Introduction: DIY Wood & Acrylic Color-Changing LED Lamp
Hi everyone! In this Instructable I’m going to show you how I made an amazing wood and acrylic color-changing LED lamp. This project was inspired by my new Dremel rotary tool that I received 2 weeks ago from Instructables.
I won this multifunction tool as a grand prize on Workshop Hacks Challenge contest. The package includes so many attachments and accessories, and I was so excited to try some of those in my new project.
This LED lamp came out beautiful.
You can also watch the full video where you can find more details on how I made it.
So, let’s get started!
- Beech wood (your local hardware store)
- Acrylic (your local hardware store)
- RGB LED strip light http://amzn.to/2Br93ka
- Epoxy http://amzn.to/2DAd33R
- Transparent finish http://amzn.to/2GgeG8m
- Felt pads http://amzn.to/2E5OJI8
- Dremel high performance rotary tool kit http://amzn.to/2E5OJI8
- Cordless drill http://amzn.to/2F9zygn
- Soldering iron http://amzn.to/2DyTXz0
- Wire strippers http://amzn.to/2DyIXh8
- Coping saw http://amzn.to/2Ge7865
- Hole saw bit http://amzn.to/2DxbeEQ
- Rasp http://amzn.to/2DxbeEQ
- Chisel http://amzn.to/2DAHlHP
- Metal ruler http://amzn.to/2DAHlHP
- Scissors http://amzn.to/2Fc2X9T
Step 1: Cutting the Wood and the Acrylic to Size.
First of all I set up my table saw by placing the crosscut sled, adjusting the stop block and setting the blade to the right height in order to make all the cuts needed for this lamp.
For this project I decided to use a hard wood. I had a small piece of 20 mm thick beech wood in my workshop which was prefect for this purpose.
The acrylic that I used was 5 mm thick, and I think it is a perfect match with the wood.
All of the cuts are repeated because the base of the lamp is 16 by 9 cm.
In fact, only one acrylic piece is 28 by 14 cm, and that’s the piece that I’ll place on the top of the base, vertically.
My experience while cutting the acrylic showed me that when moving the crosscut sled slower, the acrylic started to melt, hence I needed to move faster in order to get cleaner cuts.
Step 2: Drawing the Design of the Top of the Lamp.
Now I need to make the design of the top of this lamp. I want to make a modern and clean design that will match my room.
I placed the largest acrylic piece on a piece of paper, traced its outline with a pencil and cut the shape with scissors following the lines.
Then I drew some lines with a ruler. The pattern consists of stripes with the same width, but different length.
Then I made all the cuts, and the pattern is ready to be transferred to the acrylic.
To secure the paper on the acrylic I removed the white protective film on one side and attached it with a tape. I left the protective film on the side that I’m going to engrave, because the acrylic is very sensitive and scratches easily.
Step 3: Engraving the Pattern on the Acrylic.
As I said in the beginning, I decided to use my new Dremel rotary tool for engraving.
The most useful attachment for this project is the flex shaft extension. I attached it onto the tool and inserted an engraving bit as well.
With all that done, now I’m ready to engrave.
This was the first time to engrave acrylic and I was so excited. I didn’t know how the end result will look like, so I chose this simple pattern which hopefully will help me achieve modern design of the lamp.
To make perfectly straight lines I used a metal ruler. It is so easy to use and you can’t damage it with the bit.
The last thing that I need to do on this acrylic piece is to make additional cuts with a coping saw. Here I need to be careful, because all the cuts should be done at a right angle.
Step 4: Drilling Holes in the Middle Pieces of Acrylic and Wood for the LEDs.
Now, I can move on to the lamp base.
I found the centers of the pieces of acrylic and wood which will be placed in the middle of the base.
Onto the drill I attached a 35 mm saw bit, and made the openings for the LEDs.
A good tip to protect the table surface from damage is to put a scrap wood underneath.
Step 5: Making a Slot on the Top of the Base.
For the engraved acrylic piece I need to make a slot on the top of the lamp base. I traced the outline of the acrylic piece with a pencil by placing it vertically in the middle.
The best way to make the slot is to drill as many holes as possible inside the outline, and then to remove the excess with a rasp.
Right below the acrylic I’ll place the LEDs, but I need to make more space for them. So, I chiseled out a groove 10 mm wide and 4 mm deep.
Step 6: Making an Opening on the Bottom of the Base for the Controller.
The LED controller will be placed on the bottom of the base. It is quite big, but I didn’t have smaller one, which means I need to find a way to insert it into the bottom piece of wood.
I’ll only use a hot glue to secure it into place, so I’m cutting off the mounting holes, because they are completely unnecessary. With that done I flattened the box, which will fit nicely into the bottom.
I need to make a big opening for the controller. To make my life easier, I drilled a hole with a 12 mm bit, and then inserted a coping saw into the hole, which made cutting much easier. The adjustments I made with a rasp.
One more thing I need to do is to drill 2 holes on the back side of the bottom, one larger hole for the adapter, and another smaller hole for the Infrared receiver.
Step 7: Cutting the LED Strip to the Desired Length.
This lamp I wanted to be color-changing, and for this purpose I used RGB LED strip. 50 cm long LED strip is quite enough, so I took scissors and carefully cut along the designated lines, in between the copper pads.
Before putting all the parts together I removed the protective film from the acrylic.
Step 8: Assembling the Lamp.
I started the assembly with gluing the LEDs into the groove with an epoxy.
Then moved on to the other pieces, and glued them with an epoxy as well. Here I paid attention to the LEDs, making sure I don’t damage them while gluing.
When it comes to gluing acrylic to wood, I highly recommend using epoxy as it is one of the best adhesives for this purpose.
Once I’m done with all the parts I clamped it down and left it to dry out.
Step 9: Sanding and Staining the Base.
Temporarily I placed the LEDs inside the base, and covered them with a masking tape in order to sand the entire surface. I used 220 grit sandpaper to sand the base lightly and make it nice and smooth.
The surface is ready for staining, so I’m applying a transparent finish (shellac) to emphasize the beauty of the beech wood. This is the most satisfying part of the entire project.
Step 10: Installing the Controller.
To be able to place the controller inside the lamp base I need to cut off half of the length of its cable and remove 1 cm of the outer jacket. The cable consists of 4 wires, 1 common positive wire and 3 negative wires, one for each of the 3 channels.
Using wire strippers I exposed the ends of the wires, and then soldered them onto the coper pads of the LED strip with a soldering iron and a solder.
On the photo you can see that even though the colors of the wires are soldered in order, they don’t match the letters written on the coper pads. So, the green wire is soldered onto the letter R, and the red wire onto the letter G.
I checked if everything is OK by plugging the 12V adapter into the controller.
Everything works properly, so I can attach the controller with a hot glue.
I placed the LEDs inside the base, making sure they’re close to the acrylic, inserted the IR receiver into the smaller hole, and secured the controller in place with a hot glue.
In order to avoid scratching of any surface, I’ll make feet out of felt. I’m cutting out squares out of felt, and attaching 2 in each corner which will make enough space for the controller.
Step 11: Inserting the Engraved Acrylic Into the Slot.
Finally, I removed the protective film from the engraved acrylic piece and secured it into the slot with an epoxy.
Using the right angle ruler I’m making sure that it is positioned correctly at the right angle and I’m leaving it to completely dry.
This means that I’m done with the lamp.
Step 12: Enjoying the Light!
Now I can turn this wonderful lamp on and enjoy its beauty. This lamp is very simple and modern at the
same time, and I’m sure it would make a great accent in my house.
This was a really interesting and fun process of building such lamp. I hope that this detailed tutorial will help you make your own lamp.
Make sure to check out my YouTube video to see how it looks like.