This week's lamp is called "helixMetal1" and is a first experiment with spirals and helixes. This lamp continues the material exploration of bent aluminum bar, wood base, flexible WWA WS2812 LED strip and my simple LED driver board.
Here's a small video showing it in action:
As you can see, this lamp is comparatively small. It's probably one of the smallest I'm going to create. It could handily work as a desk lamp, but I generally am thinking larger and want to build a few floor lamps after this. Structurally, this lamp is exploring the tightest radius possible with these standard LED strips. I think 75mm diameter radius is about as small as you should go.
This prototype has three potentiometer knobs to play with the capabilities of the lamp. Those knobs control:
- Overall brightness
- Amount of LEDs lit (starting from top going smoothly to bottom)
- Color temperature from amber through warm white to cool white
Like previous prototypes, the electronics are purposefully exposed. I initially was a bit embarrassed by this but now I'm kind of liking the aesthetic. My original intention was to hide the electronics but maybe they get enclosed in something clear? (Maybe potted in clear resin even?)
This lamp also does not show any diffusion experiments. Next week is documentation for that. I have some potentially promising results and an interesting new idea. Stay tuned for that.
Some of the challenges I have been facing while working on these lamps:
- I still haven't had time to get on the Shopbot to try some of wood-based ideas. Not a huge issue, but I'd like to get a feel for how that material works as a 3d material (instead of sawing flat stock like you do without a CNC mill)
- Bending aluminum bar accurately requires more than jig when exploring. Some sort of mechanism. I think this bender on Amazon would work and I think I'll order it now. It's difficult to find a non-pipe bender that'll work for flat stock.
- I also haven't found a good way to collapse the UI to allow ease-of-use but still expose the dynamism and playfulness these lamps are capable of. A bank of knobs is fun for nerds but for general use it won't do. But maybe like the exposed electronics it's to be embraced?
- Photographing LEDs is an ever-present challenge.