This instructable will teach you how to make a hanging jellyfish light! This light is RGB so it lights up any color you want. This project will take some time but it is definitely worth! The end product is beautiful and a stunning piece in any room.
For this project you will need access to a 3D printer. Most of my supplies were purchased on eBay for a relatively low price.
Step 1: Materials
For this project you will need:
- Arduino Uno
- 3D printed ring(files attached)
- 6 3D printed tentacles(file attached)
- 2-pin Fast Flashing RGB LEDs
- Ceiling light dome
- Soldering Iron and Solder
- Meter stick
- Wire Cutters
The ceiling light dome is something I found at Lowe's. It's the cover for a lamp that goes on the ceiling. They should be fairly easy to find. Mine was 7.25 inches and the 3D printer files are set up for that size but if you get a bigger size you can adjust the files. Mine also had a lip but that is not required.
Step 2: 3D Printing
The first thing you're going to want to do is start your 3D printing using the files provided in the previous step. You need one ring and 6 tentacles. You can print more tentacles if you have a different size lamp but you will have to add holes in the ring. I found that 6 was enough for my size of lamp. You can print them in any color. For mine, I picked white. These will take awhile so I would get started with them as soon as possible. Each half of my ring took about 8 hours and two tentacles took 3 hours.
Step 3: LED Jellyfish Tentacles
The next step is to make your LED tentacles. These are made with the 2-pin RGB LEDs and wire. They have to be set up in parallel because the Arduino board can't produce enough power to light the LEDs in series.
To do this you will need to gather some wire. The wire I used was some I had left over from another project.
To start measure your wire and cut it into 6 18 inch pieces. After the first 3 inches of the wire, start cutting notches in the sheathing around the wire. You will want these to be an inch apart. You should have 15 notches by the time you're done.
Next step is to solder your LEDs in. I cut the positive side(the longer lead) of the LED short so it was ready to solder. Then, I put a little solder on the LED and the wire. Next, I soldered the two together using little clips. The wire will get hot so I recommend using a clip stand.
Repeat this step for each of the notches you previously made. This will complete your LED jellyfish tentacles.
Step 4: Assembling the 3D Printed Pieces
For this step you will need your 3D printed parts. These should go together pretty easily. The two halves of the ring will go together with the built in pegs. You do not want to put the tentacles in the ring yet. These need to be wired before they go in.
You will want to glue the 2 halves of the ring together to make sure they don't come apart. A little bit of glue in each hole and around the pegs should be plenty.
Step 5: Soldering the Base LEDs
Now you'll want to grab your RGB LEDs. Bend them a little so they fit in the holes in the top of the ring. Make sure the two pins aren't touching or the circuit will short out. Next step is to solder all the longer pins to one wire. You'll want to do it the same way you did with the previous LEDs. You'll want to leave a little bit of wire at the end so you can put it in the Arduino board.
Repeat this step with the shorter pin.
Step 6: The Legs
For the legs, you will want to grab your soldering iron again. For each leg, measure out enough wire to run through the leg and into the ring, 2 wires for each leg. You'll also want to cut 2 wires that fit in a circular shape inside your ring. This is where each of the leg wires will attach.
Strip your wires at the end. Solder each pin of the led to one of your wires that you previously cut. You'll want to remember which pin of the LED you soldered to the wire. I recommend doing all the long pins at once so you know they're all the positive pins.
You'll then want to cut little notches in your circular wires. These should be where the legs are. Next, solder the leg wires to the ring wires. All the positive pin ones should be attached to the same wire and the negative ones to the other wire.
Step 7: Program Your Arduino
Next step is to program your Arduino board. For your program, you're basically just going to want to turn all of the LEDs on. These RGB LEDs will change colors on their own so you just have to give them power.
Step 8: Put It All Together
Now you're ready to put it all together. Plug all of your wires into one of the 13 digital pin spots in your arduino board. When you plug in the board, it should light up and start changing colors. If you don't like the way the wires stick up inside the dome, you can tape them down. Next place your ceiling light dome over the top and you're all done! Congrats on making your first jellyfish lamp!