Introduction: Micro-shower Shaped Lamp

About: I like Physics and electronics. Enthusiast of projects related to these topics. I also like aerial photography with the use of drones.

A couple of weeks ago my cousin announced his desire to see me and stay a few days in my house. Of course I loved the idea, I also wanted to spend some pleasant moments with him, there was only one problem: the new guest room was not finished yet! It was pending to uninstall a shower that no longer fit the new function of that place. Removing the shower involved a lot of work, there was no enough time before my cousin's arrival. What to do? I had an idea. What if we put the bed just under the shower and wait to see his reaction? What will he think, that he can bathe in bed or that if he falls asleep someone can wake him up by pouring water? What we did was cut off the shower´s water supply.

When he arrived and after greeting us, we invited him to leave his things in the room. After a few minutes he came back smiling and asked us, why is a shower above the bed? Hahahah, we couldn't stop laughing.

Certainly a shower on the bed is something strange and I do not think that it is useful for many, however, a shower-shaped lamp would be something original, useful and perhaps call the curiosity of those who see it.

In this INSTRUCTABLE I discuss how I made a lamp inspired by previous experiences. I decided to make a small version so that it would be easier to reproduce by the DIY community.

The lamp I propose consists of a concrete structure, covered with glass tiles. Inside it includes guide tubes for electric cables and a cavity for connections and a rotary switch. The cables connect the alternating current of the mains to a shower head transformed into a light source. On and off the lamp is controlled by the rotary switch.

Note: For the realization of this project I used basic materials and tools that I already had available in my garage. Except for the glass tiles, the rotary switch, the concrete mixture; all other items are recycled. Perhaps the shower head model I chose (I already had it) and the rotary switch are the elements that you should not replace with other variants, at least if you strictly follow all my steps. They could be replaced, but perhaps the procedure should change a bit. If you have any questions let me know and I will gladly help you.



Step 1: Remove the Light Diffuser and the Internal Components of the LED Bulb

The Led bulb that was used in this project is 5W and 5000K color temperature. Depending on the preferences of each one you can choose between one type or another. Since I plan to use this lamp during my reading sessions I chose this power and light color.

The plastic diffuser of the LEDs is glued to the body of the bulb using a white silicone. Try to peel it off using the sharp part of a utility knife as shown in the image. Once you slide the cutter through the joint you will notice that with a small force it can be detached from the body of the bulb. Without the diffuser you will immediately notice the plate containing the LEDs. With the help of the utility knife, remove the edge that holds that plate and cut the small wires that are welded to it and remove it. You can immediately notice the small Switching Power Supply (SPS), twist it and remove it with your own hands, since the LEDs were previously connected should not fear an electric shock (see note).

The parts you will need from the led bulb are: the plastic diffuser, (SPS) and the plate containing the LEDs.

Important note: I clarify that within this type of bulbs there is a (SPS) that transforms the 120V or 220V into a stable voltage (direct current) that is connected to the board that contains the LEDs that illuminate. It is important to explain that these small (SPS), rectify the Alternating Current (AC) voltage of the network and store it in a capacitor. The stored voltage value is greater than the RMS voltage of the network. Specifically, CAPACITOR VOLTAGE = NETWORK VOLTAGE * ROOT OF (2). For 120V it would be approximately 170V and for 220V it would be 311V so it would be dangerous to touch the capacitor terminals while this is storing power! That is why in the image of the source it is distinguished in the 400V capacitor as the maximum supported value. Never feed the (SPS) to the (AC) without the LED board connected to it. The capacitor could remain charged even without being connected to the 110V-220V with danger of electric shock if handled improperly. If you do not feel confident that you can perform the operations I explain in this step, skip this step and use a LED strip of a lower voltage, for example, 12V. You will also need to acquire an external source that provides those 12V to be able to turn on the LEDs. The remaining steps are fully compatible if you decide on the LED ribbon option. Using an external source means having a stand-by consumption even if the lamp is off if you keep it connected to the wall plug. Another variant is to use a small led bulb that does not require dismantling and can be connected directly to 110V.

Step 2: Trim a Part of the Plastic Diffuser

Before making a cut to the diffuser you must mark it.
In my case it was feasible to place it on the front of the shower head and since it is a translucent plastic I managed to mark the shadow that caused one on the other. You must cut beyond what you mark to have enough area to stick with each other.

Step 3: Glue the Cut Part of the Diffuser to the Front of the Shower Head

I managed to glue the cut part of the diffuser to the shower head with high temperature silicone, of the type used in cars to make joints. Unfortunately, it is red, although I would have preferred white. However, if you make the joint carefully it should not be noticed from the outside. This type of silicone is easier to remove if you need to replace the LED board or the (SPS) in case of maintenance or replacement. I do not believe that very high temperatures are reached but having this property is an extra that is appreciated.

Step 4: Convert the Shower Head As a Light Source for the Lamp.

The selected components of the Led Bulb should be placed inside the shower head. Since the space inside the shower head is restricted, only the strictly necessary components must be glued internally to the shower head, so that they are not noticed from the outside when everything is assembled. The electrical connections between the board containing the LEDs and the (SPS) must be made respecting the polarity. Some pieces of cable must be welded to the part marked (AC) in the (SPS). These pieces of cable will then be spliced to the cables coming from the Rotary Switch that will control the lamp on and off. It is convenient to prove that everything works as expected before continuing with the subsequent steps. Special care must be taken in the bonding stage so that short circuits do not occur. I recommend attaching any non-conductive foil to the electrical conduction tracks of the (SPS).

Step 5: Make Holes in the PVC Tube and Transform the ROLL-ON Deodorant Cap As a Cavity for Electrical Connections.

Drill the PVC pipe to let the electric cable guide tubes, the ½ inch nipple and the cavity for the electrical connections pass. It may be convenient to superimpose the mesh with the tiles on the PVC pipe and locate a suitable position for the ½ inch nipple output, the rotary switch and the 110V alternating current (AC) power cable input. As can be seen in the image next to the hole where the rotary switch would come out, 4 small holes were made to hold the ROLL-ON deodorant cap. This cap would leave a cavity where the electrical connections of the rotary switch to the shower head as a light source will be made.

p>A deodorant container cap can be adapted to be part of the concrete mold, as a cavity for electrical connections and receptacle of the rotary switch. I chose a deodorant cap, but many variants could be used. To this I made 4 holes, 2 of 4mm to pass through them cable ties and fix it to the PVC tube and 2 of 10mm for the electric cable guide tubes. Two pieces of 10 mm outer diameter hose were used as guide tubes.

Step 6: Join All the Elements That Will Make Up the Concrete Mold

Insert the deodorant cap with the guide tubes into the inner diameter 100mm PVC pipe. Attach it with the cable ties to the PVC pipe using the small holes that you made before. Place the ½ inch nipple into the hole you made for this purpose. Cover with masking tape all the joints where you think the concrete can come out during the curing process. Take out the guide tube inside the ½ inch nipple and through the hole you made for the power cord inlet. Before pouring the concrete into the mold, I slipped the electrical wires inside the guide tubes, but now I consider it totally unnecessary.

Step 7: Fill the Mold With Concrete

Prepare 1 part of cement combined with 2 parts of sand (if you use the pre-mixed concrete that I recommend in the list of materials this is unnecessary). Mix well dry and then add some water. Begin beating the mixture by adding water little by little until you get a doughy consistency without excess water. The mold can be placed on a wooden board without any extra fixing, only if it is supported by its own weight. It is important that you mark the appropriate level of concrete that should be reached inside the mold (it must match the exact height of the tiles you want to place). The concrete height in my case was 390mm. Pour the mixed concrete into the mold and allow it to set for at least 3 full days.

Step 8: Remove the Cured Concrete Mold

To remove the mold, I decided to cut it into 2 halves with the help of a handsaw. During the cut, be careful not to scratch the concrete too much.

Using Quickcrete, I cover the cured concrete lower part (wider of) and its upper part, with the small glass mosaics. This is not strictly necessary, although I thought it would be appropriate to check my skills and procedures to achieve it (I had never done this task before). The tiles placed at the bottom allowed me to support the rest of the upper tiles, helping me not to slip through the action of gravity.

Step 9: Rotary Switch Coupling and Electrical Connections

Although in the design of this lamp I could ignore the rotary switch and use a switch in line with the power cord, I really wanted the lamp to have this feature. I wanted to make the impression of a real shower that needs a water stopcock, although I would be controlling the passage of an electric current. To fix the switch to the lamp I used a piece of wood that entered just inside the cavity of the deodorant cap. Maybe you should use some glue for final fixing. The switch that was used was the MRY106 from the manufacturer NKK. This model according to its datasheet offered a high mechanical and electrical strength and since it is a critical component for the operation that should last, it was chosen for this purpose. The MRY106 has pins that lead by turning the handle counterclockwise, just like when opening many types of water stopcocks. The previous feature was another element that motivated using it.

To fix the switch to the piece of wood a through hole of 6mm was made to the center wood and then another non-through hole of 10mm in diameter over this. The latter with the purpose of being able to screw the nut of the switch since the wood was very wide and prevented putting the nut. A thicker wood offered greater stability within the cavity.

In this design, only pin 1 and 2 of the rotary switch were used. The others were cut with a cutting pliers. Pin 1 and 2 of the rotary switch were soldered with 2 electrical wires, then were covered with heat shrink sleeves.

Make the electrical connections between the Power cord cables and those that should go to the shower head. One of the conductors is connected directly to one of the cables that go to the shower head and the other is passed through a switch. Electrical connections are protected with electrical tape or similar. Organize the cables using cable ties.

The diameter of the switch control pin is 3mm. If a slightly larger hole is made to the stem of the water faucet handle and it is inserted into each other, the position of the switch can be controlled by turning the handle. Use some instant glue to strengthen the bond.

Step 10: Time to Test

I decided to do a test before the final veneer with the glass tiles. If there was any damage it would be much easier to analyze and repair. After screwing the shower head to the ½ inch nipple, making the electrical connections with it proved that everything worked as expected.

Step 11: Place the Lamp Tiles

The tiles of the widest part and those of the upper part had already been laid. Making the veneer in 2 parts made it easier for me to support the rest of the tiles so that they did not slide down by the action of gravity. To put the tiles on the transition between the widest and narrowest part, a strip of the tile mesh was used. Part of the mesh between each tile was partially cut so that it would be possible to bend and facilitate the transition between both diameters. Quickrete was used to complete the process. It was effective for me to previously cover the tiles with a sufficient amount of cement and then adhere them to the lamp structure. Pre-wet the cured concrete with water to facilitate fixing. After approximately 35min I wiped the rest of the cement covering the tiles to clean them with a cloth.

Drying will depend on the type of cement used and the temperature and humidity at which this process is done. In my case I left it overnight. Optionally cover the tile joints with white cement to obtain a better finish.

Step 12: Cover the Access Holes of the Power Cord and the Rotary Switch.

To cover the access, I used two pieces of a PVC sheet that I adjusted to each of the spaces. These pieces were fixed to the main structure of the lamp with silicone glue to make it easier to take it off in case of maintenance or repairs.

Congratulations you should have your lamp ready if you have completed the previous steps. I hope you enjoyed this project as much as I did. Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions, I will be very attentive and will gladly respond.

Good luck and keep up to date with my next projects.

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