Want to add some style to your desk? We got you covered with a DIY mood lamp made from parts you can easily find lying around in your garage or shed. Our mood lamp features an aesthetic and modern design while giving you complete control of the color of the lights and its brightness. It's also equipped with a remote control and can also be upgraded to smartphone control.
Step 1: Overview
The design of our lamp consists of staggered light emitting regions which not only gives the lamp an aesthetic and modern look but also makes the lamp perfect for lighting your desktop. The main body is made using planks of light shaded pine wood while the base and the diffusers are 3D printed with white PLA. We used RGB led strips that are controllable via a remote to illuminate the mood lamp.
We initially began by conceptualizing the design on the computer using Autodesk's Fusion 360, a powerful yet user-friendly 3D modeling software, which is free for students and hobbyists. We then printed out the designs as templates (available in later steps) and began the woodwork.
Step 2: Materials Needed
Materials and Parts:
- 1-inch plank of pine wood (Any other kind of wood will do, but in our case pine looked the best. You will require a plank that is at least 30cm x 30cm)
- 4 x 2.5" wood screws (2.5" wood screw)
- 8 x 0.5" wood screws (0.5" wood screw)
- White PLA (we chose white because it diffuses the light best)
- RGB led strip (preferably with a remote, RGB led strip)
- 3D printer
- Belt sander
- Hand drill
- Hot glue
- Polishing agent
Step 3: Wood-Working
Understanding the templates (attached below): The +s (plus signs) mark the spots for the 2.5" screws and the xs (lower case xs) mark the spots for the 0.5" screws. The big +s are for bigger holes that allow the LED strip to pass from layer to layer, we recommend a drill size of 10mm for this. Layer 1 is the bottom-most layer while layer 5 is the top-most and layers 2, 3, 4 go in between in the order represented by the layer number. Certain holes have "half" written next to it, which indicates that the hole should be drilled only halfway through. And finally, all holes marked by an x should also be drilled halfway as they will be used just as pilot holes.
The first step would be to get a printout of the template that is attached below. Stick the templates onto the plank of wood and use the jigsaw to cut the pieces along the edges. The rounded corners may turn out to be a hassle to cut with a jigsaw, in which case just do a rough cut which can later be smoothened using the belt sander. Once all the pieces are cut, drill the holes using a hand-drill or a drill press.
Once the pieces are ready, we recommend completing the sanding and polishing in this section as later, once the lamp is assembled, accessing certain sections may be tedious and inconvenient. Begin with rough sandpaper, anything from 80 - 120 grit should do, and remove any imperfections that may have occurred while cutting. Once the rough sand is complete, move to a finer grit (360 - 600) and sand the wood to smoothen the surface. Once the sanding is complete, we recommend wiping the surface of the wood with a clean piece of cloth and then proceeding with the polishing.
Step 4: 3D Printing
The base and the diffusers of our mood lamp are 3D printed. The stls for the files are attached below. In total, you will require 4 diffusers and 1 base. We chose to print the parts in white PLA as it diffused light wonderfully.
Important note: Remember to print the diffusers at 100% infill as otherwise, the infill structure inside will cause shadows that form while it is diffusing the light. The base can be printed at any infill setting, but we recommend a 40% infill.
Step 5: Assembly
Firstly, grab layer 1, layer 3 and the 4 diffusers. Next, use the 8 x 0.5" wood screws and screw the diffusers onto the layers, 2 diffusers per layer. Once that is done, use the 4 x 2.5" wood screws to attach the layer 1 to layer 2 a and b and the layer 3 to layer 4 a and b, while making sure that the joints are flush. With this, most of the major assembly is complete and we can move on to the lights. (refer to the exploded view of our mood lamp attached above for reference)
Step 6: Adding the Lights
Finally, grab the RGB led strip. We recommend creating loops using the strip in a way that the LEDs are situated about 1 - 1.5 cms away from the diffuser and there are about 4 - 5 individual LEDs in front of each diffuser. Once the loops are made, secure the strip into place using some hot glue. Then, pass the rest of the strip through the central hole down to the next layer and repeat the same process. Once each loop is done pass the rest of the strip through the bottom-most hole and cut the strip to length. Make sure to cut at the correct section, these sections are generally marked on the strip. Once the led strip is attached, secure the layer 3 and 4 to layer 5 using the same wood screws and secure the layer 1 and 2 to layer 3.
Place the electronics for the led strips into the gap in the base and connect to the led strip to the port on the electronic box. Make sure the power port for the electronics box aligns with the power port in the base. Pass the wire that holds the IR receiver through the dedicated hole. Finally, place the wooden lamp onto the base and you are done!
Step 7: End Results
And that's it - the build is finished!
We hope the instructable and video that we made was useful and informative and has inspired you to create your very own RGB mood lamp for your desktop. If you liked it, you can support us by liking this Instructable and voting for this project in the woodworking contest. Feel free to leave any questions, comments or suggestions about our build. Thank you, for reading and till next time! :)
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