Cube be improved

I wanted to build a modern-looking lamp for a corner of the living room, and even though it must have been done a million times I went for the “wood & acrylic sandwich” style. I swear, the day after I started, a new video from @wmoy shows up on my youtbe frontpage where he does the same thing (only better, of course), so I figured I would do it my own way anyway and see where I ended up.

I went for a large-ish version made with thick layers (3/4" oak, 0.3" acrylic), and the absolute mininum design: square wood pieces, small square of MDF with LED strip wrapped around it, and corresponding acrylic spacers. I knew light diffusion would be a problem so I added strips of plastic diffuser around the inner edges, and sanded the acrylic to give it a frosted aspect.

Glued everything layer by layer, soldering/checking LED connections at each layer

then hit the 6 faces with an orbital sander and I ended up with this:

Light diffusion is not quite what I hoped it would be, my inner square is a bit too small and I should look for another diffuser plastic on the inside. However, the wood part came out exactly as I wanted (looking massive & sharp), so there’s that.

Now to design a version 2 with better light diffusion.


I’ve always wondered…what would happen if you painted all interior wood surfaces in white? I would imagine with more light “bounce”, that the light might become more diffuse…?


Could be…but I imagine it would be easier to just use a semi-translucent plastic of some kind instead of acrylic, to get natural diffusion without having to use any additional tricks. I’ll start experimenting…

I’d still want the lightest possible colouration of the interior to reduce heat/energy absorption as much as possible.


So I add a go at a V2 in a slightly different style, and a completely different approach for light diffusion : I got rid of the plexigas, and just used strips of plastic diffuser, inserted in circular tracks:

Here’s one floor of the tower, with one section of LED strip glued to a piece of MDF.

And a couple of (poor quality) snapshots:

I determined experimentally that the ideal distance between the LED and the diffuser strip is about 2cm / 0.8", to get a perfectly uniform lighting with no visible hotspots.

I’m quite happy with the results, it was a fun week-end project.



Where’d you get that plastic diffuser? Inventables have this that might work as well.

Bought 10 of these strips off ebay a long time ago, and I can’t find it again. Thanks for the link to the inventables sheet version, it would have done the job nicely too.

If anyone knows of a material that is available in large thickness (3/4") and would have similar light diffusion properties, I would be quite interested. I saw sheets of “frosted acrylic”, but I am not sure how efficiently they diffuse light.

I could not decide (read: my wife will not agree with me) whether the lamp looks better with all layers aligned vertically or arranged as a helix, so the assembly is such that I can rotate the wooden parts around a central axis. Here’s a marginally better snapshot.


These are cool :slight_smile:
I’ve seen vertical glass lights that are illuminated evenly by just an led strip along one edge. Maybe keep the plexi solid and run an led along the edge behind each pane, then cover the back with a wood panel so only the 3 edges of the plexi are exposed. That may work. I really like the first one.

What I need now is to get the looks of v1 (I really liked the flush plexi/wood flat sides) with the nice light diffusion of v2. But to get a nice smooth diffusion, the LED strip needs to be far enough from the diffuser, so it cannot be very close to the edge. I may try a v3 along the lines of what you propose to achieve a good compromise.

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these are excellent! thanks for sharing.

i like the rotated/twisted version, I think i’ll give something similar a try. Did you have any luck finding a good material for diffusion?

I did not investigate much further, the translucent diffuser strips I used (see photos above) for the twisted version worked out perfectly, as long as the LEDs are at least 2cm away from the diffuser.

For a next version I am now considering a different approach, inspired by this thread: 3D printed cylinders in white PLA/ABS.