What would yo do if you have a piece of garden hose, some led strip and lots of zip ties? If I were you I could think of nothing but a lamp :D. Yes , a lamp and I love that expression on your face :)
So Hello My dear fellows, I'm back after a break with my another original lamp project. Thank you dear instructables for always making me come back :).
I have seen some great projects using zip ties, really I was awestruck by seeing many of them. But all I can think of is a lamp which becomes kind of difficult when there are already so many of them. But luckily this project came out as a original design of mine because of it unique look.
The inspiration for this lamp came long back from New York City when in 2012 I visited USA for some official work. There were those street posts with colorful zip ties. That was the time when I wondered if those poles can be lit up from insight.
This blog posts has photos. Zip Tie Streets.
And that long gone inspiration came back to life a few days back and turned out as this project.
NOTE: If you haven't worked with electricity or LED or electronics, great!! you will still be able to do this :)
You will find this project easy because it only uses some basic concepts of electricity. That holds true even if you have not worked with LED strips before. After all there is always a first time :D
Inspired enough? Lets make some Zip tie Spiral Pendant Lamp.
P.S I have also added a video for you to see it in action :)
Step 1: Stuff That Is Required to Make This Lamp
To make this zip tie spiral lamp, you would need the following items:
- About 300 zip ties, 8 inch long. This number may vary if you choose too make a longer or shorter version of this lamp.
- LED strip light . Single color SMD 3528 with adapter aka driver.
- A transparent or translucent hose pipe 1/2 inch wide and about 3 foot long.
- Earth or Ground wire about 6 feet. A slightly thicker will be helpful in retaining the shape of coil.
- Electrical insulated tape.
- General purpose pliers
- Scissor .
- Some cylindrical object like a deodorant can. I used an empty liquid epoxy spray can. Soda can wont work because we need long and tough object.
- some extra electrical wire.
- A metal tube or similar for hiding the earth and mains wire . This is for aesthetics only, you can use your creativity here.
- Patience my friend, you will need patience :)
Most of this stuff can be purchased from your local electrical or hardware store.
Alright!! Now its time to get our hands dirty.
Step 2: Preparing the Pipe to Make Spiral
I wanted to make sure that I should be able to insert the LED strip inside the pipe. I tried after transforming the pipe into spiral shape and I gave up, it was too difficult and I was afraid that LED strip circuit may break if I push too hard. So I decided to insert the strip before.
See images above and do as follows:
- Insert wire inside the pipe such that you have about 10 inch of wire each side. This is important otherwise the wire may fall short when you bend it to make spiral.
- Measure your led strip to the length of pipe. I used folded strip to make it double because I wanted the light to be bright. When you decide the length make sure you cut from one of those designated spots in the led strip. You may want to cut the pipe to adjust to LED strip length or wise versa.
- Insert the LED strip carefully inside the pipe until it reaches the other end.
Fun Fact: I have this thing for spirals, check out my jewelry projects, there are so many using spirals.
Once this arrangement is done, its time to transform it into spiral.
Lets do that in next step.
Step 3: Transforming the Pipe Into Spiral
At this point of time, you might be thinking why so much trouble , why not just use Rope LED lights? Well!! you are right , you can use rope LED lights too, but I find them low in brightness, that's why I devised this mechanism. I wanted the zip ties to have light pass though them in diffused fashion.
See images above and follow:
- Leave about 3-4 inch of wire on one end of the pipe and bend it using pliers so that it doesn't come out.
- Hold the pipe from this end onto can and start wrapping it firmly but not too tight. NOTE: before you do this , just make sure LED strip inside is not twisted anywhere.
- As soon as you release your grip the wire will try to unwrap but forms a spiral.
Yay!! the spiral is ready.
Now drink a glass of water, use bathroom ;), grab a coffee or tea before you jump to next step which is going to be tedious and requires patience :D
All done?? Lets jump to next step.
Step 4: Tie the Zip Tie, Adjust , Repeat.
I would agree that this is the only step in this project which is tedious and time consuming, but trust me the end result will blow your mind.
See images above and follow:
- Tie a zip tie starting from the top (the end where the LED strip wires are peeking out) such that the remaining zip tie hangs outside of the spiral.
- Tie the zip ties firmly but not too tight because you may need to adjust later for shape if it goes slightly out of the window :).
- Try to keep the ties look straight and parallel to the ground, this will help in getting the perfect end shape
- Repeat 1-3 till you reach the end of the pipe.
- Phew.....was it tiring? I bet it was.
- Now gently pull the arrangement from both ends , holding the wire to expand the spiral shape.
Voila !! your zip ties spiral pendant lamp is almost ready. Lets take care of the aesthetics in next step.
Step 5: Fix the Aesthetics and Light Up
This is one area where it is totally upto you . You can choose to use your creativity to cover the wire joins , earth wire etc. to make it look aesthetically more pleasing.
Over these years of my lamp making passion I have learned that when you design a lamp or lighted object , it should not only look awesome when lit but also aesthetically pleasing when not lit. So this is what we will do in this step. We will hide the wire joins, the wire and earth wire.
See images above and follow:
- Attach the extra electrical wire with LED strip joins and cover it with insulated tape.
- Now carefully insert the electrical wire and earth wire inside the metal tube.
- Once both wire comes out from other end of metal tube, create a simple loop or hook shape of earth wire using pliers. This will be used to hang the lamp
- Cut extra earth wire if any.
- Attach the LED adapter to the electrical wire.
- Bend the earth wire peeking out from other end of pipe using pliers.
- Light up :)
The unique shape of this lamp will instantly draw attention of your friends, family and guests. Where you do wish to install it?
How about gifting it to your loved ones this holiday season:D.
Thank you for your time to read this ible. I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I did while making it. Please do share your thoughts, feedback and suggestions in the comments below.
If you choose to make it, please use the "I made it" button to post a picture.
Hope you will like it and Vote it (The voting button in on top right of this page and sometimes appears late :D )
You are awesome.
P.S Check out the video for live action :)