Gumdrop Lamp

Gumdrop Lamp

I picked up a simple 3 Watt color changing LED light bulb for about $6 online. This thing is amazing for the price!
Color Changing LED
Actually, as a light bulb, it is awful! It is not very bright and the RGB LED they use in them is not frosted so when you set it to “white” you end up seeing 3 different colored spots on your ceiling. (That is probably why they are so cheep.) 
Being that I am only interested in harvesting their innards, they are a great bargain.

If you take it apart and remove the 120 VAC to 5 VDC converter, you have a simple remote controlled color-changing… anything!


For my first project with this thing, I decided I wanted to make a lamp:

Not very impressive when it is turned off.

Not very impressive when it is turned off.

It has 30 strands of  0.1mm fiber-optic filament with 3-D printed translucent “bulbs” on the ends.  In order to get the fiber optics to stay straight, I printed out 4 disks with a hole for each filament. They screwed onto the threaded post and kept everything aligned.
Aligning the filaments
I printed out a little dome shaped piece for the top that the post screwed into and turned the filaments in the directions they needed to go.
Top Piece
2014-02-04 15.58.31
The base of the lamp is a simple chunk of 2″ x 8″ pine that has been sanded down and stained. I added a little flange to the top that helps hold the infrared receiver so you can change the color or turn it on and off from across the room.
In order to get everything into the base, I drilled out some chunks and glued it all in there. Here is what it looks like from the bottom.
It now serves as a night light in my room…
Gumdrop Lamp - Orange
Gumdrop Lamp - Blue
Gumdrop Lamp - Red

Recent Posts

Cedar crystals

I expected to find more on this topic on the world wide spiderweb, but since few have posted pics of this phenomenon I thought it would be good to do so.  Maybe carpenters who work with cedar see it all the time but it was interesting to me.

In a nutshell, my wife asked if I would cut some some disks from a large red cedar branch that broke off a nearby tree. I used a miter saw (we call it a chop saw ’round these parts) to cut a bunch of disks –about 3″ diameter, 1/4″ thick  drink coasters basically.

The cedar aroma was great and we left one wafer sitting around on the pantry shelf. A couple of days later I was back in the pantry searching for some type of food item that would require zero forethought or preparation time, and glancing at the cedar disk I noticed a frosty, sparkly something on its surface.

Looking closely, the red heartwood center of the wooden disk had grown very fine crystalline whiskers, some around 1 to 3mm long (yes I’ll switch to metric on you like that when the micron range becomes ponderable). The little clear needles seem to orient in various directions and extend out from the surface at different angles.

My quick and dirty “solubility test” consisted of a drop of water in one area and a drop of rubbing alcohol in another.  The crystals were unaffected by the water and dissolved nearly instantly in the 70% isopropyl alcohol.  Oh, and the flame from a lighter vaporizes them pretty instantly also.

From what I can find, the substance is likely crystallized libocedrol, a component of the aromatic oils found in the tree. The tree is Juniperus virginiana and I don’t know if any particular conditions like temperature, moisture content, etc. affect the crystal formation or if the tree just had a lot of the compound available to release. Nor have I researched what other trees may have it or if it’s common to see. I do know the internet needed a few more pictures of it so here are a few from my little USB microscope.







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