EL Light(ning) Sabers

Introduction: EL Light(ning) Sabers

In my ongoing quest to document stuff I forgot I made, I present my budget light sabers. Every true nerd needs a light saber, right?

I know everyone else uses super-powered LEDs with much better results, but I happened to be messing with electroluminescent wire at the time. Obviously a less-than-perfect solution, but better than a flashlight at least. I wouldn't recommend it if you're trying for the classic Star Wars look, but it's still an interesting effect. Also, thanks to the vagaries of amateur photography, the color came out wrong; they're both more green than blue.

I don't remember what exactly I used for the blade, but I think it was either 1in PETG or polycarbonate. I actually went to the distributor's will call desk to pick up the material and danced around the subject of what I was using it for. When I finally admitted it was for a light saber, the guy at the desk just laughed and said "Yeah, we get that a lot. A lot of people come here for stuff to make Stormtrooper armor, too." Although the blades themselves are relatively sturdy, their mooring to the hilts are not. I tried diffusing the light with a combination of sanding the exterior and spraying it with a frosting paint, but that obviously could've gone better.

The first I made was the black one, made smooth with a bunch of slip-fit PVC connectors and wrapped with 5mm macrame cord. The battery is kept in a separate compartment towards the pommel and can be replaced by sliding out the end plug. The light is switched by the EL wire inverter, which I screwed and taped into place towards the hand guard.

I had enough materials leftover to make another, so I went and made the silver one. I used a bunch of threaded PVC connectors, which gave it that really knobby look. I painted it with some metallic spray paint we happened to have, then painted in the recesses and such with plain ol' black acrylic. I don't remember where I got it, but I used a knurled dimmer switch to control the light and embedded it in the pommel. It was a lot trickier to wire; I had to remove a lot of the inverter's housing to get it to fit into the grip.

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    8 years ago on Introduction

    I actually like the idea of using blue EL wire in the body of the blade, and an LED at the base... it gives the appearance of lightning moving along the blade... very cool idea!