Introduction: D20 Inspired Chandelier

About: I am a Student at the University of Michigan, studying Computer Engineering. I love to make things, work on teams, teach, learn, and assist others. I design circuits for the Kasper Space Lab and do some freela…

When moving into my dorm this year, I decided that the lighting was a little harsh. I wanted to get some mood lighting for night-time that's not too harsh and can be controlled between at least orange/yellow and blue for relaxation and focusing.

I was also looking to express myself a little bit in my installation, so I decided to go with a d20 inspired icosahedron shape. That way it's a little nerdy, fun to build, and extremely functional!

Materials used:
15 bamboo skewers (a total of 30 edges, each about half a skewer)
White tissue paper
Remote controlled RGB LED strip

USB extension cables (battery pack could also be used)
Lots of hot glue!

Hot glue gun
Wire cutter

Step 1: Preparing the Edges

I used bamboo sticks for my edges. Bamboo is lightweight, strong, cheap, and I already had a big ol' pack of bamboo skewers laying around!

I found that just below half the length of a bamboo skewer was a perfect size. I cut off just below the tapered tip, and then cut the product of that in half.

You will need 30 of these in order to form the icosahedron, but may want to make an extra few just in case.

Step 2: Making the Structure

In order to make the structure, you'll start with an equilateral triangle. Lay them on a glossy surface in a triangle shape, and glue the corners together. Be patient and let the corners dry together before peeling it off the surface. The glossy part is also important because if you do it on something like cardboard, you will adhere too much to your base and it will tear away with it.

Once you have a triangle, make another one. Then align the corners so that you can fit one more stick between the bottom ones, and the meeting tip of the two triangles is about 2 inches off the surface. This takes some eyeing skills where you are guessing what it will take to make 5 of these triangles connect correctly. See the picture of the base for a reference.

Make two bases (full pentagons of triangles) and then you want to connect them corner-to-corner by creating more triangles. See the black and white image (or a D20) for how that should turn out.

You're almost done now!

Step 3: RGB Lights

This step is what lights the whole thing up! I used a USB-powered, remote control RGB LED strip. It's a pretty common find on amazon.

I got about 2 feet of it, and just removed the backing to the adhesive on the last 3 inches or so, and made it into a loop with the lights facing *in*. I chose facing in so that no section of light would be too close to the outside of the structure, and the diffusion would look okay still.

Once you've got them looped, put it into the structure, and affix it to the "top" of your structure. I used hot glue to hold it in place, because hot glue is the cure-all. Make sure to leave the remote receiver poking out of the top!

Step 4: Diffuse the Light

In this step we're going to make some paper doritos to diffuse the LED light into a nice chandelier.

I just held up the tissue paper to the structure when I was done with it, and traced one triangle out. Then fold the paper over a bunch, and cut! It'll make a bunch. You'll need 20, as is the nature of an icosahedron!

These can just be hot glued right onto the structure, but make sure you have the RGB lights in first!

Step 5: Tie It Up, and Turn It On!

Congrats, you're done! Find a string, tie it around the top of the structure, hang it from a hook or fixture on the ceiling, and plug it in. Grab the remote, and start the ~party~!

Please comment if you have any questions, ideas, or things you would like to see in the future!

LED Contest 2017

Participated in the
LED Contest 2017