Introduction: Neopixel Running Water Faucet Lamp
NYC water is da best. Word. Well, maybe not if you live near the Gowanus.
Make this cool freestanding lamp that simulates some glowing substance flowing into your cup or wessel. It will never runneth over so no need to worry about liquids and electrical shock.
Step 1: Plumber's Crack...
So I was changing out an old toilet for a new water conserving one and as with any old house, the shutoff valve needed to be changed out too. It was a heavy brass valve that was well aged, at least 50 or 60 years old and quite suitable for a steampunk project so I threw it in the miscellaneous parts bucket for future use.
I just finished creating a Neopixel Fallout Nuka Cola Quantum lamp so I had an Adafruit Flora arduino wired up 2 strings of Neopixels and a Neopixel ring. It was programmed with a sequence of color wipes and theater chase light animation in various colors.
Why not use that to create one of those Water Spigot lamps that looks like it has water oozing from it. Yeah, I had a right angle valve, not really a spigot but hey... With the ability to animate the Neopixel LEDs, you can achieve the effect of flowing water. Changing colors makes it even cooler.
Step 2: Go With the Flow...
I needed a clear tube to simulate the column of water flowing from the faucet. It just happens that the tube of epoxy putty - used for more than plumbing repairs - was available and was just the right diameter.
I hot glued the closed end of the plastic tube to one of the valve inlets. If I had the round knob on top instead of mounting it and sticking out the side, it would have been a little easier to set and balance upright in the cup.
I got some heavy wire which I bent into some sort of a stand for the plastic tube.. I had to fidget with it a bit to make a U shaped kind of clip that was able to balance and support the plastic tube in an upright position. One end of the clip fits into the tube and the other end props itself against the opposite side.
Wrap the Neopixel strips with a bit of fiberfill batting to diffuse the light. Make sure to point the LEDs outward for most light. The two Neopixel strips were placed back to back so light comes out all around. Insert the assembly into the tube and pack as much fiberfill as needed.
Gently wind all the rest to sit inside the cup. Cover with some more fiberfill to create a frothy head on the drink.
Test out the lights as you go because all the flexing and bending might loosen up the fragile connections the Neopixels have on the strip or to the main board.
The only thing I had to adjust in the programming was changing the loop counters to make the light animations run in the opposite direction so it looked like water was flowing from the faucet.
Step 3: Coffee, Tea, Water...
Use your favorite coffee mug or reuse that Latte Grande cup from your local coffee joint as the base of the lamp to show what is in your morning swill.
Have another cup to relax and watch the blinkenlights.