RGB upgrade for Ikea single color fiber optic lamp

Five bucks will buy you a STRÅLA lamp from Ikea. It’s a battery operated hanging lamp that pipes the light out through multiple branches of fiber optic bundles. But you’ll only get white out of this, which is pretty boring. [Boris] decided to swap out the stock LED for an RGB unit and drive it with an Arduino.

The lamp nucleus is just a couple of pieces of plastic which can be popped apart to reveal the shard of PCB hosting one LED. The body of that diode is flat on the top, and [Boris] filed down his replacement to match the form factor. There are only two conductors in the wire that runs between that PCB and the battery pack, so he replaced them with four conductors (R,G,B, and GND). His prototype uses the Arduino’s PWM capabilities to control the colors, but [Boris] recommends transitioning to a simple chip like a PIC 12F675 or one of the smaller ATtiny microcontrollers after you’ve got the bugs worked out.

See how this turned out in the clip after the break.

23 thoughts on “RGB upgrade for Ikea single color fiber optic lamp

  1. Five bucks, really? Here in Russia it’s 2000 rubles (which amounts to roughly 65 USD), in neighbouring Finland it’s 35 euros and in USA it’s $39. What am I missing here?

  2. @svofski: there’re two different Ikea Strala fiber optic lamps. One with 13 fiber bundles and one with 49 fiber bundles. The big one is EUR 35,-. The small one is EUR 5,-. The small one is battery powered.

    1. I stand corrected. Indeed, in most of the world Ikea also sells the cheaper version. In my village though we only get the expensive one and its price is doubled, hence my confusion.

  3. The $39 light you’re referring to is a different model. And I believe comes with a transformer and is line powered. The one being modified here is battery powered and is indeed $4.99 (in US).

  4. If you need to control the brightness of many LEDs I highly recommend a technique called Binary Code Modulation.

    http://www.batsocks.co.uk/readme/art_bcm_3.htm

    In short, if you want 256 levels of brightness in your LEDs, you only need to update your bank of LEDs 8 times per 30Hz refresh cycle (instead of the 256 times PWM would require). The only catch is that you need to stretch out the time each bit is displayed by its power of two value.

  5. Okay a *REAL LAZY* hack is to just replace
    the white LED with a slow color changing
    RBG top hat. Just bought 50 pieces for $14
    from E-bay. Not as cool but lot less work.
    Then build a LM317? 3 volt power supply,
    run it off malibu lights 12V AC with a brige
    and cap. INSTANT out door lights for the holidays.

  6. Some more ides:
    Take the fibers bundles, stick em on a headphone with some LED and make a statement.

    Or how about on a router’s activity LED? seasonal browsing!

    Or on the top corners of your monitor, I bet that would look cute, bit japanese anime style I would think.

    And if you bundle the fibers again it also creates a nice cable-like effect, slot it in something only showing the middle part like an empty slot in a computer case maybe? (although they seem to be only 3″ or so in length – maybe 7cm or 8cm) to get a geek scifi effect.

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