The Superfluous Bedside Table

Bedside Table with built in colour changing LED night light

Over a year ago, when my wife (then just my girlfriend) and I moved into our new house, we decided to get new bedside tables. Not just for our room, but for the guest room. I rolled my eyes a bit, but her response to this was much the same as my repsonse to her objections to me buying a nerf gun, i.e. “your opinion is noted and rejected, we’re doing it anyway”.

Our strategy was to refresh some old furniture to give us new bedsides. In the end we wound up with:

  1. My side of the bed: a very worn old bedside table that we got cheap, painted, put fabric covering and new handles on the drawers, and mounted a power board on (for the lamp, as well as phone and laptop charger)
  2. Her side of the bed: a very worn old stool, which we nailed back into shape and painted.
  3. Guest bed: an old table thing, which was actually in decent condition, so we just stuck a doily on it.

But in the process of getting these bedside tables, I also bought some bits of perspex and timber slats, which I thought could be turned into something. I’d like to mention that these materials were all “up cycled” materials that I got from a used materials co-op in Brisbane (Reverse Garbage), aside from the electrical bits. I didn’t bother putting these bits together, because I was sick of bedside tables and decided that we already had far more than any sensible household needed, but recently I had some time on my hands, so it finally happened…

  • I cut the perspex into circles (300mm diameter)
  • Drilled 12 holes at 225mm PCD to screw on the timber slats, as well as once central hole to mount a piece of 30mm dowel that I had lying around. The 225mm was calculated to give the largest possible opening to let out the light from the central column, without the column being directly visible.
  • Pre-drilled the timber slats/dowel to take the intended screws.
  • Painted the slats and dowel white (a loathesome job. I hate painting, but I put my personal distaste aside and put together a jig to hold the parts while painting/drying, sanded them, primed and two coates)
  • Wrapped 4m of SMD 5050 RGB Flexible LED Strip around the dowel (I’d bought 5m of this LED strip previously, as well as a remote control dimmer/colour controller)… not sure what I’m go to do with the 1m off cut of LED strip… I’m sure I’ll find a use for it somewhere.
  • Screwed it all together, connected the LED controller, and put it next to the guest bed.

Here are some pictures of the results:

20131029_134820 20131029_134934 20131029_134938 20131029_134941 20131029_134948

The white slats and perspex top let the light out well, but because the light is undirected, it’s not enough to replace a bedside lamp. Never the less, I’ll print out a remote holder to go on the wall, and this will serve as a good night light, as well as a bedside table.

Posted video of the LED going through one of its built in colour cycles:

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