Duncan Campbell from New Braunfels Church of Christ (Youth Group) in New Braunfels, TX brings us this awesome cloud stage design with simulated lightning.
From Duncan: To complement the unveiling of the youth group summer theme of “Permeate” from Eph. 4:1-6 (MSG), we made a large-scale cloud lamp, with LED strips inside to mimic lightning.
30 paper lanterns (some on hand, some ordered) – $75
3M Super 77 spray glue – $5/can
30 lb test fishing line – $6
(2) 10 lb boxes of polyester filler – JoAnn Fabric – $40/ea
20M RBG LED Tape – (on hand from previous design)
24 channel LED Decoder (on hand from previous design)
30A 360W Power Supply (on hand from previous design)
18/5 thermostat wire (250′ @ $71, on hand from previous design)
LED strips are controlled by MadMapper software via an Enttec ODE blue box. Triple wide projection is via ProPresenter and Triple Head 2 Go from an iMac. Permanently installed in the room are 8 Chauvet SLIMpar 64s washes.
1. We hung the 30″ lanterns as the main anchors, zip tying their structures for increased integrity. Then we hung the 20″ and 12″ lanterns from the 30″ lanterns and spray glued them in place. (Tip: spray both surfaces, then wait about minute for the spray glue to slightly dry. Then press together from the inside. The bond will be stronger if you wait for it to dry just a little.) Make sure it’s asymmetrical to appear more cloud-like.
2. Once the structure was complete, we threaded the LED tape inside and through the structure. We didn’t worry too much about tearing holes–those would be covered up later anyway, and the lanterns are surprisingly tough.
3. We then used spray glue to cover the surface with the poly a bit at a time. Other DIYers used hot glue but that would’ve taken much too long for a lamp this size.
4. Three people hoisted the six anchor lines, which were then tied off. We connected the LED strips to their respective leads and fired it up.
Using MadMapper, we were able to set the strips to sound active mode, so when the thunder clapped in the opening video, the cloud lit like lightning to mimic the video.
For a studier structure, 5 gallon water bottles bolted together, hoisted with steel wire would be an alternative. A “low poly” version could also be made out of natural colored Coroplast.