Intro: Sun Light
I found this great light fixture at a sale I was at, and I knew that I had to make something cool with it! This project is called "Sun Light" because I built it with the colors of the Sun in mind (red for the core, then orange, then finally yellow on the outside). I used a transformer (110V AC to 11.5V DC) that plugs into the wall to power the light. The colors are fixed in place, and I forgot to add a toggle on/off switch, but overall I really like the end product.
I initially started by hot-gluing the speaker wire in a three-circle pattern, but in the end was forced to also use the assistance of zip-ties to hold down the wire. The hot glue only worked half the time holding down the speaker wire. I would recommend trying a different adhesive--see "After Thoughts" below.
I borrowed the idea for connecting together the LEDs via the speaker wire from another Instructable: https://www.instructables.com/id/Fast-Quick-Cheap-Good-looking-LED-room-lighting/ . My speaker wire consisted of two wires, paired next to each other and each covered in a plastic shell. To get to the wires I used the tip of a knife blade to puncture a hole in the plastic so that I could stick a leg of the LED into the speaker wire itself. See the above Instructable for wiring instructions.
I calculated what kind of resistor I would need for my project using the online calculator for multiple LEDs located here: http://led.linear1.org/led.wiz . Then, all I had to do was solder the resistor onto one of the legs of an LED and stick that leg into one of the two speaker wires, and stick the other LED leg into the other speaker wire. I used Wire Glue to glue the LEDs in place (because the speaker wire was covered in plastic, using a soldering gun was not practical), and used Super Glue on top of that.
I got the transformer from a garage sale for $1.00. Cut off the end, and you are left with two wires to attach to your project. Important Note: the voltage of any plug-in transformer is almost never what it says--please do a voltage test before attaching the transformer to your project (trust me on this!!). The LEDs cost maybe around $4.00 off of eBay (10 mm size). Speaker wire was left over from a previous project. Had to order more resistors to do all thirty LEDs--so maybe $8.00 for that which includes shipping and handling (from Mouser Electronics) (http://www.mouser.com/). An overall cheap project.
1) I really needed a better adhesive for the speaker wire to stick to the metal casing of the light; I bet that Sugru (http://www.sugru.com) would have worked really well for this. Also, it's possible that Sugru could have helped keep the legs of the LEDs in place instead of my method of using wire glue and super glue.
2) Later, I added a toggle on/off switch to the outside of the light. This really helped!
3) The lights either go on or off together for this project, but in the future I'd like to make it so that the lights twinkle or change colors.