Introduction: The WhateverYouWant Lamp

About: I am a 13-year-old maker, spending all my spare time creating. I love all forms of making, and want to learn about every tool and material that I can!

This is an exciting project for the beginner circuit enthusiast with basic electronic skills. The project was originally just to light up parts of my workshop that didn't have great lighting. The end product is a beautiful lamp that adapts to the user's preferences. Before we start, it would be great if you voted for me in the home decor contest at the bottom of this page.


Step 1: Preparing the Cardboard Tube

The first step in this instructable is to make holes in the cardboard tube

On the tube, drill a hole towards the bottom in what will become the back of the lamp. I used a 1/8" drill bit, but I would advise using a 1/4" drill bit to maximize the quality of the end product. Then, cut open a hole the size of your switch at the bottom of the other side. Finally, adjust the height of your tube using a hacksaw.

Step 2: Pipes, Pipes, and More Pipes!

On one of the 1 1/2 inch PVC pipe, first, make the PVC pipe about an inch shorter than the cardboard tube. Then, use an awl or nail to make a divet in the pipe. After that, drill through one side of it with a 1/8" drill bit, and then finally upgrade to a 1/4" bit. You can use a smaller drill bit, but it will be easier the bigger you go.

On the other 1 1/2 PVC pipe, first, cut it in half so that it is more of a semicircle-shape with a bandsaw. Then, use a saw to open a hole the size of the wire from your 12V adapter on one side of the base of the pipe.

Step 3: Light It Up Up Up!

In this step, we will prepare the bulb.

First, solder two wires onto the positive and the negative ports of the bulb. Make sure you can remember which one is positive and negative if you are using an LED.

Then, rest the bulb on top of the PVC pipe that was not cut in half and pull the two wires attached to the bulb through the hole in the PVC pipe.

Finally, hot glue everything into place.

Step 4: On or Off?

In this step, we will add an on/off switch to the lamp.

Solder one of the wires from the bulb to one of the ports on your switch. It doesn't matter which wire you use, just remember which is positive and negative if you are using an LED. After that, proceed to solder another wire on the second port of the switch.

Finally, hot glue the switch into the hole in the cardboard tube that you prepared for the switch.

Step 5: More Power, Rabbit!

The next step in this instructable is to add power.

For my lamp, I was originally going to rely solely on a 12V power adapter, but when I connected it to the lamp, the short circuit detector in the adapter activated and automatically turned itself until I disconnected it from the lamp. There was no short circuit in my creation, and I suspect the halogen bulb was the culprit, so I added two 9V batteries (rechargeable) to the circuit, and it somehow fixed the adapters' short circuit problem and provided extra power.

First, pull the two wires inside of the cardboard tube through the remaining hole. After that, solder the positive and negative of the two wires to the positive and negative of two 9V battery clips. Make sure to leave some room to add the power adapter.

Prepare the 12V power adapter by stripping the insulation off of it, exposing the + and -. Then, solder the + of the adapter to the same place you soldered the + of the battery clips, and then do the same with the -.

Step 6: Finishing Up

First, insulate all of the exposed circuits using hot glue. Then, attach two rechargeable 9V batteries to the 9V clips

Hot glue the PVC pipe that was cut in half onto the cardboard tube so that it covers up all of the exposed circuitry.

Then, hot glue the mason jar on top of the cardboard tube

Finally, cover the whole thing with electrical tape to improve the look.

Step 7: Plug In, and Enjoy!

Plug it in, let it charge, and enjoy! If you have any issues, read this Instructable that I created for troubleshooting-Troubleshooting

I am currently using mine in my room, but will soon move it down into my workshop.

Also, it would be great if you voted for me in the home decor contest down below.

Home Decor Contest

Participated in the
Home Decor Contest