With the dark days of December coming I wanted to create some light with this Japanese inspired design, wooden LED lamp.
To get some inspiration I looked at different lamp designs online. I wanted something simple that would look nice in a modern interior. Also, I wanted to see mostly light and less of the lamp itself. My criteria landed me on a design that is based on a traditional Japanese lantern.
Once I knew what I wanted to build I made a 3D model of my own version. I incorporated a space to hold the LED spot that I was going to use and simplified the exterior of the lantern. If you are interested I have a download link to the Sketchup file at the bottom of this page. Here is a screenshot of what I ended up with:
For the build, I wanted to make sure the minimalistic design was kept intact by not having any visible screws. That meant I had to use some kind of joinery to avoid using screws. I chose to use dowels for this. To do this I made a doweling jig. If you want to find out more on that check out this article. Beside the joinery, it was a pretty straightforward project. I cut all the pieces for the frame and figured out a way to hold the LED in the frame.
I assembled the frame using dowels. After that, I glued some scraps to the frame that support the light. The last element of the lamp is the paper. I wanted slots in the frame to slide individual pieces of paper in but I forgot to make those slots so I ended up using one folded piece of thick paper. This worked out just fine and it made the whole project much simpler so I recommend doing that. I cut and folded a piece to the inner dimensions of the frame. After that, I hid the exposed edges of the paper using some thin strips that I friction fit at the frame.
The result is living up to my expectations and I’m really happy with this experiment. The light is nice and soft because of the paper and the minimalistic design works great in my home. The only thing I’m still considering is cutting a new piece of paper to include a paper top. This will be slightly more complicated to cut and fold but will diffuse the light even more. Not sure if I will get around to doing that but I think it would make it look even nicer.
Download & Links
If you want to build something similar I’ve linked my 3D model below as a download.
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Hope this post has inspired you to make something!
And don’t forget to follow your excitement