TEAlight : diffused by fabric





Between a Teardown and a Hack: exactly where I like to be !

For my second iteration of light diffused by fabric, I continue exploring how physical interaction with an object can change the illumination of a single LED without varying the current or digitally changing the diode.  As per the assignment, this project uses no Arduino circuitry and an abundance of hand-sewn stitches to join fabric.

For those that remember,  I just can’t shake the notion that this is strangely similar to the 1980’s trendy craft of cross-stitching.


I tested and selected this synthetic fabric, called Shimera: 78% Nylon and 22%Spandex, because of the soft and even glow it produced. It was stubborn to work with until I provided the tea strainers as a base structure. Beyond stitching, the majority of the effort was applied to reshaping the stainless steel hoop as described in the following video; TEAlight : process video

The plastic packaging from the stainers is another iteration in layered light shades. Each side of the spherical wrapper can be frosted and tinted which will allow the user to mix their own color of light.

All in all, this was very enjoyable! Big UPs to Becky for a great assignment.

TEAlight : in process from Chris Rand on Vimeo.

Fabric Diffused Light

#chrisrand : my goal with this exercise was to make a lantern that can be physically adjusted to produce different intensities of light without regulating the current- not using a dimmer.


Bands of fabric ribbon are wrapped around a plastic cylinder from a one layer thick to four layers thick. The central plunger (and handle) contains four AAA batteries that power a LED. The LED is contained between two plastic caps covered in mylar which restrict the light to illuminate one band at a tim. As the plunger moves, the light is muted like an analog dimmer.

The video shows the subtle effect that is created with only one LED and a detail view of interior guts. I was pleasantly surprised that the saturation of the green ribbon gets deeper as the illumination is muted.