YOL 2015 – D3 Wireless Color Wands

Posted: January 24, 2015 in YOL 2015

For this design, I incorporated the Philips Hue wireless control and RGB tape light into a simple fixture stand that can sit against a wall or in a corner.

This is the basic setup. A base plate, ball sockets, and wands with RGB LED strips in each.

This is the basic setup. A base plate, ball sockets, and wands with RGB LED strips in each.

Basic Details:
The wands are mounted to a ball, machined from brass, that sits in sockets printed in ABS plastic. At the tip of each wand is a printed ABS clear plastic diffuser that extends the color just beyond the tip of the metal housing. The housing is a U-shaped aluminum channel that the tape light was installed into.

The mechanical arrangement allows the wands to be tilted and twisted to create different arrays, that, when mixed with color effects, create many different finished “looks” that can be easily changed and reconfigured, either by moving the wands or programming the colors.

This is the wands array in fan configuration placed in the corner of our media room.

This is the wands array in fan configuration placed in the corner of our media room.

The Fun:
The Philips Hue system utilizes a wireless hub (located in another room connected to our in-house WiFi network) to allow any smart device, iOS or Android, to control the effects. These effects include selecting basic color mixes using simple app software, or more complex scenes, and disco effects. There are at least a dozen apps available for the system now. I chose the Pro version of the app, that allows me to set up groups of colors (the wands use three separate channels, plus three others we have in the house). This allows each one of the individual wands to be controlled separately, as well as in a group. I also use another app, called Hue Disco, that includes fading mood washes and functions, as well as disco lighting effects that respond to music being played.

In this arrangment, the wands are aimed at random agles to one another to twist the blend of light into the corner.

In this arrangement, the wands are aimed at random angles to one another to twist the blend of light into the corner.

Color is an addictive addition to entertainment and feature spaces, that produces an impression of flow and movement that white light just does not deliver. In this case, I included the lighted tip on each wand to create a sense of origin at the top of each stem, which is many arrangements, creates a sense that the light is flowing out of the wand from the tip down, like water from a fountain. Since the wands themselves hide the light strips completely, there is little to break that illusion.

Arranging the wands and placement of the base creates the final effects, and sets the stage for the use of color mixes, blends, changing routines, use of disco effects to suit ones tastes. I personally like the slow color changing effects, which fade from one color to another within a pre-selected pallet. In the morning, the flowing of warm color blends was pleasant as the sun rose, while at night with the TV on, blue and magenta blends seemed a nice complement.

Since the wands can be re-arranged on a whim, it’s likely that I will move them around occasionally just to freshen things up, while the apps that control the color and effects give me plenty to tinker with in creating moods and color effects to suit the day, the season, or just kill a few minutes when nothing else is going on.

The images that follow show the wands arranged in different configurations, with the colors changed using a smart phone. I’ve come to find this a great deal of fun, and plan to apply it, and similar approaches into future designs in the 52/52 project. Wireless control is a fantastic way to control products like this, as it requires no wired switches, knobs or buttons. I also like being able to program this fixture and other lights in the house surrounding it to change on schedule, shut off automatically, and turn on/off for nightlight and security duty, easily and effortlessly.

Fan arrangement, set into a corner with RGB and blue color modes. These can also be cycled or left static.

Fan arrangement, set into a corner with RGB and blue color modes. The wands at the right and left are turned toward the walls, the center wand into the corner. The colors can be cycled or left static.

Fan wand arrangment as above, but with pastel colors, warm white and sunset tones

Fan wand arrangement as above, but with pastel colors, warm white and sunset tones

Wands in a Vee formation, all aimed at a slight outward angle to the the wall.

Wands in a Vee formation, all aimed at a slight outward angle to the the wall.

All three wands aimed into the corner for a perspective view

All three wands aimed into the corner for a perspective view

Wands arranged into a vectored arrangement, aimed directly at the wall.

Wands arranged into a vectored arrangement, aimed directly at the wall.

In this arrangement, the wands are spread and tilted away from the wall, with each turned to overlap light toward the center of the wall, to blend the color effects.

In this arrangement, the wands are spread and tilted away from the wall, with each turned to overlap light toward the center of the wall, to blend the color effects.

 

Comments
  1. Don says:

    Very cool effect Kevin

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