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Topic: I made a lamp!  (Read 2943 times)
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cinnamon teal
« on: October 12, 2006 07:03:41 PM »

My husband and I moved about a month ago and our new place doesn't have many windows and the bedroom is especially dark.  It was really hard to get up in the morning cuz without the light it felt like night time.  So my husband and I decided to make an artificial sunrise.  I made this lamp with an extra bright 200 watt bulb and he (being the computer genius that he is) got some home automation stuff and turned it into an alarm clock, of sorts.  He made it so that 1/2 an hour before we want to get up it starts to get slowly brighter and brighter.  At wake up time it's on all the way.  And, can I just tell you, it makes it so much easier to get up!

Anyways, here's pics of the lamp:

I made it out of some heavy gauge steel wire and I got the fabric from a thrifted mens shirt.  The fabric is wrong-side out so that when the light is off it doesn't look quite as flashy, but when the light is on it looks right-side out.

I'd love any comments or constructive criticism!

« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2006 07:28:21 PM »

I love it!  Its such a great idea too to have the light gradually get brighter, great for people living in basements or up north where the days are so short this time of year.

I've been wanting to make my own lamp, but I always worry about flamability.  Does the bulb heat up alot?  Geez, I bet that would wake you up in a hurry, if the thing started smokin'

Just curious.  Did you sew six panels together?  It is beautiful.

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« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2006 07:33:38 PM »

One way to alleviate some of the bulb heat, is to get the energy saving bulbs Wink They don't get nearly as warm as regular bulbs do. And bright side (haha, pun intended Tongue Yes, I'm a dork), it saves you money...money which you can then go and spend on..crafty stuff!! Woohoo!

Ahem...anyway..nice job on the lamp lol

"just keep crafting, just keep crafting"

Sorry I've been gone so long. Am trying to get back on the boards. Body's thrown me for a few loops these past months and am still learning to adjust. Thanks for your patience.
cinnamon teal
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2006 07:49:49 PM »

Thanks for the compliments. Cheesy  In regards to safety information, I have a book with information on paper lamp shades that says "The temperature limit for paper, wood and ordinary fiber is 194oF (90oC) when the max room temperature is 86oF (30oC)."  They go on to tell you how to use thermocouples to measure the temp of the shade. 

I didn't go through all that, but considering that 194 is really stinking hot, I'm not too worried about it.  The lamp has a pretty large opening at both the top and bottom so air can circulate pretty well and we don't leave it on if we're not in the room (saves on electricity, too).

cinnamon teal
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2006 07:55:44 PM »

Just curious.  Did you sew six panels together?  It is beautiful.

Thanks!  I'm excited to hear that someone else likes it  Cheesy

To make it, I cut out 6 panels and sewed them directly to the frame (which is why it's a bit wonky Undecided). It probably would have been better if I sewed the panels together first, but I don't have a sewing machine yet.   

« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2006 09:22:16 AM »

An idea very original!
I would love to wake up with that alarm Smiley
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« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2006 05:43:16 PM »

Really nice!  (And I love the shirt!)  My mother bought a clock/light like this, because she has so much difficulty waking up in the morning in the winter. I've always thought I would like to make one more my own style -- can you explain how you and your husband did the automation to gradually increase the power?  That's the part I can't figure out!
cinnamon teal
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2006 06:57:10 PM »

I don't really understand the whole home automation thing myself, but I know that you can use it to do all kinds of stuff, like turning on you coffee pot in the morning and even making your own home security system.

Anyways, I asked my husband to write out a short explanation for you.  Here it is:

Lamp Automation:

1. Purchase an x10 home automation kit. 

You can buy a new one for around $80 ( http://www.smarthome.com ) or if you do a little looking, they were offered under various off brands for a while.  We purchased an IBM HomeDirector Starter Kit for $4.99 ( http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=170038449497&ssPageName=MERC_VIC_ReBay_Pr4_PcY_BIN_IT&refitem=170033082282&itemcount=4&refwidgetloc=closed_view_item&usedrule1=CategoryProximity&refwidgettype=cross_promot_widget ).  It comes with a module that plugs into a serial port on a PC, a module to control a lamp, and one to control an appliance.  If you have a mac, you can find USB based conrollers (though they tend to be a bit more expensive than the old surplus serial interfaces like the one we found).

2. Choose some home automation software and setup your computer.

If you run Windows, you should be able to use the software that came with the starter kit.
Xtension (http://www.shed.com/) is a popular choice on Macs.
ppower (http://ppower.sourceforge.net/) is the Linux application that I have controlling our lamp.

3. Set the address on the lamp module (see instructions included with it).  Plug it into the wall, do the same for the computer controller interface, and you should now be able to use your computer to control the lamp.  The lamp modules have an internal dimmer with at least 22 different levels.  So, I have the lamp turn on to a pretty dim setting (5/22) about 30 minutes before we wake up.  Then, I have the computer increase the brightness periodically until it's at full brightness at the time we want to wake up.

For more information, and where I got the idea in the first place, see "Smart Home Hacks" by Gordon Meyer ( http://www.amazon.com/Smart-Home-Hacks-Gordon-Meyer/dp/0596007221 ).

« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2006 05:32:18 AM »

That's great!

My Jewellery website - www.jingsthings.com
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