|Project by bobkberg||posted 01-06-2010 08:31 PM||5121 views||7 times favorited||5 comments|
This was a Christmas present for my wife for 2008. It’s made of ash, and ash veneer over MDF board.
The lights inside are made of a roll of pre-wired LED’s (Photo #6), and then I split the circuits on the left and right side so that each side has its own switch. There are marked “solder” tabs on the strips to show where you connect the wires, and cutting marks to show where it’s safe to cut it. The other prep work consisted of doing a good seal on the backing material, and fine sanding it, and wiping clean so that the pressure-sensitive circuit strips wouldn’t peel off later. Those were bought at www.ledlights.com, which also sells various power supplies to go with these. The inside of the light is painted white to help with reflecting light outwards. There are 3 rows of this lighting strip inside the lamp.
One other thing I should add is that I did all of the wiring and such BEFORE putting on the back side of the light. Otherwise, I think it would have been much harder (if even possible) to work down inside that tiny “trench”. Adding to that is that the power cord comes through the back, so the final electrical assembly was done under very cramped conditions.
The riser bracket is fastened to the lamp with bolts and tee nuts. The riser brackets were built open, and I used a rounded router bit to cut out the wiring channel before gluing it together. Photo #5 also shows the bolt that holds the riser bracket to the back plate of the lamp.
The power cord (low voltage) is routed through one of the mounting brackets – you can see the plug in photo #3. Each side has its own switch – those are automotive rocker switches from Radio Shack.
Since LEDs are so efficient, we get about 150 watts worth of light for 15 watts.
The diffuser is styrene – meant for suspended ceiling office lights – this stuff is really fragile – between cutting and drilling/countersinking the holes for screwing it to the lamp form, I think I made 4 or 5 tries to get two good sections. I tried several different types of plastic diffuser, but the ones that were easier to work with also absorbed or blocked too much light themselves. So I compromised by putting up with the pain of a difficult material for the long term benefit of better reading light.
The radius was planned to match the curve of the “headboard”. It’s roughly a 5’ radius. Finish is clear poly over unstained Ash.
The wall mount is recessed into the back of the mounting plate. I used garolite (www.mcmaster.com – which is tough stuff, but can be worked with woodworking tools) to form a long plate looks like this is cross-section:
Photo #5 shows these. The leading edges are chamfered to fit easily, and there is enough room so that the light can easily be adjusted to stay centered over the bed should the furniture get moved.
Probably the hardest part was working in the shop with tarps hanging up, so that my wife couldn’t see what I was working on – since you have to go through the shop to get to the basement.
1) Make it stand out further from the wall
2) Widen the channel where the LEDs are – adding another row
3) Make it shallower to allow for further light spread (head to foot direction)
-- Bob www.singularengineering.com - A sideline, not how I earn a living