Introduction: Wooden USB-powered RGB-LED Lamp

Picture of Wooden USB-powered RGB-LED Lamp

I made this lamp originally as a last minute(okay, last two days) christmas gift for my sister. I wanted a special but fast-to-build lamp and this is what i came up with with the materials i had on hand that day. This is a rebuild.

I was intrigued to program a One-Button control. It allows this lamp to be used for illumination, mood lighting and of course, party!

The code for the (double-)click detection could be better, but as it works well enough for a lamp I didn't bother redesigning it.

So now i made it again and this time i wanted to share the making process.

There are two differences to the original, but only in appearance. I used a smaller diameter timber(original was 50mm) and i added mahogany wood stain.

Step 1: Materials and Tools

Picture of Materials and Tools


wood related:

• round timber 40mm⌀ + ; I used 45mm ⌀

• a bit of plywood 3-4mm for the lid

• some popsicle sticks

• wood stain(optional)

• lacquer or other finish


• an arduino; I used a mini

• Strip of 5 RGB-LEDs; I used WS2812B

• a button; this one is a vandal-proof pushbutton switch

• pull-down resistor about 10kΩ

• USB cable for power

• some wire


• translucent paper


• a saw

• forstner bits: 20mm,30mm

• drills: 12mm (for the button i used);

3-4mm depending on your usb cable

• a rotary tool is nice but a rasp will do

• sand paper

• soldering iron + solder

• hot glue gun or other glue

• masking tape

• a scalpel is very helpful to have

Step 2: Cutting Down the Timber

Picture of Cutting Down the Timber

10cm in length works good.

Step 3: Get Your Forstner Bit and Onto the Drill Press...

Picture of Get Your Forstner Bit and Onto the Drill Press...

...wait, i don't have a drill press?! well I guess then I have to be the drill press.

Drilling the 30mm hole off-center reduces the amount of work in the next step.

The hole has to be at least as deep as your LED strip is long plus maybe a little bit for your button.

Step 4: Cutting the Window

Picture of Cutting the Window

Using a 20mm forstner bit and a rotary tool I drilled and grinded a slot on the side where the wood is thinnest.

Step 5: Preparing the Lid, Holes

Picture of Preparing the Lid, Holes

The lid gets a 12mm hole for the button and is (roughly) cut out.

We need a hole for the cable in the back.

Step 6: Building a SLED

Picture of Building a SLED

get it? because it's a sled for LEDs ;)

also: cutting a piece of translucent paper to size

Step 7: Soldering Duties, Uploading the Sketch

Picture of Soldering Duties, Uploading the Sketch

I desoldered the pins for uploading, after the sketch was on the chip.

And don't forget to put the button in in the lid before soldering. Or, like me, you solder twice.

- pin3 is data for the LEDs

- pin4 is for the button

- pull-down from pin4 to gnd

Sketch is also here.

Step 8: Putting It All Together

Picture of Putting It All Together

I used double-sided tape to hold the translucent foil in place.

After stuffing it all in, I adjusted the LEDs alignment with the window and used a drop of hot glue to hold them in place.

Step 9: Glueing on the Lid

Picture of Glueing on the Lid

Wood glue!

Step 10: Make the Lid Fit

Picture of Make the Lid Fit

Sawing, grinding, sanding, now it is time to get that puppy smooth!

Masking tape protects the button, the cable and the translucent foil during this and the next steps.

Step 11: Staining Wood

Picture of Staining Wood

Now my beech is a mahogany.

Step 12: Finish

Picture of Finish

Finishing with three coats of water based gloss lacquer.

After removing the masking tape scrape off any excess paint around the button and on the foil with something sharp.

It is done! A lamp is born!

When you plug in the lamp it starts glowing in a light blue color.

Pressing the button once switches between colors.

A double-click enters neutral light mode, in which you can switch between 4 levels of intensity.

Double-click again to get back to color mode.

And finally holding down the button for more than a second will enter "party" mode.



DIY Hacks and How Tos (author)2016-01-10

I can't tell you how many times that was me standing on top of the work bench with a drill.

what if better using bamboo?

I am become drill press... Borer of holes.

NathanD7 (author)Terranan2016-02-07

You sir, are awesome.

psargaco (author)Terranan2016-01-16

This bloody thing doesn't have a like button. Consider your comment liked! Me very amused, I am.

EricG6 (author)Terranan2016-01-14


ArifSae (author)2016-03-21

Lovely case

Jonathanrjpereira (author)2016-01-15

Human Drillpress. Cool Instructable

Yonatan24 (author)2016-01-12

Awesome! You have my vote

PerfectPixel (author)2016-01-11

When I try and open the .ino arduino sketch I get an error, is it possible you could upload the plaintext on a site like pastebin and link it? Thanks!

llamamake made it! (author)PerfectPixel2016-01-11

I uploaded the sketch again with a different name. Now it should work.

lesson learned: don't just rename your sketches, especially not with a number at the start. :)

PerfectPixel (author)llamamake2016-01-11

that works great, Thanks!

maKACS (author)2016-01-10

Cool drillpress bro! :) I absolutely with You, since I have lacks of tools too and must solve things the smart way. :)

Nice ~ible, voted for both of the challenges.

Nick the Beard (author)2016-01-10

That is such a cool little lamp, might have a go myself.

Thanks for taking the time llamamake.

dizzle976 (author)2016-01-10

cant tell you how good it is to see an awesome 'structible documented from start to finish. well done

PatrickW51 (author)2016-01-10

Dude that standing on the desk move is pretty epic! Also, great project! Simple and neat.

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