Introduction: Nerd Lamps
Get ready! Because today I'm writing about a very nerdy project. It was my pleasure to make two hexagon-shaped lamps as a tribute to ParliamoNerd YouTube channel founded by Filippo (aka Aldo) and Lorenzo (aka Freyer), who are not only fantastic content creators, commentators and fellow gamers, but also my dear friends.
I asked them which are their favourite games and they told me: The Witcher and Fallout. So I looked online for the coolest black and white logo I could find.
For Aldo's lamp I chose:
- the medallion from the Witcher game
- the medallion from the Witcher Netflix series
For Freyer's lamp I chose:
- the power armour from Fallout 3
- the NCR Ranger combat armour from Fallout New Vegas
The cool thing about this lamps is that are very customizable. You can unscrew the covers and replace them with any other plastic logo you like.
In addition you can place the lamps on your desk both horizontally or vertically and also fix them to the wall.
- 1 mm thick opal plastic sheet (polycarbonate or acylic)
- 2 mm thick anodised aluminium plate
- 4 x 2 cm lime wood batten
- impregnating and opaque black paint
- 24 V LED PCB or strip (step 6 cm)
- Step Down converter, Buck DC-DC 3 - 40 V a 1.5 - 35 V (needed to convert 24 V to 12 V)
- small wires
- power cable with inline switch
- small screws
- electrical nail clips, cable ties and adhesive supports
Step 1: Design
The hexagon shape is my signature and Merenel logo as well and I just took the design from my other lamp projects you can find on Instructable: such as the Honeycomb LED Panels or the Modern Hexa LED Lamp With Bluetooth and I just made smaller panels. I attach the .dxf file to be given to the company that will laser cut the aluminium for you.
After choosing the images I have used Solid Hedge 2D to make them fit in the hexagon-shaped frames in order to perfectly size the picture to be printed.
Once I sized the picture I made some scale 1:1 A4 PDFs that I sent to the company that printed for me the logos in black colour on the opal plastic sheet.
Step 2: Cut the Wood
You can cut small wood pieces with a manual saw or also with a miter saw but be very carefult if you use this last one.
Make sure the wood pieces are 9 cm long and have a precise 60° angle.
Step 3: Glue and Finish the Hexagons
Just use PVA glue to join together the wooded pieces to form the hexagon frames and the bases for the lamps.
Some imperfections were unavoidable so I filled the narrow grooves with wood filler of the same colour of the wood. When the filler dried I finished the edges with the help of an orbital sander.
In this phase, in the middle of a wooded piece, you can also drill the holes for the mini switch and the EU male connector. Pay attention here, because they are not properly passing hole but are narrow holes with larger recesses, study the components and make them fit properly.
Step 4: Paint the Hexagons
I have painted the pieces of a lamp with opaque black paint with white spirit as diluent. Make sure you don't paint in black the inner walls of the hexagon bases because it is important that these layers are kept as whitish as possible so the light will be able to bounce off them.
For the other lamp I've just used transparent wood impregnating.
Step 5: Shape the Plastic to the Frames
The logos were printed on polycarbonate opal squares 20 x 20 cm.
I converted them into hexagons with just a ruler and a cutter. I have actually used the wooden frame as guide but I left an inner margin of 2 mm in a way that the hexagons are slightly smaller in size than the wooden frames.
Step 6: Screw the Hexagons to the Aluminum Plate
As you can see from the aluminium plate sketch, I have placed the holes in the middle of each side of the hexagons. Drill a hole and insert a screw to fix the plate with the wood. A little hint: chamfer the holes to make sure the heads of the screw are levelled with the plate.
Step 7: Make Magnet Recesses and Add Switches
Use a drill bit (10mm in diameter) to make 3 recesses for each hexagon, make them slightly less deeper than your magnet. If you make a mistake and you go too deep, don't worry! Just fill the hole with some sawdust to make the magnet reach the wood level.
Solder some small wires and fix also the EU panel connector and the mini switch.
Step 8: Solder the Cicuit
Follow the circuit in the picture. As you can see the power supply is 24V and is giving power to the main white LEDs through a mini switch. I have used a step-down to lower 24V to 12V to power the RGB electronic board. You will have to open the case of the RGB controller and take out the board and modify it. Just solder 4 wires (common +24V; R; G; B) where the RGB connector was. While soldering the rest of the LEDs the only thing to remember is that the LEDs are connected in parallel.
I have used brass wire bits to make all the connections with an angle between LEDs strips and some 0.25mm2 copper wires to make the bridges between the circuits.
In order to make the LED circuit shapes fit, I suggest you to solder pentagons with 5 cm long RGB strips and then solder hexagons with 6 cm long strips (I have used rigid PCBs), pay attention that the 6 cm side hexagons in my case have a side opened toward its middle.
If you like soldering you'll find that for this project it is quite a challenge.
Step 9: Cable Management
Use small nail clips to fix the wires to the inner wooden sides of the hexagons and use a cable ties to fix the IR receiver. Don't worry, IR radiation will go through the plastic opal cover easily.
While arranging cables I always suggest you to pass over circuit junctions and not on the LEDs, so you will not block their light.
Step 10: Place the Lamp Where You Wish and Switch It on
Now you only have to place the lamp beside your gaming PC to give an even more nerdy appeal to your room!!
As you can see Aldo from ParliamoNerd decided to place its lamp on his desk on the side of its Dark Souls bonfire lamp. On the other hand Freyer decided to place it on a thin-legged table beside a Buddha statue just beside its television set with his consoles.
Let me know if you liked this project and... which game logo would you print on the lamp?
If you love the lamp and you have to get it, you can purchase it on Etsy and I'll be happy to make it for you.
Until the next project.
Pietro by Merenel
Runner Up in the
Make it Glow Contest