June 8, 2020

A DIY Smart Lamp with RGB LEDs

I pursued a project that was inspired by an Instagram ad. It was an RGB LED lamp that lit up the corner of the room. I decided that I wanted to replicate this lamp but with added smart features that allowed connection to Amazon Alexa and Google Home.

With spare steel tubing from my bed desk project, I welded it together square tube steel with angle steel. Both tubing and angles were 1" in size. The lamp stands at about 6 feet in height with legs stretching 2 feet each way. The sharp pointy edge was my own idea - calling it a spire lamp.

I purchased a 5-meter long RGBWW LED strip (SMD 5050) with Wifi capabilities. The WW for those unaware, is for bright white and warm white. A bit extra in cost but well worth it for a lamp.

The kit comes with the strip, a Wifi hub, a remote, and a power supply. The LED strip has a double-sided tape backing which allowed me to peel and stick to the steel. The quality of the tape was abysmal so I ended up applying hot glue every 6-inches.

Completion Thoughts

The app that controls the lights is Magic Home Pro(available on both Apple and Android). Very basic features but allows you to connect with Alexa and Google Home.

My only gripe with this app is that if I want the LEDs to change to the music, the app needs to be running in the background of my phone while using the phone's microphone. Somewhat of a privacy concern since these things are made in China. If you choose to make this project, there are kits with built-in microphones as well.

With that, the project is complete. If I were to redo this, I would use C channel steel instead of a square tube for the legs. That way I'm not sticking the LED strip to the outside of the leg but rather inside of the C channel.

Before this project, I didn't realize how easy LED kits were. You can literally add them to any project and immediately increase the project's value.

Future Projects

This isn't the only smart lamp I want to build. I plan on making a miniature desk version as well. I'm thinking of add wood features and wireless phone charging at the base as well.

I also have an idea of building an RGB LED photography light bar. Perhaps sometime in the near future.

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