Documentation for a glowing lantern wall
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2017-10-14-dye-considerations.ora
2017-10-14-dye-considerations.png
2017-10-14-initial-hanging-readme.md
2018-03-and-04-planning.txt
2018-04-04-first-light.txt
2018-04-10-soldering-notes.txt
2018-04-11-deciding-on-respirator.txt
2018-04-15-lighting-explore-cool-colors-without-uv.ora
2018-04-15-lighting-explore-cool-colors-without-uv.png
2018-04-15-lighting-explore-cool-colors.ora
2018-04-15-lighting-explore-cool-colors.png
2018-04-15-lighting-explore.ora
2018-04-15-lighting-explore.png
2018-04-15-making-boards.txt
2018-04-15-respirator-fitting.txt
2018-04-22-color-proof-of-concept.txt
2018-04-22-new-solder.txt
2018-04-22-resistance-testing.txt
2018-04-23-battery-test.txt
2018-04-24-more-soldering.txt
2018-04-26-even-more-soldering.txt
2018-04-28-battery-test-visualization.xls
2018-04-29-final-hanging.txt
2018-10-switch-upgrade.txt
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README.md
UNLICENSE

README.md

lantern-wall

Documentation for a glowing lantern wall

Summary

While decorating my apartment, I decided to leverage a picture rail and attempted to make a wall of Cloud Clouds

During the process, I realized that clouds would look too bulky for what I wanted as well as require a lot more thought to power/illumination

Now the result is one-off perf-boards with a CR2032 battery, LED, switch, and weak resistor

Off:

Lanterns off

On, room lights on:

Lanterns on, room lights on

On, room lights off:

Lanterns on, room lights off

All photos:

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1h23Px1IOjGWnXOu8yB6WGrw3N42IKGuf?usp=sharing

Hardware

Each lantern has 1 or 2 boards in it. The boards are made out of perfboard so I have some rigidity and get some solder practice (I'm new to electronics)

Circuit photo:

Circuit photo

Board components:

Non-board components:

Total prices:

  • Total price per LED board: $1.61
  • LED boards made, excluding early lessons: 12
  • Total price for entire project: $32.32

Pros

  • Boards are tiny and fit smallest lanterns
    • Had trouble finding something off the shelf, hence the boards

Cons

  • CR2032's aren't reusable
  • Current for LEDs gets lower over time
    • Due to being new to electronics, I didn't realize batteries aren't constantly at their nominal output voltage
    • As a result CR2032 starts at 3.3V but then gets down to 2.7V
    • The result is the LED draws ~20mA then down to ~3mA leading in 10x dimmer brightness

If I were to do it again

  • Use lithium polymer batteries
    • Would maximize current and allow recharging

Documentation

Photos

We've uploaded all the photos from this project to Google Drive. The dates will correlate with the notes here

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1h23Px1IOjGWnXOu8yB6WGrw3N42IKGuf?usp=sharing

October 14 2017

Hung up initial lanterns on picture rail utilizing string + tape to find ideal height

We also tried out using cotton on a cloud but didn't like the result so we left it as is for now

Notes:

December 03 2017

Walking through Chinatown I saw this lantern display and took a photo

I don't think I ever registered it as the inspiration for this project but it probably was subconciously

March 30 2018

Performed lighting tests for a single LED in a lantern, utilizing a breadboard

Figuring out logistics for putting a battery and board inside of the smallest lantern

Notes:

April 04 2018

All necessary parts arrived, soldered up our first board

My soldering inexperience is showing here with lots of doubly-thick solder runs

However it worked and I was thrilled

Notes:

April 10 and 11 2018

Taking time to explore new solder and research getting a respirator

It definitely made me more confident in future soldering and have a better understanding of what is going on

Notes:

April 15 2018

Lots of things happening that day:

  • Tried out new respirator with quick latch
    • Quick latch is soooo useful
  • Soldered another board
  • Noticed lighting in lantern was weird
  • Contemplated different hanging/insertion approaches to fix directionality
  • Proof of concept showed that it didn't matter where light was, it was a lack of diffusion causing issue
  • Diffused the LED via 400 grit sandpaper, worked great in proof of concept
  • Made a board with diffused LED, worked great
  • Explored color ideas on computer
  • Started to build proof of concept color circuits but it got too late

Notes:

April 22 2018

  • Tried out a new solder to avoid splatter, still getting some splatter
    • Advice/feedback here would be much appreciated. Iron is at 750F, solder is lead-free rosin core 2%
  • Tried out finding minimal resistance for LED via potentiometer
  • Tried out color proof of concept with throwie-esque LEDs

Notes:

April 23 2018

Realized that CR2032 would need to be replaced at some point and isn't recharagable. Started a battery test to see how voltage, current, and battery life hold up over time. It's been still going as of 2018-04-29 ._.

Notes:

April 24, 26, 28, and 29 2018

Soldered remaining boards and hung them up to get our final product. Also did some calculations to see how much longer the battery test would go on for

Final product:

Off:

Lanterns off

On, room lights on:

Lanterns on, room lights on

On, room lights off:

Lanterns on, room lights off

October 2018

We revisited the project to make it easier to turn lights on/off. The old process was:

  • Wiggle circuit out of lantern
  • Toggle switch
  • Wiggle circuit back into lantern

Wiggling can take an annoying amount of time

We did some research and settled on the following triggering our lanterns:

We can now slide in/out the bar magnet on the bottom of the lantern which is marginally easier and still consumes no power

Unlicense

As of Apr 29 2018, Todd Wolfson has released this repository and its contents to the public domain.

It has been released under the UNLICENSE.