Simple Curved LED Strip Lamp

As it got darker in winter I wanted a lamp that was simple and still DIY-chic and stylish.

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I found it hard for people to see me during VC meetings or to see the desk in winter months. Where I'm situated in my kitchen there isn't a lot of light once the sun goes down (it was previously a corner that wasnt used for much). After binge watching The Expanse I saw a curved lamp I liked the look of but wanted to make a wooden alternative.

Most details are in the logs, however I've put brief details below.

All 3d files available here:

Also used a wingnut for M8s here:


Cut strips as above, glue, sandwich and clamp around something in an arc shape (I used a bike mudguard - still attached to the bike!)

I then trimmed down the completed single arc to 20mm to even it all out.

I measured the arc into the hole in the 3d printed case and marked it with a pen for the M4 bolts and drilled holes, starting with 2mm pilot hole and moving up to 4mm in 1mm increments.

Once assembled, I measured the strip length against the arc, trimmed it leaving a little for the wires, removed the backing and stuck it in the middle of the strip.  

I then wired it all up, soldering and heat shrinking the wires, removing the sheath about 1 foot down the cable for the inline switch and soldered it to the switch contacts after crimping and adding hotglue for additional safety.

I added a bolt and 3d printed wingnut to the bottom of the clamp piece and clamped it to a table before testing it.

View all 14 components

  • It's Alive!

    Colin Russell-Conway07/08/2021 at 17:06 0 comments

    Wiring was fairly simple with this driver.  I had it lying around from another project to put strips in under the cabinets in the kitchen but never got around to it.  The old Halogen ones were fine for now, I needed brightness elsewhere!  Two cables in (AC), two cables out (DC) simples.  The hard part was making sure they stayed in the case while I put it together.  A few countersunk M3 bolts made it easy and flush to keep together.  The inline switch was easy enough too, the only thing with these cheap ones that need to be crimped together is that I'm not comfortable with them having young kids around.  I generally squish the cable into the contact and solder it and put some hotglue over it just prior to squishing it together so I know its fairly stuck and can't be opened by some curious whippersnappers.

    Low and behold, it works.  It works well.  It's bright, shines down (which is the main thing) and also provides light on me for when I'm in video calls with the office so I don't look like a vampire or shadow demon.  

    The glue on the back of the strip wasn't great so since assembly I've added a few 3d printed clips.  I wanted to preserve the natural wood look too so kept it to only 5 clips around the frame.  

  • Electronics

    Colin Russell-Conway07/08/2021 at 17:00 0 comments

    Using the dimensions, I modeled up the strip in my favourite CAD (123D Design as its easy and quick). and used this to create a case and clamp for the 12v LED driver.  I had some in line switches hanging around too and an old 2 core cable with a plug which was perfect.  After a few hours modelling the lot together, some printing and an M8 bolt and nut, it was time for assembly.  

  • Shaping

    Colin Russell-Conway07/08/2021 at 16:58 0 comments

    Using what I had to hand (and with a can-do attitude), I cut the strips, glued them, clamped them around the mudguard and let it sit for 24 hours.  Some had slightly separated so required more glue and clamp-age and another 24 hours.  After this I (CAREFULLY) ran the curved shape through the router table to trim it to a somewhat uniform size and use the jigsaw to trim the edges.  I sanded it a little to remove any burns from the router and even out the width a little on at some thicker spots followed  by adding a little sunflower oil to give it a uniform colour and darken the wood so any burn marks left blended in.  I had the basic dimensions now for the wood and a length for the strip.

  • Researching

    Colin Russell-Conway07/08/2021 at 16:55 0 comments

    I spent a couple of hours trying to find a way to curve wood, as I had some thin sheets I found the easiest way was to cut the sheet into narrow strips and glue them together in a curve.  Unfortunately the only thing that was large enough to curve around was an old bike mudguard!  To had I had a jigsaw and a router with a table.  It seemed very possible

  • Materials

    Colin Russell-Conway07/08/2021 at 16:51 0 comments

    First job was to make sure I had the stuff to build it.  I had an idea in my head what I wanted it to be but as it might take a while for bits to arrive (with Brexit and ships stuck in the Suez and Covid-19 impacting the world).  What I had on hand was a 12v led strip, an led driver, some pieces of 3mm mdf with an oak veneer and a 3d printer - pretty much all I needed to get started. 

View all 5 project logs

  • 1
    Cut and Glue

    Cut 3 x 25mm wide 3-4mm thick strips of thin plywood or MDF approx 1.2metres long.   Glue these together into a sandwich and clamp around something in an arc shape (I used a bike mudguard which was still attached to the bike!).  Check after 24 hours and add more glue and reclamp for any bits that have separated. 

  • 2
    Trim, Sand and Finish

    I then trimmed down the completed single arc to 20mm wide to even it all out and then trimmed each end flat.  Sand it down lightly to remove any burring and any burn marks (I used a router table to trim it down which left some burn marks on some parts). Once thats complete, finish it with some oil or if you like you can also add a vaneer to the top, bottom and/or sides and the exposed end as one end will end up in the stand.

  • 3

    Print the 3d printed parts.  Once printed its a good idea to get the M4 nuts into the top and bottom case pieces early and to tighten the bolts (dont over tighten, it is only plastic afterall) in a little to help them fit into the hex shaped notches. Once firmly inserted, remove the bolts for later.

View all 8 instructions

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