It’s Not An Arc Lamp, It’s A Lamp Arc

One wouldn’t expect there to be much to cause envy in the world of desk lamps, after all whether it’s a classic Anglepoise or a dollar store LED affair if it does its job of casting the requisite quantity of light where it’s needed, most of us are happy. But then we saw [Ronny Ziss]’s LED arc desk lamp, and suddenly all other lamps simply aren’t good enough any more. If it’s not a wall-to-wall arc of LEDs spanning the length of the desk, it quite simply no longer cuts the mustard. We’ve entered the world of lamp envy, folks, and it’s a poorly-illuminated place to be.

As you can see in the video below the break both the hardware and the software of this lamp are impressive in their own right, the structure being an aluminium extrusion carrying an addressable white LED strip fitted into an arc between two custom plywood blocks on the walls either side of the desk. The software is controlled through a rotary encoder, and allows command of the position, width, and brightness of the illuminated portion, as well as having a hidden Pong game. Sadly he doesn’t reveal the software or the microcontroller in question, however the task is not an onerous one and it’s likely most Hackaday readers could put it together using their board or processor of choice.

In years of lamp projects on Hackaday, we can’t find another quite like this one. Conventional lamp projects can still be stylish though.

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Lightbulb Glows When You Have That Eureka Moment

We’re not entirely sure where the lightbulb-idea concept came from, but it’s a cultural touchstone rapidly becoming outmoded by the prevalence of compact fluorescent and LED lighting. Despite this, [Alex Glow] and [Moheeb Zara] whipped up the Prometheus Lamp to let you experience it for real.

The build starts with a glass lightbulb souvenir from the Neon Museum in Las Vegas. Inside, a TinyLily Mini microcontroller board is tasked with talking to an accelerometer to detect movement. When the lightbulb is picked up and oriented in the vertical axis, it lights up a NeoPixel LED, glowing to indicate that you’ve just had a remarkable idea! It’s all powered off a single CR2032 coin cell, thanks to the low voltage requirements of the modern TinyLily components.

It’s a build that serves as a good way to learn about accelerometers, and it makes a fun desk toy, too. We’ve seen some other projects go by the name “Prometheus”, too — like a wrist mounted flame thrower. How’s that for variety?

Water Switch Lamp Illuminates Current Flow

They always told you not to mix water and electricity. And while yes, that is good general advice regarding the two, you won’t rip a hole in the fabric of space-time should you go about it responsibly. Water will conduct electricity, so why not use it to switch on a lamp?

[Manvith Subraya]’s Hydro Lamp is, among other things, a reminder not to let Big Switch dim your idea of what’s possible with simple components. Switches don’t have to be complex, and some of the most reliable switches are pretty simple — the reed switch and the mercury tilt switch are good examples. By salinating the water at a ratio of 1:1, [Manvith] ensures power will flow through the acrylic tank, completing the circuit and lighting the 20W LEDs in both ends.

The brief demo video after the break sheds light on an interesting aspect of using water as a tilt switch — it’s not instantaneous. As he slowly moves the lamp from vertical to horizontal and back again, the light brightens and dims with the tide of electrons. We think it would be interesting to build a motorized frame that takes advantage of this for mood lighting purposes, especially if there were a few LEDs positioned behind the water.

Water is often used to explain the basic principle of current flow and the relationship dynamics of voltage, current, and resistance. As we saw in this water computer, the concept flows all the way into logic gates.

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Globe Lamp Tracks The ISS For You

Assuming you don’t work at a major space agency, you probably don’t really need to know the exact location of the International Space Station at all times. If you’d like to know just because it’s cool, this lamp is for you.

The lamp is driven by a Wemos D1, which pulls in data on the space station’s current location from Open Notify. A stepper motor and servo motor serve to control a pan-tilt assembly, aiming a 405nm laser at the inside of a 3D printed globe to indicate the station’s position above Earth. As a nice touch, there’s also a ring of NeoPixel LEDs that are controlled to glow on the sunny side of the planet, too.

This is a fun project that makes it easy to know when to bust out your ham gear to chat to the team overhead, and would also make a great conversation starter. It’s not the first hardware ISS monitor we’ve seen, either! Video after the break.

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Making Your Own Caving Headlamp

An important distinction between equipment used for caving, climbing, biking, and other outdoor activities is the level of stress that’s generally applied. For instance, while climbing helmets are built to withstand the impact of sharp rocks, they’re not made to protect a biker’s head from suddenly hitting the ground. Likewise, while camping headlamps may be able to survive a light rainfall, they’re probably not made to shine at the 800 lumens after being submerged underwater.

[LukeM] built himself a caving headlight, after being “fed up with what was available on the market”. While his project is a bit older, it’s still pretty helpful for any newer hobbyists looking to try their hand at building a custom headlamp. Many cavers have to carry around a few primary – one main light for general visibility and a secondary light for focusing on specific objects. These are typically worn on the helmet, attached somehow to prevent the light source from falling off mid-climb. From tricky operations, varying distances, cost, and ease of battery replacement, there are a number of reasons why a caver might want to build their own customizable head lamp.

The result is rugged, waterproof, reliable, bright enough to supplement flashes in caving photos and also dim enough for general use (30-700 lumens). It has options for wide and narrow beams, displays a neutral to warm color, and is relatively upgradeable without too much trouble. At the same time, it’s also fairly compact, with all of the components packed inside of a short section of 3″x2″ aluminum tubing, protected at the back and front by aluminum and acrylic backings. The LEDs used are four Cree XP-E R2 bin LEDs and a hipFlex driver from TaskLED with programmable settings for max output, thermal protection temperature, warning voltage, and lighting modes. I’m personally already smitten with the level of customizability of this build.

On top of all of that, it’s been cave tested and approved!

Storm Cloud Lamp Brings The Weather Inside

The humble lamp is a common build for a hacker looking to express themselves creatively. Often, nature can serve as an inspiration, as was the case for [Michael Pick]’s Storm Cloud. (Video, embedded below.)

Electronically, the build is straightforward, consisting of an Arduino Uno, an MP3 shield, and a string of WS2801 LEDs. These are driven slightly differently than the more-common WS2812B type, but Adafruit libraries make it easy for even the beginner. There’s also an RF keyfob fitted for remote control of the device, and a voice synth that serves as a user interface.

The video also covers the construction of the body of the lamp. Cardboard forms are created, then covered in tape to create a rough 3D ovaloid shape. This mold is then fiberglassed to create two shells, which are later joined together with bolts. This allows the LEDs and electronics to be neatly mounted inside. Spray adhesive is then used to affix what appears to be cotton wool or polyfill stuffing to the outside to create the cloud effect.

The final result is rather aesthetically pleasing. There’s the usual soft-glowing rainbows as you’d expect, but the real highlight is storm mode, which causes flickers of lighting to scatter across the surface of the cloud. The accompanying sound effects from the MP3 shield help add to the drama.

We’ve seen other takes on a cloud lamp before, too. Video after the break.

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Mt Everest Lamp Recreates The Famous Peak

Anyone who has travelled to distant mountain peaks has marvelled at the beauty of the natural, rugged terrain. [apoorvas15] is no different, and created a lamp that celebrated the awe of the largest mountain on earth.

When it comes to reproducing an accurate geometrical representation of the landscape, the easiest approach is to reach for some variety of CNC machinery. Here, a 3D printer is used to create a translucent shell replicating the mountain. A reverse shell is then laced on the bottom to create an effect akin to that of a reflection in a lake. The assembly was fitted with WS2812 LEDs run by an Arduino Nano, and suspended from a stainless steel frame for an attractive floating look.

It’s a great piece, one that would look suitably impressive on any desk or coffee table. The 3D printer has served many makers well when it comes to producing attractive home lighting. We’ve seen many great builds — from the 8-bit to the floral-inspired. Video after the break.

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