Sparkling LED fir-tree light
Is your home already lovely decorated for Christmas? If you need an idea for a classically beautiful winter decoration, I have a great suggestion for you, a bright Christmas tree with LED lighting that is quickly and easily built.
And here´s how it works:
|A wood panel, about 60 x 60 cm, e.g. a MDF plate||Jigsaw / band saw (for cutting)|
|About 1,70 m LED Stripe 12 V white||Band-, disc- or delta sander|
|1 Power plug 12 V 3A||Abrasive paper|
|1 Switch||Soldering iron|
|Alternative: a complete set: 5 m stripe with power supply and remote control about 15-20 Euros|
|Wood stain powder (green)|
|Shrinking tube / insulating tape|
Step 1: Drawing and cutting the fir-tree template
At the beginning some creativity is needed. The outlines of the Christmas tree are first drawn on the wood panel. I used only one half of the Christmas tree template, after drawing and sawing the half tree out, I mirrored it, to get two identical halves at the end.
Step 2: Grinding the Christmas tree
After sawing, it's time for sanding the panels. If you have the opportunity, you can of course edit the edges with an edge mill and then grind everything. For the small inside curves, I just took abrasive paper and glued it onto a plastic tube with double-sided tape. With this method you achieve smooth curves. Finally, sand the tree again with a 240-grain abrasive paper to give your object the final touch.
Step 3: Installing the switch
In the left half of the fir-tree, I then sawed a groove, which the cable can be led down in afterwards. In the right side, I drilled a hole and afterwards filed it. You have to pay attention that the hole has exactly the size of the switch, so that the latter fits in perfectly in the end.
Step 4: Painting the Christmas tree and building a stand foot
We also want the fir tree to look a little bit more colourful, that´s why we paint it with green strain. You find it in hardware stores, it is very cheap and is called powder stain. You mix the powder with water and you can start. Simply paint the tree, let the panel absorb the colour and remove later the rest with a cloth, let it dry – and it is done!
You can now hang it in a window or, like I did, build a foot for the fir-tree because I wanted to put the tree on my windowsill. Therefore, take a suitable piece of wood and make a cut-out with the size of the foot.
Step 5: The cabling
The wiring is very simple. Usually the LED stripe is marked with (+) and (-). On my power plug, the cables were red (+) and white (-). To connect stripe and power supply I soldered the red cable (+) of the power supply directly to the stripe (on plus). Then I soldered a piece of the white cable (-) on the LED stripe (on minus). After soldering all together, we insulated the wires with heat shrinking tube or insulating tape, alternatively. And now watch out. Please push both white cables, from the LED stripe and from the power supply, through the hole where the switch comes in and then solder them to the switch. After soldering you can push the switch into the hole and stow the cables in the groove between the fir halves, while wielding the LED stripe upwards and the cable downwards. Then glue the two halves together. When that's done, we glue the LED stripe to the fir's inner frame. Now just put the whole construction in the foot and the LED fir tree is ready.
I hope you could follow my remarks. As you can see, the fir-tree looks great on a large windowsill. Of course it's up to you how big it gets. Everyone has their own ideas.
Have fun building it and have a nice Christmas