Introduction: Decopunk USB Lamp

I was inspired to make this lamp when I came across a set of halogen track lights one of my neighbors put in the trash. The fixtures on this track light reminded me of the streamline Art Deco designs of the cars and bicycles of the 1930s. Also reminiscent of an airplane jet engine...

So I ripped a few fixtures off the track, and decided to make a lamp with one of them.

Why "Decopunk"? One author has described Decopunk as a "sleek, shiny very Art Deco version" of Dieselpunk. While both are derivatives of the Steampunk movement, decopunk is inspired by the Art Deco and Streamline Moderne art styles. And in my opinion, these light fixtures certainly reflect this era.

(For an example of a Dieselpunk inspired version, see my Dieselpunk USB Lamp).

So here's how I did it:

• Rotary tool

• Light fixture
• USB laptop lamp
• Silver paint

Step 1: Remove Bolt From Fixture

The trickiest part about this build was figuring how to remove the nut and bolt from the fixture. I'll spare all the details of all the tools I tried, and cut to the chase. The only thing that worked in the end was cutting the bolt with a rotary tool.

Step 2: Paint USB Lamp Plug

While I really like the silver metallic look of these USB lamps, I didn't really like the white plug it came with, so I decided to add a coat of silver metallic spray paint to the plug, to better match the rest of the lamp.

Make sure to tape off anything you don't want to get paint on!

Step 3: Cut USB Lamp Tube

I thought about making my own USB lamp for this build, but when I found these flexible USB lamps with a silver metallic covering on eBay, I couldn't resist, especially when I got four of them shipped from China for less than US$5!

The first step in preparing the USB lamp is to make an incision around the base of the plastic tube at the tip of the lamp. I left about a 1/4 of an inch of plastic at the end, to later fashion into a make-shift bolt.

The second cut is slicing the tube lengthwise, to remove the plastic entirely, exposing the a few inches of wire and the bulb.

Making these cuts is delicate. Be careful not to cut through the wires, or you're find yourself going for the soldering iron, and working with very fragile wires.

Step 4: File USB Lamp

Once you've removed most of the plastic tube from the USB lamp, now sand the bit of remaining plastic on two sides to create flat edges that will fit into the lamp fixture.

Step 5: Sand Fixture

My fixture had some greasy residue on it, as it likely came out of a kitchen, but nothing a little bit of fine grit metal sandpaper couldn't resolve.

Step 6: Glue Fixture

Once the USB lamp and the fixture are prepared, it's time to bring them together for eternity... Super Glue! Stick the LED through the hole where the bolt was in the fixture, and push the filed plastic tip into the hole as firmly as possible, then apply a few drops of your favorite super glue. Be careful not to over do it with the glue, or it may drip down the sides of your light fixture. 

Step 7: Finished!

That's it. A pretty simple project for turning a simple USB lamp into a Art Deco inspired illumination device. Here's a photo of it plugged into my prize-winning Sun-Powered Lithium Polymer 2600 Milliamp Hour Voltage Box.

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