07/21/2020 at 03:17 •
With the installation of the diffusers, the lamp is now complete.
For diffusion, I opted for Optix LED Satin HDF which has a matte side and a textured side. I thought the textured side adds a nice bit of detail and with 92% light transmission, I wasn't really losing anything. Usually diffusers that offer the kind of scattering this provides ends up with light loss of upwards of 60%, so this was a great find.
The material was only available in 2mm thickness, so I ended up slotting them into the grooves instead of giving them a lip and having them sit flush with the bottom of the wood.
Because I don't really have a full workshop set up yet, I ended up mitering the corners using a 45° rule and scoring+snapping. It worked well enough, but some of the angles didn't come out perfect and I had to hand file them to fix things up.
I didn't miter the diffusers on the top lights to keep things simpler. I don't think there's any loss of quality with the small holes there. The only downside is that this may be a place dust can get into the lamp over time.
Over all, I'm very pleased with this project. I could have done some of the woodworking better, but considering I don't yet have a shop set up and this was my first project, I feel like it's a net success.
07/16/2020 at 03:55 •
For fun—probably not for production—I whipped up a quick gesture interface for the kitchen island lamp.
It's triggered when your hand is directly above the Leap Motion controller. Raising/lowering your hand controls brightness, tilting it forward/backwards controls whether the upper or lower lights are lit, and tilting it to the side (rolling) fades between white lights and the RGB ones with a pattern playing.
It feels (and looks) like magic!
If I decide to actually use something like this in production, I may need to switch from absolute positioning to relative positioning. That is, to brighten the lamp, you put your hand in the target area and raise it. That would prevent the lights from flickering when you first put your hand back within the sensing area.
This was made in TouchDesigner using a Leap Motion controller and a ton of Math CHOPs.
07/10/2020 at 04:00 •
07/08/2020 at 12:00 •
The housing for the lamp is almost finished. All that remains now is putting holes in the sides to attach it to the 80/20 light core.
The housing consists of ⅛" × 3"×48" walnut strips that have been trimmed, mitered, sanded, and finished. To make the long sides, I joined two strips with a simple lap joint and tried to match the grain a little. I chose sides such that the natural curve in the wood faces the aluminum so the entire thing will be pressed flat when screwed down.
On the backs, I cut 3mm grooves 1.5mm deep and 2mm away from the edge with my router table. This will hold the acrylic to diffuse the light on the bottom and protect the LEDs from dust on the top. The acrylic will have a matching lip cut into the edges so that the bottom of the acrylic will be flush with the bottom of the wood to create a very clean look.
The finish is a dark walnut stain with two coats of polyurethane on top. I used wood conditioner because I wanted to see what it did and that brought out the natural color. I almost decided to not stain it, but my partner recommended that I go with the stain to make the wood pieces match better.
07/07/2020 at 16:48 •
While I'm not entirely sure I'll use it in production, I've been playing with driving the lamp with TouchDesigner.
06/30/2020 at 21:06 •
I finished the electronics today. The RGB and white LEDs on both sides can now be controlled via the main controller over sACN/E1.31! I tested everything out with QLC+.
The DMX controller seems to work just fine without a ground wire. My understanding of this is that RS485 and thus DMX requires a common mode voltage between -7VDC and +12VDC, so as long as the grounds between my two power supplies (one for the main controller, the other for the lamp) don't have a voltage differential greater than that, then I'm fine. They're on the same house AC and are made by the same manufacturer, so that probably helps.
06/30/2020 at 13:09 •
Of course, this is only showing off the fact that all the LEDs light properly and checking out the light levels. Every one of the LEDs can be controlled, there's a ton more possibility than just a single color at a time. The downward RGB LEDs will be diffused and the upward ones will just have a clear dust cover on them, so the final effect will be very interesting.