How do I make a lamp shade revolve?
March 10, 2004 1:13 AM   Subscribe

How do I make a lamp shade revolve? (More Inside)

I received a beautiful homemade lamp, made with some type of pink rainbow mesh and purple feathers. But it's not quite enough.

Now it must dance.

The base is tear shaped at the bottom, then a pole about two feet long sticks up, and that's where I put the light bulb. There is a carriage above the bulb that actually extends several inches above it. Fastened to the top of this carriage are four rods, which then connect to the top of the lampshade. It spins quite well on its own.

A hobby motor on top of the carriage was suggested, but I fear the motor may be too large, the bulb is almost at the bottom of the lampshade as is. I suppose I could change the bulb carriage itself, but that's another askme altogether.

Any suggestions?
posted by Homeskillet Freshy Fresh to Home & Garden (7 answers total)
would this be small enough (1.6" x 0.8" x 1.4")?
posted by cadastral at 1:31 AM on March 10, 2004

Well of course the standard way of doing it is to balance the shade on a single point and then use an impeller driven by the heat from the light bulb.
posted by twine42 at 2:25 AM on March 10, 2004

Building on the 'impeller' idea... you could suspend the shade with a thin wire from the ceiling, then use a hemispherical magnet to keep it very close to (but not touching) the top of the lamp's harp.
posted by cadastral at 2:54 AM on March 10, 2004

Also... is the lamp shade (roughly) symmetrical? You mention that it has quite a bit of adornment... is the weight fairly evenly distributed?

(am I wrong in assuming that you want it to spin at heart-stopping, breakneck speeds?)
posted by cadastral at 2:57 AM on March 10, 2004

hmm. maybe you could put the whole lamp on a rotating pedestal? if the base has asymmetric markings then it might look odd, but if not you could have a plain circular white rotating base without it being obvious that the whole thing was moving.

putting the motor in the base simplifies the mechanics, but the electrics are a problem. you'd need to connect the lamp to the rotating top of the base and somehow get a connection from the fixed bottom to the rotating top. i would guess that there are commercial solutions that do this. alternatively, you could try scavenging a kettle base (we have a kettle at home that has a circular base and a lift-off electric kettle that can be placed on at any angle). of course, you should only do this if you're sure about the safety and are confident with electrics, won't have kids nearby etc.

(i'm assuming slow rotation!)
posted by andrew cooke at 5:30 AM on March 10, 2004

Now it must dance.

That's absolutely all-purpose great.

"I have written this short-story, and it's not bad. Now it must dance!"
posted by Shane at 7:25 AM on March 10, 2004

Response by poster: The lamp shade is symmetrical, the weight is evenly distributed.

Thank you all very much for your help!
posted by Homeskillet Freshy Fresh at 10:38 AM on March 10, 2004

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