Laser Cut LED Flower Chandelier
A chandelier inspired by tulips. An experiment with 3D shapes using outward facing LED strips. Built for my daughter, it's a nightlight and kid entertainment in one.
The basic idea was to take a tulip petal shape, and cut a hole out of the middle where LEDs will fade outward, edge-on. I also wanted something etched into the face, otherwise light would normally only escape the edges. I played around with L-System fractals in Inkscape to make this fractal tree pattern.
The petals were then heated and bent. I made a vice with 2 wooden discs and a long bolt so that the center hole ring didn't become deformed.
With a gradual enough curve, the light bounces around instead of exiting. I used a heat gun and the curve is OK, but I think I would have ended up with more natural curve if I had draped it over a metal bowl and put it in the oven for a while.
In order to hold the LEDs flush with the hole edge, and hold up the whole thing, I created this support arm thing in OpenSCAD. Two of these were made with different diameters, and mate with a thread. This also lets me adjust the height difference between the inner and outer pedals.
The LEDs, 68 in total, are driven by my Pixelblaze controller and are APA102 LED strips which have excellent low-light capabilities. I put in a few low-light modes that can act as a nightlight and can pick the pattern over WiFi or let it run through a sequence.
The whole thing runs off of a basic USB power supply with fairly thin wires traversing the whole length of the wall and then a few feet over as well. It works very well even with fairly bright modes.