Introduction: Atomic Mushroom Cloud Lamp
Not the same button that the Commander-in-Chief has on his desk, but you can make this executive desk accessory that works just as well.
If you are lucky enough to make the Neopixel Light up Maple Syrup Bottle Lamp, you can upscale that into this Atomic Mushroom Cloud lamp.
Step 1: Bend a Little and Wrap It Up...
Essentially all this is are two strips of Neopixels controlled by an Arduino. The donor lamp had a fancy base with a light up nameplate and a wire support strut that was secured to the base. There is an input button in the circuit which will be used to change the lighting effects.
It just needed a little bit of wrangling to reshape the wire support strut into the shape of a big "T".
The long Neopixel strip was taped in place on the wire support strut.
I used clear plastic wrap bunched up and wrapped around the structure. It will provide a first layer of diffusion for the Neopixels to even out lighting up the cloud.
The Arduino sketch was modified to get different colors and make it glow bright white when the switch is pressed.
This is a good way to learn how to program the Arduino as you grab sample code for different light animations and try to incorporate it into your lighting scheme.
Of course, this is just basic controlling a Neopixel strip but there is so much more you can do to add different input sensors or devices on the Arduino. Have the cloud sound-reactive or turn on when someone passes by or gets near. Add sound FX for the big bang theory.
Step 2: Foggy Details...
LED lights are best seen when you don't know they are there. Another layer of diffusion helps to disguise the harsh points of light.
Take fiberfill batting, if you buy it in the flat sheet type used for quilt linings, it will be easier to tear strips to wind around the LED structure.
If you have shorter strips of fiberfill batting, fluff it out at the end to merge and incorporate into the end of the last strip.
Wind around until you have built up your cloud shape.
Incorporate and mix the fibers at any seams to close up open spots. You can press everything into its final shape.
Wait for the appropriate launch codes, authenticate and press the button. Repeatedly.