Tuesday, December 8, 2015


It is nearing Christmas time again.

Last year, I was in an apartment that was doing a Christmas Light Decoration Competition. The first three winner received a discount on the next months rent.

So I decided to order some RGB LED strips from banggood.com and make some really cool IR controllable stars.

The process was simple, if not a bit tedious...

First, I measured the length of the smallest section I could get from the LED strop. Then I made a pattern, on a regular sheet of paper, that would give me the angles and length for each point in the star.

Then, I traced the angles on a piece of cardboard, cut the star out, and placed the sections of LED strips, to make sure everything fit.

Here is a picture of the star, the template, the tools I used, and the LED strips in place.

Now all that is left is to solder all the LED segments together.
This was by far the most tedious part.

And here it is all lit up.

And, why only make one when I can make three!

So Here is our final apartment balcony.

Click to view on YouTube

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Floodlight on Tripod

I recently acquired an LED flood light to help shed some light on my projects. I found that it works best if it is mounted up high. To do this, without putting holes in the wall, I used my tripod. It has a quick release attachment that I find very useful.

This quick release mechanism is designed to be used with a camera. However, the concept is pretty simple. In the image above, the left is the empty quick-release housing. By moving the lever on the left up, it makes it possible to insert the camera mount pad (center). The mounting pad is simply a square piece with beveled edges.

Now, How to mount the floodlight to the tripod? This is where I had the idea of creating another mounting pad that would mount to the floodlight using the existing hardware. I decided that is would be easiest to just 3D print the part even though it very well could have been made from wood or other materials with a little more effort.

As you can see, I simply duplicated the mounting pad and extended it. This allowed the nuts and bolts that hold the legs onto the light to also hold the mounting pad.

Now I can put my light on my tripod with just a flick of a switch.

And a big thank you to my brother for drawing up my idea and printing it.