Introduction: Team Valor (Pokemon GO) LED Wall Light

This team Valor (Pokemon Go) wall light was designed and made by me for the redditgifts Pokemon exchange that just ended. Pretty early on in this project I wished that my giftee was team Mystic or Instinct, the two logos that are more straight lines as opposed to flames and circles.

I ran into a couple of hiccups on the way:

  • As a bit of a newbie to circuit design, I spent a disproportionate amount of time making sure what kind of voltage would be needed, what resistors are best, and how to wire everything up in the small amount of space I had on the back of the piece.
  • Do you know how annoying it is to get wood and pvc/acrylic to adhere? Hot glue is ok, but not for very long. You can't use super glue on acrylic (knew that already). I settled on using epoxy.

In the end, I was very happy with the result and I think it came out lookin' real slick. The other two logos might be in my future!

Step 1: Materials

I don't have all the fancy tools for detailed woodworking like a scroll saw, so I'll be doing this Instructable with more basic tools (and a Dremel rotary tool). My LEDs and switches came from an electronics starter kit from Radioshack.

Woodworking/logo base

  • 12"x12" craft plywood
  • printed logo design
  • graphite/transfer paper
  • coping saw
  • Dremel rotary tool with drilling, engraving, and sanding bits
  • sand paper
  • acrylic paint & paint brush
  • finish/top coat (I used Mod Podge)
  • 2 pieces of PVC about 1/4" thick
  • acrylic sheet (can be purchased at any home improvement store)
  • plastic cutting tool
  • acrylic cement
  • epoxy

Electronics

  • soldering iron & solder
  • 6 red LEDs: 1.7V, 20mA
  • slide switch (mine is a 6 pronged DPDT sub-mini)
  • 2 100 ohm resistors
  • 9V battery
  • 9V battery connector
  • wire
  • liquid electrical tape

Step 2: Cut Out Your Design

For this step, you will need the following:

  • thin craft plywood
  • printed logo design
  • graphite/transfer paper
  • coping saw
  • Dremel rotary tool with drilling, engraving, and sanding bits
  • sand paper

I picked up a thin sheet of 12"x12" craft plywood from a local hobby shop. I didn't want a very thick piece because I knew I'd already have to use some elbow grease to get this done.

Download logos

First, download the Pokemon GO team logos (it's free) and print it to fit the paper size. This ended up being the perfect size for me. Place graphite paper with the black side face down, lay your printed design on top, and then trace with a pencil or pen.

Cut and sand!

Next, clamp that sucker and do some rough cuts then go to fine cuts with the coping saw.

At this point, I broke out my Dremel with a high-speed cutting bit and went around to get the areas that I couldn't reach with the saw.

Once satisfied, I sanded areas I could reach with the Dremel's small sanding band and then finished it all off sanding harder-to-reach places by hand with 120 grit, then 220 grit paper.

Step 3: Paint and Finish

For this step, you will need:

  • acrylic paint & paint brush
  • finish/top coat (I used Mod Podge)

Paint all the pieces red with a few thin coats, waiting until each coat is dry before adding the next.

Once completely dry, finish it! I used Mod Podge for this step and used a couple of thin coats.

Step 4: Prepare for Electronics

For this step, you will need the:

  • 2 pieces of PVC about 1/4" thick
  • 9 volt battery
  • acrylic
  • plastic cutter
  • acrylic cement
  • Dremel with drill bit

This part I didn't document well with photos. Oops!

Battery holder

What happened here is that I outlined the sides of the battery on acrylic with sharpie. The bottom piece (1.75"x1") was the piece that would hold the battery. One side piece (1.75"x0.625") to be glued to the back of the logo and one in the front that I cut a bit narrower. One back piece (1"x0.625") and one narrow front piece (to keep the battery from sliding out). All of this was glued together with acrylic cement.

Other acrylic pieces

At this time I also cut out a long narrow piece of acrylic, as narrow or a bit narrower than the circular pieces of wood. Later this will be cut into smaller pieces and used to connect all the wood together with the effect that the logo pieces are floating.

Another thing I did (in reality I did this at the end, but it fits best for this stage) was cut out a larger rectangle (1.75"x3"), cut off the sharp sides, and sand all the sides smooth. A hole was drilled at one side. Later this will be glued to the battery holder and serve as the hanger - the hole is for a nail.

PVC

Lastly for this step, I drilled 3 holes equal distances apart in the sides of both 1/4" rings of PVC. These holes are what the LEDs will fit into.

Step 5: Electronics!

For this step, you'll need all that electronic stuff, so:

  • soldering iron & solder
  • 6 basic red LEDs (2.0V, 20mA)
  • slide switch (mine is a 6 pronged DPDT sub-mini)
  • 2 100 ohm resistors
  • 9V battery
  • 9V battery connector
  • wire
  • liquid electrical tape

Also,

  • your PVC with holes

Circuit design

Before doing anything, I figured out what voltage power source I would need and the resistor rating that would work. The general idea - 3 LEDs on each wing in a circle and a switch that turns the whole thing off and on. The site I used to find resistor rating based on LED # and voltage is here. What I've read indicates that 9V batteries are not very steady in terms of voltage actually applied, especially over time, and so I took that into account when deciding to choose 100 ohm resistors in my array instead of higher-rated ones indicated on the calculator (I hope I did ok on that).

I checked that what I wanted to do would work on a breadboard (not shown) - it worked! - and then I drew a (pretty bad) concept of what I thought my circuit would look like on the piece.

Wiring it all up

The LEDs should be placed in the drilled holes in the PVC rings anode (+) to cathode (-) and leads snipped if too long. The anode from one (the first) LED and the cathode from another (the last) LED should be left free, while both other connections are soldered together. I found it helpful to mark which side of each LED was + for easy reference.

The anode of that first LED should be soldered to a resistor. And the resistor should be soldered to an insulated wire (red). The cathode of the last LED should be soldered to an insulated wire (black).

Repeat this step for the other PVC ring.

Now solder the red wire from the 9V battery connector to one of the middle prongs of the switch. Choose a prong adjacent to the one you just soldered and solder another insulated wire (I chose green).

At this point I chose to test everything out on the breadboard again. It workssss!!! This made me very happy because I'm still fairly new to this.

Now, place everything onto the back of the wood logo (including the battery box). There't not much space available and in order to keep wires from sticking out every where, they should be cut so that:

  1. both red wires from the LED rings meet (I chose for them to meet to the left of the beak of the legendary bird, requiring one to be cut shorter than the other).
  2. both black wires from the LED rings meet (same as above only these met on the right side).
  3. the green wire from the switch meets the 2 red wires
  4. the black wire from the 9v battery connector meets the 2 black wires

Once all wires are cut to size and stripped, the green wire and 2 red wires can be soldered together and the black battery connector wire can be soldered to the 2 LED ring black wires.

Protection

I didn't want metal hangin' out, so I protected everything by painting on some liquid electrical tape. That stuff is great! You could also use heat shrink.

Step 6: Glue! and Maybe Paint

Here, you'll need:

  • the long, narrow piece of acrylic from Step 4
  • battery box and rectangular acrylic piece also from Step 4
  • all wood pieces
  • electronics
  • acrylic cement
  • epoxy

First, epoxy the battery box to the wood.

Next, break the long narrow acrylic piece into the sizes needed for each space between wood pieces and use epoxy to glue them down. The PVC LED rings can also be glued down at this time.

Epoxying them to the wood was a slow and painful process, as I learned quickly that 60 second epoxy sets far too quickly to do all the parts before it hardened, but that regular epoxy takes long enough to go do something else while it sets. During this time, I used my helping hands and other random objects to keep the pieces in contact (none of those fancy clamps here).

Once that's all set (ha-ha), I did use the 60 second epoxy to glue down the switch to the back of the battery box and to glue down all the wires so that they were settled just below the legendary bird's beak and out of sight.

Finally, use acrylic cement to glue the acrylic rectangle (the one serving as a hanger) to the battery box.

Optionally, you might want to paint the PVC rings red so they blend in better.

Step 7: Fini

The very last step - pop in the battery, hang it up, and turn it on!

Final Thoughts

I had a great time on this project and learned a lot about woodworking, gluing, and electronics. There are things I would do different next time around (perhaps for the other logos). For instance, I would probably use a smaller diameter or thinner piece of PVC. I had the issue of the LEDs being visible and so I had to push them back into the PVC ring more. I had even considered cutting the PVC length-wise and having the LEDs in a line, but I think that having them in a ring allowed more even light cover.

I'm open to advice for improving this process!

For how it turned out though, I am very happy and I hope the person who got it as a gift is enjoying it as well.

PS. Go Team Mystic!

Comments

author
ohoilett made it! (author)2016-09-17

The final picture is great. Nice work!

author
danthemakerman made it! (author)2016-09-12

Nice job I really this write up too.

author
surya raju made it! (author)2016-09-11

While looking at the first picture I imagined this,
1)Logo stuck on frosted plexi
2)Led strips stuck along the wings from tip to the body...
Any suggestions on that idea?

I do realise that in the picture I have attached(light up sign) its an adhesive plastic sheet of some kind,but I hope you do get the idea :)

P.S:pardon the image quality

temp_-1425163165.jpg
author
Marbie25 made it! (author)Marbie252016-09-11

I definitely think that would work and probably look really cool! I had considered doing something like this, but I liked the idea of the "floating" look that I knew I'd get with the wood set a few inches from the wall and not set on anything (if that made sense at all).

author
Ryhorn12 made it! (author)2016-09-11

I have access to a laser engraver, I might be able to make and sell something like this.

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Bio: Marine Biologist. Bryozoan-lover. Photomicrographer. Mocha latte addict. Artsy-craftsy and overall dorkus. I love to think of ways I could make something that I can't ... More »
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