Introduction: Floppy Disk Lamp

About: Student of Medicine. Fan of instructables since forever. Im fascinated by lights.

A few days ago while emptying some old drawers in search of a memory card I came across some old floppy disks. I didnt want to throw them away and wanted to do something interesting with them. I eventually decided on building a lamp with them. Here's how I did it.

You can see a video I made of it here.

By the way this is a very offhand kind of project, it can definitely be approached more professionally.

Step 1: Getting the Materials

There can be many ways to make this lamp but in case you'd like to do it my way; you will need

  • Some translucent floppy Disks (6 minimum)
  • Hot Glue Gun - Hot Glue Sticks
  • Staples
  • Bulb
  • Bulb holder
  • Wire
  • Plug

That's it mostly. We will discuss choice of floppy drives in next step. Its a very important step.

Step 2: Choosing Your Disks..

Observe the photos. Some floppy disks come in a translucent packaging while some in opaque. There are some intermediates types too.

For this project we need translucent disks, the opaque ones wont work. For checking transulceny just hold in front of a bright light. The more translucent it is, the better it will look in your final project. Also avoid colours like black or dark blue which will allow a very small amount of light.

Step 3: Building the Walls of the Cube..

  1. The most basic thing we need to do in this project is to build a cube.
  2. How I approached it was that I put two floppy disks together, then added a small amount of glue to its meeting sides. I put some staples in there for added strength. Then let it freeze, then add another piece of staples for reinforcement. I tried this on a whim and it proved to be very strong. I tried pulling it apart once and the whole floppy cover came apart.
  3. Its better to decide which floppy will be the floor of the cube as it will make the wiring easier later.

  4. Move systematically and add floppies till you make 3 walls and a floor like in the last photo. When you reach this stage, don't add any more floppies till the next step.
  5. Take this time to add more reinforcements of glue, cover any chinks in the walls through which light can escape. If there are any gaps you can add a line of glue to it and colour it black with a sharpie.
  6. Covering gaps in walls is important because if light escapes it doesn't look good in the end.
  7. There are two squares at every floppy disk's bottom side. You'll need to block them out too or cover them with black tape.
  8. The last photo shows lines of blacked out glue.

Step 4: Adding a Hinge for the Roof

  1. I decided to put a hinge so if I decide to open it later for replacing bulbs or such it would be easier.
  2. If you want to add a hinge its upto you. I would advise you against it. Duct tape would work much better and you'll escape making a mess.
  3. Bulbs don't burn out easily either and will run a few months so it's not like you'd be replacing them all the time. If you choose to use LED's it's even better so don't use a hinge.
  4. Either way if you decide to use a hinge or tape or anything else, tape it to a side and add the fourth wall of the cube.
  5. Pass a wire through the hole in the floppy disk's side.

Step 5: Wiring - Electronics

  • I used a incandescent bulb initially and a bulb holder. If you decide to go with this then you will need to strip the bulb holder to its essentials so it can fit inside the cube. You'll also need a small bulb (15w).
  • I didnt use LED's initially because I wanted it to be bright. I will advise you to use LED's because:
    1. They produce negligible heat, so it will protect the plastic interior of the cube. The incandescent bulb will slowly melt the interior no matter how you place it.
    2. You can wire it up with a usb and run it with your computer.
    3. They will make the final assembly much easier as you'll observe in the next step.
  • As the last photo says the bulb is slowly melting the inside of the cube, so I will be replacing it with a USB LED circuit I have made.

Step 6: Final Touches

  1. To keep the incandescent bulb off the floor, I added some piece of staples on top of each other and added glue over them. (this need can be eliminated by using LED's)
  2. Make a raised platform so the bulb will be raised off the floor.
  3. Once your platform is perfect, add the 4th wall of the cube.
  4. Pass the wire with the bulb holder through the square in the floppy's side.
  5. Add a plug to the wire and youre good to go on the electronics.
  6. Now attach the final disk to complete setup, attach it to the hinge so it functions as a roof.
  7. On the last note I will ask you again to use LED's, I have made a LED ciruit on a board and attached it with a USB wire, so I will be putting that in the cube soon. Using a bulb will slowly melt the cube so its not practical.
  8. If you dont know how to make a USB circuit this instructable can help.

Step 7: Final Pictures and Videos

Here are the final pictures of the lamp.

You can also see a video I made of it here.

I will try to upload another one after installing the LED circuits.

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Epilog Contest VII