by Yun-Han Lin
After knowing more about the famous Heng Balance Lamp by Allocacoc, I wanted to design a lamp with a unique and innovative switch. It will feature 360-degree twist and a semi-auto switch-on.
Video of the lamp: https://youtu.be/NMiu_3ZtXyo
We place two light bars on both sides of the lamp, and there is an on/off switch on the base. The light bar goes on and off depending on the angle of twisting. When the light points down at the floor, bars on both sides go on to add to the vibe in the room. When the light is raised, the bulbs on the lower end go on, and as the lamp is raised above 180 degrees, the light shines in an opposite direction toward the top.
Before you keep reading, you may want to think about how to make a lamp with such design first.
How It Works
We place a 0.1mm copper piece as the conductive material on both sides of the light bar to set apart the positive and negative terminals. One side of the bars serve as the negative terminal with two complete copper pieces places. In that way, electricity goes through smoothly regardless of the angle of twisting.
The positive terminal is placed with copper pieces cut into a semicircle and two squares, which allow the conductor to reach different bulbs as the light bars rotate to different angles.
**We choose copper because it is easier in soldering, compared to using aluminum.
1. Laser-cut Board
The specification of boards is 60x40cm and 3mm thick. The structure is simple, yet there are parts that need to be overlapped and thickened. To hold the parts together, we use a locating pin.
2. Assembly & Polishing
The first version came out a bit messy, since laser-cutting left some dark burn marks. Therefore, we decided to first assemble all the parts with connecting points longer than 0.5~1mm, before we polished the surfaces with sandpaper.
I use multi-core wires (22 awg) since they are more flexible for twisting. In addition, a terminal socket is needed to connect the 12V transformer. It is recommended to use a push-in terminal instead of the traditional screw connections, as slight changes can make a huge difference.
4. Grouting Cement (adding weight)
Just as most desk lamps, the base requires more weight to prevent the lamp from falling, so we decide to use cement. We were thinking about adding 1 to 2 kg, but the base could look bulky in that way, so we reduced it to only 400~450 g.
1. The lamp works fine so far, but the copper pieces are thin and are only fixed with glue. There is a chance that they may come loose after the lamp is twisted for some time. Thicker copper pieces are recommended for future design.
2. Particle boards or acrylic sheets can also be good replacements.
3. The lamp base is made using laser-cut boards, but we are thinking about using other materials, so it could look more beautiful.