Monday, February 25, 2013

UV Lamp

In Disconnect at Victory Gardens, one of the hardest pieces to figure out was a UV lamp that had to be assembled onstage and then light (why do play-writes do these things to us?)

First, just for fun, are a couple pictures of the box I created. By the way, I bought the perfect box at The Container Store, which I forget about sometimes, and then every few shows I am reminded how useful and awesome they are. Add a few collaged images printed in different sized, and it looks pretty sleek from the audience. 
The lamp, in it's deconstructed state fits perfectly inside the box with a fake set of instructions for assembling. 
When it comes out of the box, the lamp looks like this, with the top and base only attached together by the wire running between them. Also, totally unrelated, this is the image where you can best see the purple gel I added to help the light read as more UV and less white LED. 
As you can see in this next image, the lamp was originally constructed with the top fitting onto the base using a ball-in-socket type joint.  
Using my Dremel I ground the metal down on the ball so that it was flat on two sides. I also used the grinder on the Dremel to open up the hole in the socket a bit so that the flattened ball would slip right in.
Here you can see that it slipped on fairly easily without pinching the wire.
Finally the actress holds the base and twists the top into place. By rotating the top 90 degrees, she now has the rounded sides of the ball facing perpendicular to the slot. These sides of the ball are too wide to pass through the slot, so the top of the lamp is locked in place. 
And here is a picture of how the lamp looks fully assembled. 
Though I rewired the inside of the lamp several times (I broke lots of wires troubleshooting, and wired out the switch so I could give the lighting designer absolute control), I left the original plug and LEDs so the lamp was still functional. I especially loved hearing the audience around me quietly gasp when the light turns on because they weren't expecting it to actually work :)

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