Introduction: Modular Wall Lighting Panels

About: I am a student of mechanical engineering and like to work on small projects.

I heard about the lighting challenge and saw it as an opportunity to carry out a long thought-out project.

I have always liked wall decorations with lighting. There are many concepts to buy, such as Nanoleafs. These are usually quite expensive and do not fit every decoration.

That's why I wanted something that looks more valuable by using wood, for example.

As a conclusion the following modules were created. I like the optics very much. It would be wrong, if I would claim it is a short DIY project. The effort especially for soldering is quite high.

If I did not scare you too much I wish you a lot of fun with the manual.

Step 1: Parts

The shopping list for this project is quite long. You need:

- 0,25 mm² cable ( at least ver different colors to keep the overview )

- Plug sockets (4 pieces per module; RND 205-00642)

- Connectors (4 pieces per module; RND 205-00632)

- Heat shrinkable tubing

- Solder

- Usb cable (1 piece)

- Arduino nano (1 piece)

- Transistors (3 pieces; IRLB8721PBF)

- Pla filament ( 110g per module)

- Wood veneer (2,4 mm thick)

- microswitch (2 pieces; Short-travel keys 8mm)

- Led stripes ( ~ 33 cm per module; 4 cores)

- 10 k Ohm resistors (2 pieces)

- magnets ( 8mm diameter, 2mm thick)

- waschers ( 15 mm diameter, ~1,3mm thick)

Tools and machines:

- soldering iron

- Hot air dryer or lighter

- 3D Printer

Step 2: The Standard Module

The standard module serves to expand the system. The basic features of the standard module and the control module are identical, such as the wiring of the connectors.

The modules are constructed as a rhombus. This results in four side surfaces which can be linked to other modules. Four cables are connected, the power supply and the individual colours red, green and blue.

First you have to print die Standard_panel module.

Print settings:

20% infill

with support

0.2 mm layers


After printing you can glue the magnets in the right place.

Step 3: Wiring the Standard Module

The cabling is shown in the first picture. Take care to place the cables in the correct order, otherwise the colours will be mixed up or the led stripes will not work.

The cabling is valid for the standard module as well as for the control module. With the control module there are more cables to be added.

Afterwards the pins must be glued to the 3D print part. To ensure that the connectors are correctly aligned, the connectors are each connected to a different module and glued together. It is important that no glue runs between the modules, so that they do not stick together.

Step 4: The Control Panel

To control the panel on the wall there is a control module, which controls all other modules. It contains two different switches which can be operated by pressing the cover.

The first switch is used as on/off switch. The second switch switches the colors of the LEDs.

First you have to print die Standard_panel module.

Print settings:

20% infill

with support

0.2 mm layers


After printing you can glue the magnets in the right place.

Step 5: Wiring the Control Module

The wiring is done according to the following wiring diagram. Make sure that the cables are long enough so that the switches are in the intended position. A 5V USB power supply is used for the power supply. The circuit is connected to a cut USB cable so that it can be easily unplugged.

The cabling of the module looks very chaotic, but the thin cables can be bent well, so there is enough space. When wiring the arduino, make sure you use enough cable to position the components in the right places.

Step 6: Programming the Arduino

For the control I used an arduino nano. I hope the code is self-explanatory, alternatively it is enough to simply copy from these. You only have to modify the code to change the selected colors.

Step 7: Making the Cover

As a cover to create indirect light, I have used covers made of wood veneer. By using wood veneer I was able to achieve a nice look at a reasonable price. If you don't like the wood cover and want something else I've also made an 3D template for an printable cover.

Cut the veneer to size using the printed template. Apply some wood oil after sanding the corners.

For the standard panel:

Glue the washers into the wood_connector_washers. Maybe it is enough to clamp the washers.

Use the template to glue the connector_wood_washers board onto the veneer.

Depending on how strong the magnets are, glue the washers in the direction of the wood or the other way round.

For the control panel:

Because the pressure on the wood of the control panel presses the switches, it is necessary that the magnets are stronger so that the cover does not fall off. Depending on how strong the magnets are, it makes sense to use the version for the standard panel, otherwise the switches remain pressed in.

Therefore, magnets are now also glued in on the other side.
Pay attention to the correct polarity of the magnets, so that they stick well later.

The further steps are the same as for the standard module.

Print settings:

20% infill

without support

0.2 mm layers


Step 8: Connectors

So that no force is applied to the pins, connectors are inserted between the modules.

Print settings:

100% infill

without support

0.2mm layers


Step 9: Diffusor

A diffuser is used to achieve uniform illumination of the modules. This is finally put over the LEDs.

Print settings:

20% infill

without support

with brim

0.2 mm layers

transparent PLA

Step 10: Problems and Challenges

Not every project works flawlessly, so this one had some problems during development.To show what went wrong, I will go into this chapter.

The funier is quite thin, so you have to be careful when sawing it, otherwise you can break out some corners.

I had chosen a larger diameter for the cables. Because of this the cables could not be bent as well as the thinner ones. It was possible to place them, but with a huge effort.

While developing the 3D print parts I encountered several problems. Sometimes the cables did not fit in, other times the file was difficult to print and had a bad adhesion to the print bed.

Step 11: Thanks for Watching

Thank you very much for your attention.

If you liked the instructions I would be pleased if you vote for me at the Lighting Contest.

If there are any questions left open feel free to ask for.

Lighting Challenge

Runner Up in the
Lighting Challenge