Introduction: Exploding Sun Lamp Design

About: My name is Rutger Oomkes and iI am a silicone jewelry designer. Further i worked at the creative care lab Waag in Amsterdam My true passion is creating functional art. At this moment my favorite materials are …

Last summer I made the first version of the exploding sun lamp and I got a lot of good feedback for my design.. Since then I have made a few different types of designs and with these instructions I would like to share how you can make this lamp yourself. I will try to explain as complete as possible how to create you own exploding sun. There are no limitations on how you can make this lamp. You can use a bigger sphere, more pmma optic wires, bigger size pmma optic wires, make your own unique shapes, etc. I hope you like my instructions and feel free to give me feedback or ask questions.

Step 1: The Materials

These are the materials used for making this lamp. You can alter the amounts of optic wire, size, shape, color to your own Exploding sun.

- Styropor sphere 20 cm (consisting two halve balls)

- 120 meter pmma 0.75 mm optic wire (This you can change to your favourite size. 0.5/1/1,5 mm, This is not cheap material and prices goes up rapidly choosing a bigger size)

- 4 neodymium magnets 10mm / 5mm /4mm

-Apoxy clay (toe components)

-Dremel 4000 (Makes some parts easier. You can use hobbyknife as well)

-One second clue ( Test the glue on styropor before using it, Not all glue you can used on this material)

-Bodkin/needle (around 1 mm size)

-LED lights (out of safety reasons use only LED light. The lamp will be closed and you do NOT want to overheat it)

For this project i bought a LED light with a remote control which enables me to choose 15 different colors.

-Lamp socket


-Acrylic paint oker yellow (I use waterbased paint. Styropor does not react good on chemical types of paint.)

-Hobby knife

- A marker

- A Scissor

Step 2: Creating the Hole for the Lamp Socket

One on side of the 20 cm ball I drew a circle where the lamp socket is going to be. I outlined the circle by using a lamp socket. I used the hobby knife for cutting it out. Then I placed the lamp socket and made the outline for the perfect fit. The last part in making the hole for which I used my dremel for cutting away the four edges for the best possible fit of the lamp socket.

Step 3: Placing the Lamp Socket

After the hole is made check if the lamp socket actually fits and sticks out on the inside. You want the best spot for the LED light, so that the lamp stays in place and the light from the led light covers all sides.

Step 4: Making the Holes in the Styropor Bol

With the bodkin/needle I pressed through the styropor to create little holes where in a later stage I pressed the pmma optic wire trough. The bodkin/needle I used is slightly bigger then then 0.75 mm needed for the optic wires. The styropor expands after pressing the holes so it will be a good fit. The lamp socket I left in so that I could see where to start making holes in the ball. Both sides of the ball I pierced trough with the bodkin/needle. I placed the holes in a choatic way in the lamp in order to create a random effect. On the edges make sure you don't make holes. The two sides should fit perfectly on each other so that's why this small part of the sphere should not be filled with pmma optic wire.

Step 5: Measuring Where to Place the Magnets

For my lamp I decided to use magnets. I wanted to make it a lamp that hangs on the ceiling where you can take one part off to replace the light or have more light shining in the room. For a standing light you won't need magnets. I decided to go for 4 magnet; two on each half of the ball. The nyodynium magnets I used are very strong and each magnet can hold up to 2.4 kg. For this lamp it works perfectly. Make sure you won't overdo it with the magnets. Test how it work and if necessary add more magnets. That would be better than tearing your lamp apart.

I measured roughly where the centrepoint was on both sides. Then I placed the magnets and outlined the place which I have to cut out. To ensure that the magnets will connect on both sides of the ball I placed the magnets on one half of the ball, closed it with the other half and pressed gently. This leaves a mark on the other side so you can see where to place the magnets there. Outline both sides. Make it slightly bigger than the size of the magnets so it fits with a little space left. I used the dremel to create the holes, This also can be done with a hobby knife. Make the hole slightly deeper so that the magnets do not stick out. You will fill this up in the next step.

Step 6: Placing the Magnets

When all holes are made its time to place the magnets. I used two component apoxy clay to keep the magnets in place. When hardened it is incredibly strong and it will keep the magnets on their place. I was concerned about the power of the magnet and I expected that glue would not do it. If you do try it in a different way make sure to test it on styropor before applying. Styropor does not react well on all types of glue.

You make two balls out of component A and B and mix them together till you see only one color left. At that point it is ready to apply. Cover the outlined hole with apoxy clay and press the magnet in. Cover the magnet with a bit of apoxy clay, smooth the surface so it will not stick out. Do the same on the other half of the ball. Then let the apoxy clay harden for 6 to 8 hours. MAKE SURE THE MAGNETS ON BOTH SIDES ATTRACT EACH OTHER. It comes really precise placing the magnets so they do not repel each other. Even knowing this I did this wrong the first time so I would like to emphasise this. .

Step 7: Painting the Sphere

Now it is time to paint the sphere. For this project i decided to go for the color yellow Ochre. In previous projects I tried black as well which gave a nice result because then it emphasized more the wires. I am using acrylic water based paint to do the job. As I mentioned before the styropor does not react well on some glue and paint, make sure you try it before applying it on the sphere. The sphere needs several layers of paint to give a smooth look. With the paint you can give the lamp its own character. After two layers I placed the sphere on a lamp socket to see how light comes through. I decided to paint the sphere with one last layer to give it a smoother look.

Step 8: Cutting and Placing the Pmma Optic Wire.

Now comes the last and most time consuming part of the lamp. Inserting the wire into the sphere. I decided to make all different lengths of wire which I placed in a chaotic way around the sphere. I use the scissors to cut different lengths of the pmma optic wire. I decided to go for this material because it transmits up to 90% of the light to the end of the wire. Glas fibre has the same qualities but with that material you have to be very cautious not to get injured.

Step 9: Placing and Glue the Pmma Optic Wire to the Sphere

Now comes the part where you fill all the holes with the wires. From the outside I press the wire into the sphere. From the inside I put a little bit of one second glue and press it gently back. The glue i do from the inside so it won't leaves marks on the painted parts. To speed up the process I press more wires in the same area into the sphere before I glue them and gently push them back. It works best to start on top of the sphere and work your way down to the edges of it. Use different length wires in a random way to create a burst effect.

Step 10: Hanging Your Lamp

After all the hard work the most rewarding part starts; Hanging up the lamp and see the results. For the light you put in the lamp make sure you will be using a LED light bulb. They do not create the heat of old fashion lights. Since the sphere will be closed you do not want to overheat the interior of the lamp. You connect the lamp on the socket, put the LED light in and close the sphere.

Step 11: Now Enjoy Your Own Made Exploding Sun

I hope you found my instructions for creating your own design lamp clear and valuable. I really enjoyed making this instructions. Personally I really like the LED light with remote control so you can create your own atmosphere by choosing your desired color. I am curious how you like my project. Feel free to comment, give feedback or ask questions. The lamp works very nicely for me but there is always room for improvement. Looking forward seeing people own creations on this design.

Kind regards,

Rutger Oomkes

Gronings Wild

Step 12: Variation on Exploding Sun

By using a rotating disco LED bulb inside the sphere the colors subtle change. Creating more the vibe of a universe. To create this effect the best way is to paint the sphere black. Make sure that the disco light has the space inside the sphere to rotate.

Lights Contest 2017

First Prize in the
Lights Contest 2017