Wireless Tower Light

Project Status: Under Construction

This project is based around the NerdForge Project…

I bought some WeMos D1 Minis from AliExpress to play around with this. My idea is to get my head around them by first creating one with a button and one with an LED strip and doing a simple On/Off. Then I can look at adding a microphone and lighting patterns.

Introduction to WeMos D1 Mini to start off…

In the second example in the link above remember to change the Baud rate to 115200 to match the code.

To see the feedback from the WeMos D1 Mini you need to open the serial monitor.

On the Serial monitor, remember to change the baud rate there as well so it can read the data sent back….

The next step would be to see if I can connect it to an existing WiFi network, the end goal will be to have one create a new network and the others connect to that but for now let see if we can connect to an existing one.

The code below should connect to a wireless network and return an IP Address.

#include <ESP8266WiFi.h>
// Set WiFi credentials
#define WIFI_PASS "YOUR SSID Password"
void setup() {
  // Setup serial port
  // Begin WiFi
  // Connecting to WiFi...
  Serial.print("Connecting to ");
  // Loop continuously while WiFi is not connected
  while (WiFi.status() != WL_CONNECTED)
  // Connected to WiFi
  Serial.print("Connected! IP address: ");
void loop() {
  // put your main code here, to run repeatedly:

It works!

LED Chandelier v2

I’ve managed to get hold of another chandelier…. this seems to happen quite a lot now.

I want to make it moveable but at the moment I’m torn between 3 options.

Option 1

Leave it as mains powered, fit some flickering LED bulbs and 10m of white artic flex.


  • This works great for in my house and in larger tents at festivals
  • Does NOT make it waterproof. for smaller tents and outside
  • Requires mains power
  • Single on/off switch
  • Only options would be flickering flame or static
  • Really easy to do

Option 2

LED RGB Battery powered, single power and control unit. Some sort of LED strip with a single IR receiver.


  • This works great for in my house and in larger tents at festivals
  • Does make it waterproof. for smaller tents and outside
  • Doesn’t require mains power
  • RGB options
  • Single remote control to operate the whole chandelier

Option 3

LED RGB Battery powered, separate power and control. Individual RGB lights in each of the bulb holders.


  • This works great for in my house and in larger tents at festivals
  • Does make it waterproof. for smaller tents and outside
  • Doesn’t require mains power
  • RGB Options but not in sync
  • Might be a faff to get each bulb changed

Circus Sign

Project Status: Complete

I want an old style circus light in the sitting room above the door. It would be good for it to be removable so that it can be taken to festivals etc.

Here’s my Pintrest board…..


Here’s a video idea with cardboard….

Here’s a more wooden design…

I like the raised letters with the lights but I’d want it in a single board to lift on/off.

I’m currently wondering if I can replace the cardboard with for-sale signs to make it more durable. mount it on thick ply.

I like this font, I’m thinking that the main letters will stand out and be lit, while the flourishes will be painted in gold paint.


I’m thinking that the height, including the backing board, can’t exceed more than 310mm.

For the backing board I like the multiple rough plank look, in a matt black with a decorative frame. This can be done with ply or a solid wood.

My next step will be sourcing the lights and trialing the 3D letters. I think I’d prefer to 3D print them if possible…. another argument for me getting a 3D printer!! I can’t bend wood that tight, I don’t have the metal work skills and cardboard will be to flimsy.

I’ve ordered these lights for £6, I chose USB powered as then I can plug them into a main adaptor, battery pack or easily sort out a google home switch.


I’ve found a better more simple font to use as well…


There are 40 bulbs are the string and I’m going to string them around the outside of the sign rather than within the letters. I’m figuring that I leave a border around the letters deep enough for a frame and the lights. I drill holes for the lights in the backboard with slits from the outer edge to fit the wires. The ligths would be held in place with hot glue and the slits covered in moulding to frame the outside.

I want to stand the backplate off the wall by a few mm to allow for the wiring and the USB connection .

Line the printed out bits of A4 against a meter rule and tape them together…. I can print out as many of these as I need to get the different templates for the different colours.

I actually cut around and traced each layer of the image (the black and white bits) as I’m rubbish at freehand. The image below shows a spare print out that I had that was slightly too small.

Trying to keep this cheap so the red paint is just some red poster paint that I had lying around.

The gold was some left over paint I used to paint a picture frame around a blackboard and the blackboard paint was used to do the background.

I drilled LOTS of holes (40) and slits to pull the wires through. The lights are globe bulbs so I couldn’t drill a small hole and poke them through from the back.

Build a frame around the the board so you can add a backplate to cover all of the wiring. I fixed this on with PVA and a few screws to hold it in place, predrill the holes so that the ply wood doesn’t split as you will be screwing into the edge of the laminate layers of the ply.

Cut some framing (moulding) with a mitre saw and paint it gold….

Attach the frame with wood glue / PVA and clamp it overnight.

Cut and fit the backboard. I used ply only a few mm thick to reduce the overall thickness and it isn’t structural. I had the trailing USB cable come out of the side rather than the bottom so it can be stood up on a surface.

Paint the backboard and the framing black!

Disco Kitchen

Another slightly ridiculous project, I had some badly wired under counter lighting. The cables were hanging down and they were just irritating. So time for an upgrade.

I found this kit on AliExpress for a few quid.

As I wanted this in three separate sections rather than one continuous section I needed to cut and rewire it.

As always I decided to overcomplicate things and make it modular, so rather than simply soldering on wires, I soldered on connectors to either end and made some cutome extension cables to the correct length.

My soldering is improving…. this is an example before I slid another layer of heat shrink over the whole lot to stop the different wires separating further.

The kit came with an overly complex controller that features a lot of preset colours and fades.

The final set up….

Kraken Lamp

Roadside find that I couldn’t walk past made into something I’d actually keep.

This is how I found it. I checked the wiring and all seemed fine. Tried it with a bulb and it all worked.

First step was to remove the glass, sand the surface to help the paint adhere. Then spray paint it matt black.

I missed photographing the next step for some reason! I ground the surface of the glass, with a dremel to remove the floral pattern and to frost the glass. I knew that I wanted to use a flickering bulb and they really need some extra diffusion to help the illusion of being a flame. Slow and steady is the trick with the dremel, it took me around 2 or 3 hours just to frost the glass and I only chipped one of the bent over lips when rushing at the end.

Last step was to freehand the tentacles in a black acrylic paint. With the light behind it took a couple of coats to get a constant matt black.

The photos don’t do it justice so I will try and sort a video out.