible, with great results.

The LEDs could put off more light if you buff them up with sand paper first. Maybe on the next set.
kukubee (author)  mr.incredible2 years ago
Thanks for the advice, I never knew this.
amaze1 kukubee2 years ago
Indeed, the light amount is the same, but is more diffused all around, more like classic incandescent bulbs. Also you can find diffused LEDs ready for use (look for "frozen", "milk" and "diffused" LEDs).
Your LED luminaries act more like spot lights, so you have good light under them.
I did the same in my kitchen, used 36 LED for each spot, parallelizing 12 series of 3 white LEDs to use existing halogen lamps 12V power supply. Current limiting resistor needed of course.
amaze1 amaze12 years ago
Sorry, I forgot: Very very very nice instructable.
Like both the bottles and the (lovely) cork switch!
BTW, how you solved the sharp borders problem ?
kukubee (author)  amaze12 years ago
Thanks, what I will do is try to buff the LEDs now as they are soldered already.

I actually tried to diffuse some of the light to the sides by bending the LEDs just while soldering. So they are soldered a bit sideways and emit to the side.

The sharp edges you ask - well I have not sanded them to make them safer, what I did is to put nail polish on the edge. This makes it better in two ways. 1st you see the edge, 2nd you paint over the sharp bit slightly. I know this is not the correct way, but I am doing this for the first time and I have never worked with glass ... it is safer to give the bottles to an experienced glass cutter I would say.
onrust2 years ago
Love your photos. For me, the cork switch takes the show. That's just smooth work. Two thumbs up to you!
kukubee (author)  onrust2 years ago
Thank you, I'm glad you and the others like the cork switch.
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