DIY LED Table Ikea Hack

An Ikea hack, now with arduino!

I read about this hack on the Apartment Therapy Unplugged website – it’s an Ikea Granas table with 81 ShiftBrite RGB LED modules under the glass in a matrix.  An arduino chip controls the LEDs and outputs a hue-saturation-value and RGB sine wave.  The project as a whole costs about $350, but what a project!

Here’s the original article – the parts links are above.

RGB LED table

RGB LED table

ikea granas


An Interesting CFL Project – More Like CFLED

Make Mag had an article about a Make-er that created an LED lamp from a used “CFL ballast case.”  There are several reasons why I(‘m probably not going to recommend that you try this project – it’s not well protected from zapping yourself on mains voltage, you could contaminate your space with Mercury, you could slice yourself with a knife whi.e you’re cutting the top off of the old CFL, and breadboardds aren’t supposed to be used like that.

All that being said, this is an interesting project.  Check out the creator’s website.




How to Save $11,644.07 On A Designer Fixture?


I ran across this great Instructable that shows in detail how to make one of the ever-so-popular cluster globe chandelier lamps.  These things can be so ridiculously expensive – not that I don’t believe in buying quality, I just don’t have the bones to drop it on a “gourmet” fixture right now.  There’s been so much press on the cluster globe style of fixtures, and I really enjoy the style.

If you’re a fellow “I can make that myself”-er, then you’ll probably enjoy this article.  Check out How to save 11,644.07 on a designer lighting fixture! at Instructables.  Thanks to user edwinston14 for the article!

Throwing Molten Iron Against A Cold Wall

I mentioned in a post a few months ago about the Chinese Lantern Festival, and I posted a picture of someone performing the ancient art of the Dashuhua, which has a literal translation of “beating flowers into the tree.”  These guys melt down pots and scrap metal in a furnace, and then throw it in big ladelfuls against a cold wall.  This was apparently practiced 500 or so years ago by poor blacksmiths who could not afford fireworks.

You gotta watch this video.  It is extremely excellent.  I’m going to go ahead and say that this is probably something you shouldn’t be doing at home – at least not without 12 good hours of drinking first.  Or maybe while camping – that’s the kind of stuff my pyromaniac friends enjoy when we camp.

Thanks, DiagonalView!

Old Halogen Torchiere Conversion to Compact Fluorescents

It’s not like these things have disappeared, but do you have any of those halogen torchieres hanging out in your house?  For some reason when I was single, I always had three or four of these things hanging out.  The light is indirect, it creates a soft glow in your house, and they’re usually fairly bright – the halogen lamp inside is typically a couple hundred watts, maybe three hundred.  The bummer of these fixtures – besides the power consumption of the halogen, is that if you knock one over, you might catch something on fire as it shatters, even with the guard in place atop the lamp.

Instructables user “bben46” has posted an Instructable about converting one of these fixtures from halogen to two compact fluorescent lamps, for under ten bucks’ worth of parts, and with an energy cost savings of $260 using both lamps.

Check it out – Bben46’s Halogen Torchiere Retrofit to CFL on Instructables.


Thanks, Make and Instructables!

Michael Charlot’s Mold Lamp


Michael Charlot’s “Mold Lamp” exhibit is a unique and interesting one; the French department store Le Bon Marché hosted Charlot’s installation of mold lamps, which is an interesting cluster of sorts.

Charlot’s lamp mold makes a bold statement about imperfection in production – to me, quite frankly, it says that imperfection can be attractive – these lamp shapes are simple, but have sophistication in simplicity.

Michael Charlot’s Mold Lamps debuted during the Maison and Objet 2009 exhibition in Paris.



Thanks, Design Boom!

DIY Plant Grow Spikes – Love Your Plants!

My wife and I work from our home offices, and I find that I work the best with my three monitor setup with a room as dark and dungeon-like as possible.  I also love plants and watching them grow – the two don’t really go together that well, as the plants aren’t as big of a fan of the dark as I am.  I often find myself moving the plants downstairs to the big open sun room so that the plants are happy and healthy.

I just read an article at PopSci about a DIY project for LED plant grow spikes.  Extend the amount of usable light the plants get for that uber-necessary 12-18 hours of light for their health!  The project looks fairly simple, and your plants will thank you for it!


Check it out over at PopSci.