Instructables
Picture of LED Wine Bottle Table Lamp
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Set the mood of your next dinner party with these glowing wine bottle table lamps. They are easy to build with with parts from your local hardware store and art supply shop. Plus, since they run on batteries they will last much longer than any candle. Show off your inner eco-geek by explaining to your guests how these LED based lamps are more environmentally friendly than regular candles since most candles are made from paraffin wax which is derived from petroleum! Eeek! Burning petroleum based candles is not my idea of fun. Also, since there is no flame, there's no risk of one of your inebriated dinner guests knocking it over and setting fire to your nice table runner.
 
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Step 1: The ingredients

Picture of The ingredients
To build the table lamp you'll need the following items:
- One 6 inch piece of 1/2inch copper pipe
- One 3/4 inch to 3/4 inch copper pipe coupler
- One 3/4 inch to 1/2 inch copper pipe reducer
- One 1/2 inch copper end cap
- One hot glue stick (the more transparent the better)
- One wine bottle cork
- One as-bright-as-you-can-find White LED (Note: Most white LED's like this one http://www.cree.com/products/pdf/LEDlamps/C513A-WSS&WSN.pdf Require 3.2V and 20mA to drive them. In this project we're gonna use 3AA batteries which should give us 4.5V and 40mA of current. So you have a couple options: find an LED that can handle this current and voltage, use one that can't handle the current and voltage but know that you'll be cutting the life of the LED significantly, solder a resistor in-line with the LED leads to limit the current, put two LED's in parallel to split the ~40mA giving each one ~20ma a piece.)
- Three AA batteries (Or two, depending on the LED you use)
- One empty wine bottle (not pictured)

Also needed... Crisco (or some other brand) vegetable shortening. You'll see why in a few steps,
Jillredd2 years ago
I have had several problems with this project and need help! First, the AA batteries do NOT fit into the 1/2 inch copper pipe - the batteries are too big in diameter!

Second, when I tried to go up to the 3/4 inch diameter, that does not fit through the neck of the wine bottle.

These are supposed to be my centerpieces in my wedding in two months - any one who can provide asistance will be greatly appreciated!
breakpointer (author)  Jillredd2 years ago
Hi Jill
Sorry you are having this issue. I'm excited that you've decided to use this project as a centerpiece for your wedding.

I've built a number of these from copper components purchased at different hardware stores. What I've come to realize that copper pipes and fittings are not all exactly the same!

What it sounds like is that you've purchased some copper pipe which has thicker walls than what I used in the project. Since pipes are measure by their outer diameter its possible that between different pipe suppliers this inner diameter could change.

I realize this does not help all that much in your case since you've already purchased the pipe. All I can recommend is to return the pipe you've purchased and try buying the pipe somewhere else. When you go to buy the pipe bring a AA battery with you to see if it will fit inside the pipe. It should slide in easily and not scrape against the battery.

One other thing you might try with your current pipe is to use a AAA battery instead of a AA battery. The AAA batteries might not last as long so you'll have to test it out to see if it will work for your wedding. But that way you can use the stuff you've purchased all ready. You may have to wrap the batteries in paper or cardboard so they fit in the tube better and the ends of the batteries touch.

This is a great Instructable, very well made, great pictures! I made a handful of these for last Christmas and my family loved them! Don't worry, I gave you credit too ;) Thanks for the Instructable, hope to see more like this soon!
breakpointer (author)  seligtobiason3 years ago
GREAT! Thanks for trying out the instructable. I'm glad your family liked it. Check out some of my other projects with the Craftsman Experience. There's one on how to build a wine rack and another on a bathroom vanity unit. Maybe future family gifts? :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-byvkYEUP9Y
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qd8p7LQFD7k

All super easy to build for an crafty person like yourself.
lianna3 years ago
I think these are really awesome and my son wanted to do this project for his technology class. we went to the local Lowes, bought the sizes of everything listed, but we can not get the pipes to fit together. Also, our LED has 3 prongs on it... please help
breakpointer (author)  lianna3 years ago
Hi, Could you explain a little more about how the pipes do not fit? Perhaps post a picture of the parts or the problem you're having.

Also, if your LED has three prongs on it then it's probably a two color LED. You'll have to look at the data sheet for the LED to see how to wire it up and what voltage/current it requires. If I were to make a wild guess based on the information you've provided I'd say you probably have a 20mA Red/Green LED which requires around 2V. So you'll only use two batteries instead of three. Also, the LED probably won't produce enough light for this project so you might want to find a brighter one. Again, you'll have to find the specs for the LED to find out if yours will work and how to hook it up. For example: Here is an LED like the one I used in this project:
http://search.digikey.com/scripts/DkSearch/dksus.dll?Detail&name=C513A-WSN-CV0Y0151-ND

Here is the datasheet: http://www.cree.com/products/pdf/LEDlamps/C513A-WSS&WSN.pdf

jdphotoguy5 years ago
There seems to be missing information on how the end cap and battery tube are secured. Soldiering or glueing those pieces on would give you no means to turn the LED off.
breakpointer (author)  jdphotoguy3 years ago
I think I covered all the steps needed. I guess I should have explained that the copper pieces are just held in by friction, no glue, epoxy, solder, etc.... If you want to turn off the lamp just remove one of the batteries or pull out the copper tube far enough so the contacts don't touch. If you want to get really fancy you can drill a small hole in the reducer just below of where the reducer hits the top lip of the bottle. Put one of the LED leads through this hole so that it's centered on the hole and not touching the copper sides. When you set the lamp down in the bottle opening the LED lead will be pushed up and contact the copper which will complete the circuit and turn the light on. When you remove the lamp from the bottle the lead will move back to the center of the hole and turn the lamp off. Basically, a real primitive and simple switch. I have a version of the lamp that is like this, but I felt it was too complicated to explain in this instructable.
sunnisan4 years ago
jdphotoguy - simple fix: thread the cap and pipe with matching set of tap & die
I made this and tried out the tap and die, and the problem that I came across is that Copper is a softer metal and the threads strip really easy (Wish it did work).

What I ended up doing was just squeezing the 3/4" to 1/2" reducer just a little bit with some pliers to make it a very slight oval. That way it grips a bit better and the batteries don't fall out into the wine bottle! Hope this helps...
Euphy5 years ago
Great pictures! - You seem to have more hands than most!