Celestial Light Box


Let's Roll !

Color Organ Light Boxes

 

This is the finished device.   Two wooden boxes with 18 colored lights in each, diffused by the Plexiglas face plates, blinking in sync with the music in three channels that follow the low, medium and high frequencies in the music.

The first step was to cut the backs out of 1/4" masonite.  These are 16" x 24".  I then drilled (18) 3/8" holes in three columns of (4) and two columns of (3) between the other three columns.  Wooden dowels, 2" in length, cut from a 3/8" dowel rod, are then glued into the holes in the back.  There are three additional holes at the bottom of the back panel, 5/16" in diameter, for the power cables.

A 110v Candelabra socket with a slip ring base with set screw is mounted onto each of the dowel posts.  This type of lamp base enables you to swivel the bulb around on the dowel and to raise and lower it.   So, even though the holes are drilled in a pattern, the lamp bases can be adjusted somewhat randomly.  As you can see in the photo, each lamp base has wire leads.  

 

The next step was to run connector wires to string each of (6) lights together for each of the (3) separate channels.   This is a matter of picking 6 locations for the low channel and wiring those together, then 6 for the medium channel and 6 for the low channel.  I did not follow the same pattern in both boxes.  The connections are made with wire nuts.

The lamps are 10w, transparent colored bulbs.  They are available in blue, green, red and amber.  I used a mixture of all four colors on each of the three channels.

The interior of the cabinet is spray painted with flat black enamel after it is wired so the wire nuts and wires get painted as well.   The outside is stained although I did not use a high grade plywood so my finish is not furniture quality.

The bottom three lamps are each connected to one of the three channels.  This helps make it easier to adjust the level of each channel on the controller.

The electronic controller filters the incoming audio signal into three frequency ranges, seperating the high, low and midtone within the music.  It then acts as a switch to turn three outlets on and off in accordance with the changes in the music.  Each channel is independently adjustable.   I purchased this device on-line as a kit and assembled it in a few hours.   There are only about 30 parts but good sodering technique is important.  I had to re-soder several connections that I didn't do correctly on the first pass.

The plastic face panels are diffuser lenses used in commercial lay-in ceiling fixtures.  Replacement sheets are available at most building supply stores.  Different patterns of lenses are available which would give you different patterns of the lights. 

The trick to cutting the Plexiglas is to use a glass cutter to score it and break it like glass.

My panels are held in by 3/4" corner molding held to the plywood boxes with #4 wood screws to allow access.

 

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Copyright Sam Martin - All rights reserved.
Last updated May 11, 2012