Introduction: Modern Wifi Controlled LED Lamps
My goal with this project was to make some good looking wall lamps for my new bedroom. I got used to having LED lighting in the crown molding of my current room but now that I'm moving into a room without crown molding I had to come up with a solution that was better than just sticking an LED strip to my wall.
I wanted the design to be simple and cheap so I could build multiple. I also wanted the lamps to be controllable by an app on my phone and voice controllable with my Alexa.
One lamp ended up only costing me about $20 and they turned out great so I'd call this project a success!
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Here's Everything you'll need: Use the affiliate links to support my content!
Wood - Local wood store (see next step for dimensions)
Wemos D1 Mini - https://amzn.to/2B28bsd
WS2812b LED Strip - https://amzn.to/36VAJOS
Acrylic - https://amzn.to/2Z1yOW3
DC Jack - https://amzn.to/2Z1yOW3 5V 2A
DC Power Supply - https://amzn.to/2Z1yOW3
Miter Saw - https://amzn.to/37TtKY1
Finish Sander - https://amzn.to/2Z1yOW3
Dremel - https://amzn.to/2VdnLrN
Wood Glue - https://amzn.to/2Z1yOW3
Epoxy - https://amzn.to/2Z1yOW3
Clamps - https://amzn.to/2Z1yOW3
Soldering Iron - https://amzn.to/2Z1yOW3
Solder - https://amzn.to/2Z1yOW3
Wire - https://amzn.to/2Z1yOW3
Wire stripper - https://amzn.to/2Z1yOW3
Hot Glue Gun - https://amzn.to/2Z1yOW3
Hot Glue - https://amzn.to/2Z1yOW3
Step 1: Cut the Wood and Acrylic to Size
All measurements I made were based off the height of my panes of Acrylic
First I cut each pane in half so the height was about 6" (minus half the width of my saw blade)
Then I cut two 6" pieces of 1x6 wood and two 6" pieces of 1x2 wood. You can use any wood you think looks nice, I chose alder because it was pretty cheap and had a nice color.
From the same 1x6 piece from before I cut a 3'3" piece to act as the base.
Be sure to sand down all the pieces and remove any stickers!
Step 2: Glue the Wooden Frame Together
I started by gluing the 1x4 pieces to the base at either end. I clamped them down and let them dry for 30 minutes.
Then I used the acrylic panes as spacers and glued the 1x2 pieces snugly against the acrylic. Once those have dried, do a test fit. My middle panes didn't quite fit so I measured them and cut them down to size so they would fit snugly.
Give the glued frame one last sand before moving on to the next step!
Step 3: Add Your Clear Coat
Since I wanted to keep the color of the Alder wood I chose not to stain the wood and just add a clear coat. The spray on that I used required three coats with 30 minutes of dry time between each. After adding three coats the the top I flipped it over for another three on the bottom.
Once you've applied all your coats leave it out to dry over night just to be safe.
Step 4: Sand the Acrylic
While the clear coat is drying take your 6x12 sheets of acrylic and sand them until both sides are frosted. This will give the LED light something to bounce off of for the desired effect. Be sure to sand in one direction so you dont have any strange patterns show up when you turn the lamps on!
Step 5: Epoxy the Acrylic to the Frame
If you did a test fit this step should be easy! Mix equal parts of epoxy and hardener in a disposable tray and apply it to three sides of an acrylic panel. Slide your panel into place and clamp it down. If you're using a quick set epoxy do one pane at a time, they only need to sit for about 5 minutes!
Step 6: Add the LEDs
Stick your LED strip onto the base about a centimeter from the back. This distance will prevent the LEDs from creating hot spots in the acrylic and give a more even light.
Solder your 5v and ground to the 5v and ground of your Wemos Board, then solder data in to pin D4. Connect two long wires to 5v and ground and screw the other ends into their respective slots of your DC barrel jack.
If needed, dremel a slot in the back for the wires to fit in so they sit flush!
Step 7: Flash WLED and Set Up Your Lamps!
Rather than write my own code for these, I decided to go with the open source WLED software. It has an app I can use on my iPhone to change colors, animations, brightness, speed, and many other settings. I can save my favorites as presets, sync my lamps together, and even set up sound reactive animations (Google LEDFX).
WLED is super easy to setup and use. I recommend watching Dr. Zzz's video on it because he explains the process better than I can (skip to 12:30).
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