There is nothing quite like enjoying a warm summer night on the porch listening to the crickets and wind chimes while watching the fire flies light up the yard.
Both of these "summer moods" are captured in the Fairy Light Wind Chimes. Each time one of the chimes makes a sound it also lights up a string of fairy lights which becomes visible as the sun sets and night falls.
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Step 1: Materials
- Fairly Lights
- LiPo Battery
- 1/2" copper pipe
- Glass beads
- Copper wire of various thicknesses
- Some a few nails and hooks
- Piece of driftwood
- Pipe cutter
- Soldering equipment
Step 2: Wiring Diagram
For this chime the fairy lights are permanently grounded (black lines) and only light up when the corresponding chime touches the power bar (wire spanning all the chimes) that is connected to the power source (red lines). Each fairy light string has its own chime and thus lights up individually as the chime moves and randomly connects to the power bar.
The battery is currently in a little plastic box hung up right under the porch roof. Eventually I want to add a solar cell so the battery charges throughout, but I will have to complete a few tutorials before I can do that :).
Step 3: Driftwood and Ground Wire
The piece of driftwood serves as the base from which everything gets suspended. Across its entire length is a thick copper wire with beads that will become the ground wire for all the lights. It simply gets tacked onto the driftwood with a few nails. It is important to string the beads loosely to allow for space to add the lights.
Step 4: The Chimes
The chimes are made of different length copper pipe.Cut the pipe to the desired lengths, drill holes through one end and add thin copper wires and beads. Add small nails at equal intervals into the back side of the driftwood and attache each chime to a nail by wrapping it around the nails several times.
Step 5: Fairly Light Preparation
The long string of fairy lights can be cut into the desired length and be prepared for the wind chime.Using a button battery, determine hot and ground wires and mark them accordingly (the hot wire is marked with a piece of masking tape here). The ground wire gets soldered to a small copper ring that will later attache to the long ground wire already installed on the driftwood.
At the end of each fairy light string additional beads on wire are attached to add visual interest, provide more "sound effect" for the chimes, and weigh down the lights.
Solder a piece of thin gauge (around 24) copper wire to the hot end of the fairly lights.
Step 6: Installing the Fairy Lights
The little hook from the ground wire of the lights is attached to the ground wire on the driftwood while the power wire of the lights gets soldered to the connection where a chime is attached. Each time the chime touches the power bar the circuit closes and the lights flicker.
Step 7: Wire the Fairy Lights
While the fairy lights are permanently grounded at the top through the beaded wire on the driftwood, they are also connected individually to a single chime on the top. In order for the lights to switch on, the chime must be connected to the power source which is delivered through a thick wire (power bar) that spans across all the chimes. As the wind moves the chimes, it will randomly connect them to the power wire and thus light up individual strands of fairy lights.
The beaded wire with the little bell on the left does not have a chime. It is the power wire (there is a corresponding one on the other side) that suspends the "power bar" across the chimes.
Step 8: Power Source
I used a rechargeable lipo battery and connected that to the right side of the chime. The ground wire from the battery is soldered to the ground wire with the beads and the power wire to the beaded wire that connects the power bar reaching across the chimes.
Step 9: Installation
Finally the chime is hung on the porch and is ready to set the mood for those magic summer nights.