Introduction: Battery Powered Lamp That Turns on Through the Use of Magnets!
We know that most lamps turn on/off through a physical switch. My goal with this project was to create a unique way to easily turn the lamp on/off without that classic switch. I was intrigued by the idea of a lamp that changed shape during this process. My aim therefore was to create a design that looked just as nice off as it did on.
The design of this classic lamp changes shape when turned off. When it is switched off the stand of the lamp can be placed on top of the lamp shade, staying in place through the use of magnets.
When reversed, magnets in the top of the stand connect to those on the bottom of the shade. The light will turn on automatically, no external power source needed.
Step 1: What Do You Need
The tools and materials you will need:
• 3D printer
• Filament for the 3D printer (I used PLA filament)
• 3D slicer (I used Cura from Ultimaker)
• 9 LEDs from a 4,5 V LEDstrip
• One 9V battery
• One 9V battery connector
• Soldering iron
• Wires for soldering
• 8 magnets with a diameter of 5mm and a height of 1mm
• 1 magnet with a greater diameter than 5mm and/or a magnetic ruler (this is required to solder wires onto the magnet)
• (Hot) glue
Step 2: 3D Printing the Four Parts
The design consists of four printed pieces. The lamp stand, lamp shade and the bases of these two parts. The parts are designed in Fusion 360. From Fusion 360 the 3D models were exported as STL files. These files will be used in the 3D slicer to prepare for 3D printing.
Download the four STL files and open them in your 3D slicer. The STL models have the correct orientation, so you don't need to adjust the orientation in your 3D slicer.
The lamp stand and shade are printed in Pearl White PLA, whereas the bases are printed in Galaxy PLA.
Feel free to choose a color/material that fits your preference. However, make sure that the lamp stand and lamp shade are printed in a color that will illuminate with the LEDs.
I used Cura with the following settings:
• No support
• Layer height: 0.2mm
• Wall thickness: 0.8mm
• Top/bottom thickness: 0.8mm
• Printing temperature: 220ºC (this depends on the material you use, please make sure to check the settings of your material)
• Infill: 20%
Step 3: Glue the Magnets Into Two of the Four Pieces
Magnets are an important part of this design. 4 of the 8 magnets are used for connecting the stand and shade without conducting electricity. These 4 magnets can be glued in placed with any type of glue.
After printing all the pieces the next step is to glue the first four magnets into the base of the stand and the lamp shade.
While placing the magnets make sure to alternate the poles, so the two pieces can only fit together in one orientation. In the image you can see how to alternate the poles.
Step 4: Solder the LEDs for the Stand of the Lamp
The design exists of two separate parts in which LEDs are placed. However, the light will only turn on if you connect the two pieces to form a classic lamp shade.
In the schematic overview you see the connections that have to be made within the two parts. The summary of this schematic overview is as follows:
• The lamp stand contains 2 LEDs.
• The lamp shade contains 7 LEDs and the 9V battery.
• The + pole of LED1 in the lamp stand connects through the use of magnet to the − of LED1 in the lamp shade.
• The − of LED2 in the lamp stand connects with the − of the 9V battery. The + of the 9V battery connects with the + of LED7 in the lamp shade. Since the magnets conduct the electricity, the loop will be closed when the magnets are connected.
Within this step, the LEDs for the stand of the lamp will be soldered to wires and glued in place. As mentioned, this part exists of two LEDs. Check the visual for additional information on how to solder the wires.
- Cut two LEDs from the LEDstrip by the connection points.
- Use wires to solder the + to the + and the − to the −. In this way you can place the LEDs next to each other in the base. Connecting both poles of the LEDs makes sure that there is no power shortage.
- Solder a long piece of wire to the − of LED1 (see visual).
- Solder a long piece of wire to the + of LED2 (see visual).
- After soldering the wires to the LEDs you can use (hot) glue to glue the LEDs and the wires in place. Make sure to keep the wires long enough so they can reach the top of the lamp stand.
- Now that you have the long wires, pull them through the printed stand as shown in the photo.
The two 3D printed parts will stay in place without glue. However, if your parts don't stay in place, you can always use glue to hold the parts together.
Step 5: Solder the LEDs for the Shade of the Lamp
The second part of the design that will light up is the shade. Within this step, the LEDs for the shade of the lamp will be soldered to wires and glued in place. Since this part is slightly larger it is important to use more LEDs for this part. I used seven LEDs.
In addition to the LEDs you have to add the battery (9V) to this part as well.
Check the visual for additional information on how to solder the wires.
- Cut seven LEDs from the LEDstrip by the connection points.
- Connect all these LEDs by soldering wires from the + and − poles to each other.
- Solder + of LED1 to the + of LED2. Repeat this till all seven LEDs are soldered in series through the + poles.
- Solder − of LED1 to the − of LED2. Repeat this till all seven LEDs are soldered in series through the − poles.
- Attach the 9V battery connector to the 9V battery.
- Solder the + from the battery connector to the + of the LED7 (see visual).
- Solder a wire to the − of the battery connector and pull this wire through one of the holes at the bottom of the base of the lamp shade.
- Solder a wire to the − of LED1 (see visual), and pull this wire through the other hole at the bottom of the base of the lamp shade. If you used the same colored wire as the one in step 7, make sure to mark which is the − wire of the battery and which is the − wire of the LED1. I used a yellow band to mark the − of the battery.
When finished soldering, you can use (hot) glue to glue the LEDs and battery in place.
At this point you don't need to attach the lamp shade to the base yet. This will be done later.
You are finished with soldering all the LEDs to the battery. To test if your circuit works, you can hold the + wire of the stand against the − wire of the shade and simultaneously hold the −wire of the stand to the − wire of the battery. This should close the electric circuit and turn on all the LEDs.
Step 6: Solder Wires to the Magnets
Now that the LEDs and wires are in place, it is time to attach the magnets that will be used to connect the two pieces and simultaneously conduct the electricity in order to turn the lamp on.
In order to maintain the conductivity of magnets it is not possible to use glue to attach the wires to the magnets. Glue will only attach the wires to the magnets, but not conduct the electricity from the wires to the magnets. Instead of glue, the wires should be soldered to the magnets. Keep in mind that magnets can lose their magnetic attraction when they get too hot. However, there is a trick to solder wires to magnets without losing their magnetic attraction.
The following steps correspond with the photos.
- Take a larger magnet than the one you will be soldering on. Place the 5mm magnet on the larger one as shown in the photo. To make this easier you can use an additional magnetic object, such as a ruler.
- Put solder on the 5mm magnet as shown in the second photo.
- Get a new piece of wire and put solder directly on the wire. After that you can solder the wire to the magnet.
- Cut the other end of the wire so that only a short length remains attached to the magnet. Put solder to that end.
- Keeping the setup where the 5mm magnet is attached to the larger one, solder the wire from the magnet to one of the wires that you pulled out of the holes earlier. Prior this, you can cut away the excessive wire coming out of the stand.
- Now you have connected the magnet to the wire. Repeat these steps for all four wires coming out of the bases. Two for the lamp stand and two for the lamp shade.
Just like when you glued the magnets at the beginning of the project, it is important to alternate the poles, so the two pieces can connect in one way only. This is very important, because this will prevent a short circuit and make sure your lamp will always turn on when connected through the magnets!
The last visual of this step shows how to alternate the poles of the magnets and which wire should connect to each other.
Make sure that the + wire coming out of the stand connects with the − wire of LED1 in the lamp shade.
Next, make sure the − wire coming out of the stand connects with the − wire of the battery in the lamp shade.
Step 7: Glue the Magnets That You Soldered in the Previous Step
After connecting all the magnets to the wires through soldering you can glue the magnets into place.
Before glueing, make sure to test the conductivity of the magnets by connecting them. If it works, you can use any type of glue to glue them in place.
Now that the magnets are glued, you can place the lamp shade onto its base. Just like with the stand the two parts should fit without any glue. However, you can always use glue to keep the parts together.
You are done with the assembly!
Step 8: Enjoy!
Now you have two separate pieces. When the stand is placed on top, forming a cone, these pieces don't conduct electricity and the lamp is turned off.
However, when the shade is placed on top of the stand, creating that classic lampshape. The light will turn on automatically, no external power source needed.
First Prize in the
Battery Powered Contest