Friday, February 15, 2008

Lampshade > Homework

So, a week or so ago I started thinking: "I wonder if I could make a lamp out of my cell phone charger..." Turns out that I can!

Here's what I used:
6 LEDs
1 paper cup
about 3 inches of wire from the binding of my Spanish notebook
(to honor MacGyver I also used some safety pins, paperclips and tin foil... but ended up discarding them)

At first I just twisted the LEDs together, taped them in place and plugged my charger in. Then I could hold the glowing mass above my paper as I read.

But then, on Tuesday, I happened upon a brilliant thought: "I could make a lampshade out of a cup!" And so, as any diligent engineer would do, I set my homework aside and made a lampshade.

Now all that's left is a stand for the lampshade and an improved hookup for the charger. This was the BEST Valentine's week EVER! :)

Boring details:
The charger puts out 6.25V at 350mA which means it deliver up to 2.19W of power. (6.25 * 0.350 = 2.19) I first bought these LEDs from the shop at the Clyde that run on about 2V. But as I was taking some measurements, Justin came in an offered me some of his higher powered LEDs. Those guys each run at above 3.2V and draw about 25mA. Since each LED has to have at least 3.2V and can't handle more than 3.7V I decided on two groups in series to split the 6.25V. Each of these groups has 3 LEDs in parallel (so 6 total).


Kira Joy said...

Why aren't you on "Trading Spaces"?

...they are always looking for clever ways to save money...and you have a $2 lighting fixture method.

Megs said...

You are amazing. But I quit reading when you got to the boring stuff. Yay for diligence!

Dan Kim said...

In 10 years, when you have your own house the way you want it, I am looking forward to seeing all sorts of inventions. A stove that does the laundry, the air-conditioner will have a DVD-burning capacity, light-bulbs that acts as mini computer memory, an electronic stapler that also doubles as video camera... It will be like "Meet the Robinsons" come to life. The scary thing is, you're probably tapping your fingers on your desk thinking, "Hmm, a stove that does the laundry... How can I make this a possibility?" Even scarier, you'll make this in 2 weeks.

Matt said...

hahaha.... the light-bulbs with computer memory actually got me thinking. You know me, Dan :)