Ikea floor lamp mod project completed

I only discovered microcontrollers and WLED about a month ago. Once I got my first LED strip and esp32 and got the basics figured out, I started looking around for projects… And I realized I had an old Ikea floor lamp that was a good conversion candidate.

Here’s the final result but below are some construction pics and parts info that may help others.

The lamp has a weighted base with a metal pole on which are mounted 3x candelabra sized sockets. By using screw-in adapters I was able to plug in a 5V PSU for my esp32 and a 12V PSU for the strip.

To create an inner core on which I could wrap the LED strip, I used a roll of plastic mesh fencing. “Tenax 084075 black hardware net” was the PERFECT thing for this job. It’s stiff enough to hold its shape, but soft enough to cut easily. I ended up using 2 layers for extra stiffness, but 1 layer should be fine.I wrapped the material tightly around the lamp’s sockets, and used zipties to hold it all together.

I also used zipties to hold the LED helix in place. (If you do anything like this, it is MUCH easier to do with the assembly held horizontally. I had to prop the core up between a couple of chairs.)

Here’s a view from the top showing the shape of the core with the lampshade in place. If you look carefully you can see that I had to extend the length of the core by a few inches, because the roll’s 36" height was not quite tall enough. It was necessary to get the core, and the topmost part of the LED strip, close to the top of the lampshade to avoid a dark spot.

You can also see a button panel. I hooked up the maximum 4 pushbuttons, and used scrap network cable to run the connections down to the esp32 which is ziptied inside the base of the core. Yeah, it’s ugly, but where the lamp is, no one sees down inside the top.

The leftmost button is power and brightness. The second button switches between presets and audio-reactive presets. Buttons 3-4 are not in use yet.

Key Parts

I did not need to use a level shifter for this project. I did need to inject power at the far end of the strip, though.

Notice that the lampshade is rectangular. It is approximately 8" x 13". You can see the stripes of the LED strip helix shape behind the diffuser in the short axis, but IMHO it is not objectionable. And with an affect that is more speckled than even lighting, you cannot see the strip path at all.

On the other axis, where the LEDs are farther from the paper, they are diffused much better.

Using another strip and making a denser coil would certainly look better, but I used what I had. Maybe I’ll modify the lamp someday, but I am pretty happy with it right now.

Based on this project I would maybe not want to buy a similar lamp if it was not greater than 8" diameter. 12" or a bit more overall diameter would provide better diffusing. If I could find a cylindrical floor lamp like that I’d buy a couple today!

(Sadly, Ikea’s current similar model floor lamp is smaller than this one. It is 13" wide but less than 8" in the other axis – even though it looks cylindrical in the photo. I don’t think it’s a good conversion candidate. I just looked at it in person.)

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