update 25-12-14: After testing the lamp we found out that it can easily overheat. You can prevent it by removing the lid when it is on or by providing ventilation holes somewhere in the cube.
In this instructable we will show you how to build an ambient lamp. The lamp can be made in one or two evenings and is made from simple materials. The main material being corrugated cardboard used in cardboard boxes. The light source itself is a LED strip that can be controlled with a remote control. The lights of the LED strip are separated in red, green and blue LEDs. This allows the light to shine in every desired color. This separation in combination with the cellular structure of the corrugated cardboard leads to interesting colored patterns as the different color LEDs sometimes shine into different cells.
Step 1: Materials
- Corrugated cardboard (in this instruction we used two-layer one, three-layer cardboard is also good)
- Semi transparent white plastic sheets (we used: canson home decoration les translucides natural)
- Sketch paper (the thin type that comes from a roll)
- Semi transparent office tape (invisible tape)
- Brown thin cardboard
- Printing paper, one sheet
- 5M RGB LED 5050 led strip
- 24 key IR remote controller for led strip
- AC 100-240V to DC 12V 5A 60W power supply adapter for led strip light. We highly recommend you to use the recommended adapter for the power supply. In our example we used batteries, but they will drain quickly.
Step 2: Build It
- Cut a square of 20 x 20 cm from the corrugated cardboard. This will be the bottom of the lamp
- Cut small strips of 20 x 2 cm. These strips will be used for the walls and the lid of the lamp.
- Glue the strips on top of each other to create the lid of the lamp. this lid should have the same width and length as the width and length of the lamp. You now have a lid that is 20 x 20 x 2 cm.
- Cut the ends of the other strips under and angle of 45 degrees like in the picture. These strips will form the walls of the lamp.
- Place the strips around the bottom of the lamp to build up the walls. Place small strips of paper on the corners to increase the binding between the walls. Make sure you have enough strips to create a cube that is 18 cm high. The height should be 18 cm because the lid will add another 2 cm therefore the total height comes to 20 cm.
- Cut out the total form of the walls from the brown cardboard as seen from the top and glue it to the top of the walls. This will create a smooth surface that hides the cuts between the walls.
- Cut out 4 surfaces from the semi transparent sheets. Their width should be a little bit smaller than the width of the lamp. This will depend on how straight the walls are. It is important that the sheets are not wider than the lamp because if they are, they will not stay in place. A value of 19.5 cm would probably work. The height of the sheets should be the height of cube (18 cm) + the height of the lid (2 cm). preferably a little bit higher (20.5 cm).
- Cut out 4 faces with the same dimension from the sketch roll. this can be done easily by wrapping the sketch paper around the transparent sheets.
- Cut out 1 surface from the semi transparent sheet for the lid. The dimension should be the same as the dimension of the lid (20 x 20). make sure it is a few mm smaller.
- Cut out 1 surface from the sketch roll with the same dimensions.
- Tape the sketch roll sheets and plastic sheets together at the edges. Make sure the sketch paper is stretched around the sheet as tightly as possible.
- Place the combined sheets around the cube and on the lid. Put the side with sketch paper on the inside. These semi transparent sheets are used like a screen on which the light is projected. This way, you can observe the colored patterns when looking at lamp rather than seeing the light source.
- Tape the combined sheets together vertically on the edges of the cube and tape them to the bottom horizontally. This will only work if the sheets are a bit smaller than the cube.
Step 3: Finish!
- Connect the LED light with the battery or adapter and place it inside the cube
- Put on the lid
Use the remote to control the lights. You might want to let the antenna stick outside the lid, otherwise the remote control might not work without removing the lid.