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.
Continue reading “It’s Not An Arc Lamp, It’s A Lamp Arc”
LED cubes are a pleasing ornament and still something of a talking point, but now they have reached the point of being available as inexpensive kits from China. The simpler ones don’t have quite the cachet they used to. It’s still a project that can deliver a few surprises though, as [Moritz v. Sivers] shows us very well with his glass LED cube. Instead of the usual wire frame construction he’s employed a novel technique of applying each layer of WS2812 LEDs to its own glass PCB.
The PCBs are created with self-adhesive copper foil, cut out with a CNC cutter and painstakingly transferred to the glass substrate with the help of a piece of transfer paper. The LEDs are soldered on, and once each board has been tested they are mounted in the manner of a toast rack to laser cut acrylic corner pieces. There are four layers of 16 LEDs each, which might not make for the largest cube, but still makes for a respectable show. The addressable LEDs take it a level above the 3D matrix type of cube with which you might already be familiar, and the extra time required to load each value into them doesn’t seem to slow the display down.
There are a couple of videos we’ve placed below the break, one showing it in action and the other taking us through the build process. This last one should provide plenty of inspiration for anyone with an interest in creating this type of PCB on glass or any other unusual substrate. Continue reading “It’s An LED Cube, But Maybe Not Quite What You Were Expecting”
Using a 3D printer to make high quality parts is a great way to improve the look and appeal of any project. If you want to replicate something exactly, though, you’ll need either a very good set of calipers and a lot of time or a 3D scanner. Using the 3D scanner and the 3D printer go along very well together, especially if you use your 3D printer to build your 3D scanner too.
This project comes to us from [Vojislav] who spent the past two years perfecting this 3D scanner. Using a vast array of 3D printed parts, this build looks professional on every level. It also boasts a Raspberry Pi Zero and a fleet of camera modules, not to mention its own LED lighting. [Vojislav] has provided the printer files and the software needed to run it on the project page. It all runs through command line and python code, but that shouldn’t be a big hurdle.
While there is no video of it in action, it seems like all the parts are there for a solid 3D scanner, provided you have access to a 3D printer that can churn out the parts you’ll need. If you need something larger, there are some other options available as well that really take your photogrammetry skills to the next level.
At first sight, [Kyle]’s Elroy lamp is simply an attractive piece of modern-styled interior furnishing; its clean lines, wood grain, and contemporary patterning being an asset to the room. But when he pulls out his phone, things change. Because this lamp hides a secret: at its heart may be a standard LED bulb, but the shade conceals four LCD screens driven by an Nvidia Jetson. These can be controlled through a web app to display a variety of textures, completing the effect.
This is not however simply a set of laptop screens bolted to a lampshade. The screens started life in laptops sure enough, but have since had their reflective backing removed to create a transparent LCD panel. Then an appropriate diffuser had to be found, which after much experimentation became a composite including more than one textured paper. Finally the whole was enclosed in an attractive wooden lamp frame and became part of the furniture. We like it, both as an aesthetically pleasing lamp and as a genuine departure from the norm.
This isn’t the first eye-catching lampshade we’ve brought you, but it’s certainly raised the bar. You can see it in action in the video below the break.
Continue reading “LCD Panel Lamp Shade Makes For Eye-Catching Lighting”
If you’re looking for a fancy LED lamp, the Internet can provide in spades. There are all manner of flashy-this and glowing-that, often with wild and impressive designs made with high-end tools. However, when it came time to decorate the apartment, [thebigpotatoe] wanted to build something simple that anyone could attempt. From this, the Super Simple RGB WiFi Lamp was created.
The body of the lamp consists of a plank of wood. It may not sound like much, but thanks to a nifty design, it actually comes out looking remarkably stylish. The plank is fitted with aluminium angle on the back, and a strip of WS2812B LEDs are wrapped around the perimeter of the board. An ESP8266 NodeMCU is fitted to run the show, and powered from a mains supply to allow it to run all day.
The trick here is that the LEDs are mounted on the back of the board, where they are out of direct sight. The light from the LEDs is projected onto the wall the lamp is mounted on, giving a nice smooth effect without requiring any dedicated diffusers. There’s a series of animations coded in, which look great, particularly when the animations wrap around the end of the lamp.
It’s a great addition to the apartment’s feature wall, and goes to show that you don’t need world-beating crafting skills to make a great piece for your home. You can even go all out, and light your whole room this way. Video after the break.
Continue reading “Super Nice LED Lamp Is Super Simple”
Working in a theater or night club often requires a specialized set of technical skills that you might not instantly think about. Sure, the audio system needs to be set up and managed but the lighting system is often actively managed as well. For simple setups, this is usually not too difficult to learn. With more complicated systems you will need to get elbow-deep into some software. With [trackme518]’s latest tool, though, you will only need to be able to edit video.
Sure, this sounds like just trading one piece of software for another, but it’s more likely that professionals working in lighting will already know how to edit video rather than know programming or complicated proprietary lighting software. All you have to do to control a set of lights is to create a video, or use an existing one, and the lighting system will mimic the video on its own. If you do know programming, though, it’s written in Processing Java so changes aren’t too difficult to make.
The software (available on the project’s GitHub page) will also work outside of a professional environment, as well. It’s set up to work with DMX systems as well as LED strips so you could use it to run a large LED display board using only an input video as control. You could even use it to run the display on your guitar.
Photo courtesy of Rob Sinclair (Gribiche) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)]
High resolution digital cameras are built into half of the devices we own (whether we want them or not), so why is it still so hard to find good pictures of all the incredible projects our readers are working on? In the recently concluded Beautiful Hardware Contest, we challenged you to take your project photography to the next level. Rather than being an afterthought, this time the pictures would take center stage. Ranging from creative images of personal projects to new ways of looking at existing pieces of hardware, the 100+ entries we received for this contest proved that there’s more beauty in a hacker’s parts bin than most of them probably realize.
As always, it was a struggle to narrow down all the fantastic entries to just a handful of winners. But without further adieu, let’s take a look at the photos that we think truly blurred the line between workbench and work of art:
Continue reading “The Gorgeous Hardware We Can’t Take Our Eyes Away From”