Mobirise

FLOLA





Make a design table lamp electronically controlled.
Change the shape of the lamp and light intensity according to your mood.
Ready for 3D print - microcontroller Arduino - stepper motor - Joystick control.

How the lamp works

The story of the project

I've always dreamed that once I would design and create tasteful things for the people.
So they are technically smart, functional and nice.
Fortunately, I was born to our time, to the time of massive technological prosperity, when all kinds of ideas and news allow creative people to fulfill their dreams and are shifting the possibilities of management further.

When I got acquainted with 3D print technology, an idea flared up in my mind, the one which was gnawing at the back of my mind and did not leave. "Buy the technology and start printing things" - something was constantly saying to me and I was totally absorbed. With enthusiasm proportional to my total zeal, I got a high quality 3D printer Ultimaker3 which was made especially to create complex geometries using rinse-away support materials.

The second idea that thrilled me was the technology of smart things and their practical use for work and entertainment. So I started composing imaginary technical puzzles and thinking about a project that would combine these things and allow me to give a realistic look at my thoughts and ideas.

One day, I was standing in one of the megalomaniac shopping galleries, in the lighting technology shop and looked at the exhibited goods. All lamps were the same, a simple shade, adjustable light routing. Everything in the way of Edison, when in 1879 he presented to the world a light bulb. So I wondered what such an innovative lamp should know, how to increase the comfort of its controls and make of the ordinary lighting a complete luxury.

Because I like natural shapes which are an embodiment of grace and perfection to me, I have decided to base the project FLOLA on a bloom design that can open and close and thus change the atmosphere and intimacy of lighting.
But how to open and to close a flower? Perhaps with a shaft and a stepping motor that can regulate the speed in both directions? The shaft eventually did not win, but as a unique solution a trapezoidal screw was selected, which can elegantly transform the rotary movement into a straightforward one, and is absolutely sufficient to be used for the project. Therefore, I devised a sophisticated leverage system and tried to get the flower into motion.

But there was a need for more electronics to do so. The control unit, the Arduino Nano microcomputer platform, stepping motor and the necessary EasyDriver, flat out switches, necessary stack of wires, and last but not the least control software from the Brainy BITS server.

But how to light the lamp? What light source to use?
A common bulb or its newer versions did not seem to be a suitable solution for the project.
If the Lamp wants to be innovative and move the lighting on, it would be necessary to pull out other cards up your sleeve than Edison's over 100-year-old inventions.
A LED strip  placed on the inside of petals of the flower seemed to be such a smart solution.


At this stage, however, another question arose. The full power of the light source was too strong for a cool lighting and brightness needed to be regulated. However, the LED is not a bulb but a semiconductor component, so it is not enough to regulate the voltage in order to dim the diode, but it is necessary to connect the LED strips across the control circuit and to control the electronics via a potentiometer. So it was necessary to get and to connect such a circuit.

The lamp just turned on, but how to find an elegant solution for the design controlling the whole device? The lamp must be stable, must be as variable as possible and the controls need to be as intuitive and simple as possible.
So I began with the production of a stable pedestal which will be connected with the luminous flower itself by a flexible rod called a goose neck in our design community. Finding a maker of such a piece is not a simple task and the flexible bar itself cannot be bought in a normal business network or made at home. This is the only part of the lamp which might be a problem.

There also must be sufficient weight in the pedestal so that the lamp would have high stability and strength. The last task seemed to be a combination of the mechanic opening of the flower and the dimming of intensity of the LEDs. After intense thinking I designed to fuse the joystick available as an accessory to the Arduino platform and a potentiometer so that the rotary potentiometer is incorporated into the joystick lever. Pressing the handle of the lever thus opens petals of the lamp and turning it controls the light intensity.





The overall connection of all parts and the incorporation of the control electronics into the design elements was not an easy task, but after some thinking and some cursing it all works and lights up.


And because the project is still far from sleeping, I decided to take advantage of the microcontroller's potential in the next version. Replace the Arduino Nano with the Particle Photon microcontroller, replace the analog potentiometer with the digital one to add control over all the lamp functions from a mobile phone or any other computer connected to the home network.
So I present to you FLOLA
Hope you enjoy it!