This miniature working LED pendant light is perfect for decorating a work desk, dollhouse, toy car garage or just for a fun first-timer electronics project. A 3Doodler, jewellery wire, and a few other materials are all you need to make this light come to life.
Step 1: Materials
For the Shade:
2 strands Flexy Clearly Clear plastic
For the Pendant Light:
1 clear white 5mm LED
1 lithium coin cell battery
2 strands JST electronic wire
2 strands Flexy Black plastic
1 spool 28 gauge jewellery wire
1 2-prong light switch
Extras: medium-sized elastic toothpick (with the tips cut off)
acrylic paint to match your wall (optional)
Step 2: Make the Lamp Shade
Sketch a guide circle on the sheet of paper, about 2" across. Load a Flexy clear 3Doodler strand into your pen, ensuring that it is on the highest setting. Start by drawing a circle on the pencil guide, then lift it off the paper and tangle a few more strands around it, until the skeleton of your shade is formed. Continue building the shade up by wrapping the sphere with more plastic, about 15-20 times around.
Step 3: Assembling the Pendant Light
Cut off the female plastic stubs from each of the two strands of JST electronic wire (I actually bought four strands and only used the black ones because I liked how they looked better than the red ones). Twist them together and carefully cut away about 1 cm of plastic coating from both ends. Attach one LED prong to one end of each of the cut-away JST wires. At the other end of the JST cords, take two pieces of jewelry wire about 24" long (exact measurements depend on your space) and twist one of them to one of the JST cords. Twist the other wire to the other JST cord. Seal the wires by covering them at the LED end with a layer of Flexy black plastic. Push the LED through any hole in the lampshade that you like and put aside while you work on the canopy.
To make the canopy, load your pen with a strand of the black plastic. Trace another circle on the sheet of paper, about 3/4 the size of the first (lampshade) guide circle. 3Doodle a disk on the second guide circle and doodle around the edge a couple of times to build the canopy up. Melt the canopy to the pendant cord with a little more plastic and secure the whole lamp to the ceiling with hot glue.
Step 4: Wires and Switches
Now for the on/off light switch. As this step is a little complicated for first-timers, feel free to check out the corresponding video.
Connect the "in" wire to the smooth side of the battery by wrapping them together with an elastic with the piece of toothpick in between (for a tighter fit). Bend both of the switch prongs away from each other so that they are roughly on a horizontal angle. Cut a piece of wire about 15" long and twist one end of the wire around the first prong. Make sure the wire is tight so that if it bends around in different directions it will always be touching the prong. Connect it to the "out" wire attached to the light (see diagram). Twist another 15" wire around the second prong and attach it to the bumpy side of the battery by wedging it under the wrapped elastic. Use hot glue to attach the wires to the wall/shelf, smoothing the glue with tweezers as you go. Paint over the wires to conceal them if you like. Enjoy the satisfaction of having completed your very own Miniature Working Modern Pendant Light!
Step 5: Tips and Tricks
Here is a list of tips that may come in handy (should your light not be working as desired).
1. Make sure your wires are all CONNECTED! This is the most important detail of the entire project.
2. Have your elastic pressing the wires to the battery tightly, and do not try to substitute the elastic for tacky putty (my electronically-minded grandfather had a pretty good laugh over that one).
3. Never allow your in/out wires to touch or your circuit will not function properly. This is particularly important in the canopy attaching stage as the melted plastic could force them together.
4. At times throughout this tutorial I refer to certain sides of the battery as smooth/bumpy. If you are unsure which is which, you can simply press each one to a separate side of the battery, and if the LED doesn't light up, then switch them around.