Buffalo Horn Night Light

Introduction: Buffalo Horn Night Light

A year ago I was in South Africa and bought there a beautiful carved buffalo horn. Of course, I bought it from an official souvenir store, not from some poacher! Maybe it's not even a buffalo horn but one from some African cow... but I like to think it's a buffalo. The horn was glued at its open end to a piece of plywood that broke away very quickly and I noticed that the horn was semitransparent, especially where there was the carved pattern. Then I had an idea to turn the horn into a stylish night light.

Step 1: LED Strip

I ordered a 1 meter RGB LED strip from the Internet. It has a controller connected at one side to the strip and at the other side to a 5V USB phone charger; the light is controlled with an infrared remote. You can set a color or make the color change color rapidly or slowly.

I wanted to put the LED strip on some structure but eventually I just put it freely inside the horn and it was OK.

I glued the controller inside the horn near the opening with the hot glue. Before I did it I drilled a hole where the IR sensor would be but it was a mistake! The horn (mine at least) is transparent for the infrared so the hole isn't necessary.

Step 2: Close the Horn With a Plastic Cover

I cut a cover for the horn's opening with a jigsaw from a plastic kitchen cutting board and sanded it with an angle grinder. The plastic is semitransparent so the light can go through it. The 5V cable of the LED strip goes outside between the horn and the cover, I filed a small opening to put it through.

I glued the cover to the perimeter of the horn opening with hot glue. It's simple; it's easy to disassemble if you need to replace the LED strip (with a hot air from electric fan); and it is transparent, so you don't see glue or construction elements when the horn glows in the dark.

Step 3: Make a Wooden Base

This is what makes the project complete. I wanted the form of the base to "rhyme" with the form of the horn. I made it from a pine board with an angle grinder. I think that it would be better and easier to use a jigsaw but I just wanted to try my new wood cutting disc for the angle grinder. I covered the base with transparent lacquer.

The horn is attached to the base with two screws. The first one goes through the base and the plastic cover of the horn opening; for the second one I drilled a hole in the horn itself near its tip - the horn isn't hollow in this part. Of course, I didn't drill through the whole thickness of the horn!

Be very careful when you drill the horn and when you enter the screw into it!

Step 4: And This Is the Result

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    1 year ago

    Great idea! I love how the light diffuses through the horn. Very cool : )