“This project started when my girlfriend was complaining about the large empty feature wall of our new apartment. Since we both decided to hang something up there, I knew I wanted to put something of my own design up there. I started researching for inspiration across the and ended up reading a lot of Instructables which are pretty amazing, with some unique and beautiful designs. But what I kept finding is that most require either expensive tools such as 3D printers and CNC routers, or items that are highly specific to their design like old lamp shades or car bumpers for example.
I have many of these great tools available to me since I am a development engineer in heavy industry. But I wanted to challenge myself and build the most Super Simple WiFi RGB LED Lamp that anyone can build. I wanted to create a design that anyone can not only replicate, but modify with ease with minimal tools and resources available to them. To do this there were a few criteria I wanted to meet;
- Use the minimal amount of tools to build, hopefully using only common household tools
- The materials must be sourced from a location that generally anyone can has access to, such as a generic big brand hardware stores and global online retailers
- Not require anyone to access, touch, or wire high voltage circuits
- Not know any code or have ever coded before, but are willing to get started
- Have the end result be as simple and intuitive to use as possible
- Use no cloud or external services like apps for website hosting and functionality
After a bit of head scratching and browsing a couple of websites for materials, I hand drew some simple sketches of what I manage to come up with. The result was a single piece of dressed timber with some LED’s taped around it using by an ESP8266 as the light driver that I would then hang on a wall. For control I wanted to create a browser based website that would be available via a home network or directly through the ESP itself.
On paper, this design was perfect, as it had 3 parts to be purchased from the hardware store, a couple more from the electronics store, and a few from online. And coupling this with a hopefully clear Instructable, that makers are able to follow along and create their own!
The materials required for this build will be detailed later in this Instructable. But to start the tools required will be;
Drill - Used for drill some holes in the timber and aluminium. This is the only more exotic tool I couldn’t avoid using. If you don’t have one I’m sure you can borrow one from family, friends, or even a local school or club. It can just be a regular hand drill and does not have to be powerful at all.
Drill bits - For drilling through the timber and aluminium. If you don’t have any, they are not expensive to purchase a really cheap set from your local hardware store. If you use the exact same ones as myself, you will need a 2.5mm, 5mm, and 7 mm bits.
Ruler (or measuring tape) - Used for measuring everything up of course.
Scissors - These will be used for cutting and stripping the wires. A pair of wire strippers would be handy also.
Screw Drivers - This will depend on the screws you buy or have lying around. You may need Allen keys if you choose to take that path.
Tape - Of the sticky variety.
Computer - Can be a laptop or desktop of any flavour. You will need to install the Arduino environment and some USB drivers on it, so admin rights are needed.
Micro USB cable - To connect your computer to your ESP8266.”