Intro: DIY LED Light - Modern Desktop Mood Lamp With Remote
In this article I will go over the process I used to build this awesome pyramid shaped LED Mood Lamp.
I used maple for the main structure and some mahogany spines for added strength. For the lights I used RGB LED lights that come in a 16 foot strip that you can cut to length as needed.
Materials and Tools I used on this build:
P.S. It seems that when viewing this page from a mobile device, the embedded video doesn't work. So here is a link to my YouTube video for your reference.
Step 1: Break Down the Lumber
I used my miter saw to break down the piece of maple in to three pieces 16 inches long. Since this will be an equilateral triangle, all three sides will be the same length and all three angles are the same as well.
Once I had those pieces cut to size, I took them over to my table saw and I ripped them down to 3 1/2 inches wide. I suppose you can choose to make these more narrow or more wide, but 3 1/2 inches seemed like a good size so I went with it.
Step 2: Cut the Angles of the Triangle
This was the most tricky part of the build and I am sure there are plenty of better ways to do this. I say it was trick only because I needed to cut 60 degree angles and my blade on both my table saw and miter saw only cut up to a 45 degree angle.
So I attached a sacrificial piece of wood to my miter gauge and also attached a straight 2x4 perpendicular to the table. Then I adjusted my saw blade to 30 degree angle and clamped my piece of maple to the 2x4 to keep it at 90 degrees in relationship to the table. This method will produce a 60 degree cut because you subtract the 30 degree blade tilt from 90 degrees.
I made sure that my piece was securely clamped and was a very cautious when cutting these angles and if you do use this method I ask that you use extreme caution as well.
Cut one 60 degree angle on each side of each piece so that when you fit them together you are left with an equilateral triangle.
Step 3: Cut a Dado for the LED Light Strip
In the top two pieces of the triangle I cut a groove called a dado that is 1/4 inch deep and about 1/2 inch wide so that I can attach the LED strip inside this groove.
This step is not completely necessary but I thought it would look a lot nicer if the LED strip was hidden.
I do have a dado blade stack that would have cut this grove in one pass but I honestly hate to change my saw blades so I simply used the blade already installed on my table saw.
I set the blade depth to 1/4 inch and set my fence at 1 3/4 inch for the first pass and this produced a grove that is the width of my blade. I simply moved my fence in 1/16 inch increments until I had a dado that was 1/2 wide.
See the video for more details or use the comment section below if you have questions about this.
Step 4: Glue Up
Time for the glue up.
I placed all 3 pieces angle cut side down end to end and I placed blue painters tape on the two connecting joints as well as one of the free ends as shown in the photos and video.
Unfortunately my camera died during this process but all I did was flip the pieces over and applied wood glue to the joints and assembled the pieces to form a triangle. I used the painters tape in place of clamps because I don't have anything that will accommodate the triangle shape. This worked out just fine and it was actually easier than using clamps. The joints weren't perfect and weren't very strong but this is okay because I will strengthen the joints in the next step.
Step 5: Adding Spines to the Joints
I set my blade to about 1/2 depth and adjusted my fence so that with the triangle's flat edge against it, the blade was roughly in the middle of the joint. I then ran the triangle over the blade on both side of each joint to produce a grove that will house the spines.
I used a piece of Mahogany that was already the thickness of my blade but if you don't have a piece laying around like I did, you will have to cut a piece of wood that is about 1/16 of an inch thick. You should be able to slide it in the groove fairly easily.
I cut 6 pieces of Mahogany slightly over sized so that I can just sand off the excess instead of trying to make them fit exactly.
I applied a bit of glue to each piece and fit them into each groove. I held them in place with 3 small clamps.
Step 6: Sanding Time
As always my least favorite part of any build but it is a necessary step.
I used an orbital sander to remove the excess spine material and to smooth out all of the sharp and rough edges.
I finished off with some 220 grit sand paper and some good old elbow grease.
Step 7: Paint and Finish
I used blue painters tape again to mask off all of the sides so that I could paint the inside of the triangle white to reflect the light better. I applied a total of 3 coats and did a light sanding in between each coat with 220 grit sand paper.
Once the paint dried I removed the tape and applied some mineral oil to the outside to protect the maple and to also bring out the beautiful grain and expose the Mahogany spines better.
Step 8: Attach the LED Strip and ENJOY!
The star of this project is an inexpensive RGB LED strip. These are super cool and are super cheap. You can buy them from Amazon by clicking HERE.
I cut a strip about 32 inches in length for this project and I still have plenty left over for more cool projects.
I then drilled a 1/2 inch hole on the bottom of the triangle and notched out some material to make room for the LED cord. I fished the LED strip through the hole and used hot glue to fill the hole and groove that I made for the cord. Then I peeled off the paper to expose the LED strips adhesive and attached it in the dado that I made on the top 2 pieces. I then finished off the build with a little more hot glue on each end of the LED strip just for added strength.
The LED strip I purchased came with a power supply, an IR receiver, and a 40 key remote control.
All that is left to do now is to plug this baby in and set the mood.
Please enjoy the photos and take a look at the last few minutes of the YouTube video to see this beauty in action.
You can view the video HERE
Thank you sooo much for making it to the end with me!
Please let me know if you have any questions by leaving a comment below.