Introduction: Dodecagon Light With RGB, Lightbulbs and Wifi

About: Hey! I'm a maker and an electrical engineering student from germany

A few days ago I got an email from 'Danger is my middle name', the contest manager of Instructables, asking me whether I plan to enter in the current Lights-Contest 2017. Well, I were planning to build a new lamp for my room since last year but on the one hand there was no good idea and on the other the old one is still brighten up the room enough. However, the mail mentioned above broke my laziness and took me in front of my PC to get a good concept. And here we are: the Dodecagon Light.

Step 1: Get Inspired!

Here are some pictures of the Dodecagon Light spending more then just light in my room. The Dodecagon Light includes 36 RGB-LEDs and 3 LED lightbulbs. In order to control the light by my current home automation system which is running on a Raspberry Pi (Homebridge for HomeKit by Apple), the light got a wifi connection to control it over the internet and with the help of Siri.

Step 2: What You Need

For Building the Dodecagon Light you need the following parts, some of them can be easily exchanged by your favorites:

  1. Electronic parts:
    1. 36 x WS2812 RGB LEDs
    2. 3 x LED Light bulbs (4W, 230V)
    3. 1 x Wemos D1 mini
    4. 1 x 5V relay
    5. 1 x 5V 3A power supply
    6. some smaller electronic parts (resistors, transistors, wires, ...)
  2. 1 x wood 80 cm x 80 cm (12mm)
  3. 1 x acrylic glass 60 cm x 60 cm (4mm)
  4. 12 x small pieces of wood to hold the LEDs
  5. 1 x round wood stick 1,5 cm
  6. 12 x acrylic frosted glasses 12 cm x 16 cm (3mm)
  7. 3 x acrylic glass 12 cm x 15 cm (holding the light bulbs, can be something different)
  8. 3 x light bulb mount
  9. some smaller mechanical parts (screws, nuts, double-sided tape, ...)

Step 3: Preparing the Light-Bulb Mount

For the mounts of the three light bulbs I used some acrylic glass which I found in the garage. Everything else you can bend or with an angle of about 30 degrees will work. Building the mounts with acrylic glass can be done in four steps:

  1. Cut three pieces with the dimension of nearly 12cm x 16cm. Doesn't really matter, just the black E27 circle has to fit there.
  2. Drill a hole in center of the upper half. For a E27 bulb socket it has to be about 4cm.
  3. Put the glasses in the oven for 10 minutes and 140 centigrade. After getting them out they can be bend in the right shape. They have to cool down for about four or five minutes before they keep the shape.
  4. Cut the edges from the other half of the acrylic glass. This can easily done with the help of a template.

The three acrylic glasses are mount to the wood plate with three small screws.

Step 4: Building the Dodecagon Base

The name of the Dodecagon Light is given by the twelve edged base which I cut out from the 80cm by 80cm MDF wood. For creating a regular twelve-sided polygon out of the square I drawed a circle with a diameter of 80cm onto the wood and every 30 degrees a line from the middle to the surrounding of the circle. The incurred crossings from the circle and the twelve lines are connected together one after each other and yield the sides of the polygon. These twelve sides of the polygon can be cut with the help of a jigsaw as you can see in picture two.

Beginning on one line there has to be a cut out for the three light bulb mounts every 120 degrees. Depending on the size of your light bulb mount and the shape you can draw a freestyle drawing on a piece of paper which can be used as a template. The template which I was using can be found in picture three. Cut out these three shapes with the help of a drilling machine and a Dremel.

Eighter with an angle of 120 degrees to each other I glued and screwed three pieces of small wood for a better rigging point. The rigging points should be something like in the last picture. You can also use four points but then it is more difficult to level the lamp correctly.

The RGB LEDs are mounted on small 3 cm by 8 cm pieces of wood which were leftovers from the big wood plate. Even for the mounting to the base I created a template with the result that every piece has the same gap to the outer acrylic glasses. I just glued the pieces to the dodecagon base with some wood glue as you can see in the fifth picture.

Step 5: The Twelve + 1 Acrylic Glasses

I ordered fifteen of these acrylic glasses in the internet, each with the dimensions of 12 cm x 16 cm. The glasses are mounted to the dodecagon base with two screws at each piece. I just prepared a template therefore the holes are at the same position on each glass and on each side of the polygon. The small screws have a diameter of 3,5 mm and a length of 30 mm.

In order to hide the light bulbs there is second big twelve edge plate out of 4 mm acrylic frosted glass with the dimensions 60 cm x 60 cm. While cutting the glass with a jigsaw there has to be a lot of cool water to prevent the melted glass gluing back together. The resulting glass plate is mounted with three round wood sticks with a diameter of 1,5 cm and a length of 5 cm which are glued and screwed to the base plate and only screwed to the glass plate. For this mount I used some bigger screws (5mm) to prevent the acrylic glass to fall down. Before mounting all screws strongly have a look at the last step of this instructable, maybe you want to color your base..

Step 6: The Electronics

All the lights of the Dodecagon Light are controlled by the simple and small Wemos D1 mini microcontroller which contains a powerful ESP8266. The WiFi connection allows me to connect the light to my current home automation service. The microcontroller is possible to switch the main lights (light bulbs) which are connected in parallel by a 5V relay. The color lights (WS2812) are controlled by only one digital output pin. They are grouped in triplets and connected in parallel by a small three wire cable. The WS2812 strips have double sided tape on their backside so it is very easy to get these strips to the twelve small vertically wood pieces.

The circuit board and the 5V power supply are mounted with some screws to the base plate. The circuit board has four terminals for 5V power in, the WS2812 LED strip, the mains lights switch and for an optional temperature sensor. The temperature sensor is only required for my home automation and not for the light itself. All the schematics are shown in the picture above.

The last picture shows the control unit in the Home app on the iPhone. These instructable does not focus on the home automation service Homebridge but when you are interested in this I will write an own tutorial for this. If you just want to have a look how this can be done then have a look at these instructions or these.

A good starting point is maybe the arduino file which I added to this step and which is currently not finished (will be updated continuosly).

Step 7: Bring It Together

Before mounting everything to the base you can choose your favorite color and paint the base like what you want. In my case the base is shining in a warm anthracite to get some contrast to the frosted acrylic glasses.

The Dodecagon Light is currently a work in progress. As you can see in the step before, the controlling by the Home app does not have that extensive functionality yet and the temperature report is not implemented eigther. In a couple of days there will much more capabilities.

Now it's time to get the parts and build your own Dodecagon Light. Even when these plenty pictures do not suffices and you have any questions then feel free to ask!

Internet of Things Contest 2017

Participated in the
Internet of Things Contest 2017

Lights Contest 2017

Participated in the
Lights Contest 2017