AOL Lamp

[Top view of AOL lamp at night] AOL love to send me disks. In the beginning it was great, one could format those floppies and put them to productive use. But then IE became too bloated, and AOL switched to using CDs. What can one do with a never-ending supply of CDs?

[Bottom view of AOL lamp at night] Answer: Make a lamp. This lamp uses a 4W fluorescent tube surrounded by 48 AOL (UK) CDs. The CDs are in pairs, back-to-back (shiny surfaces outside) with each pair spaced apart from the next by a couple of washers. Three long bolts hold the entire assembly together. Each CD has three holes drilled in it (with a brace and bit -- ack, need better tools) for the bolts. The central hole had to be expanded slightly to accommodate the tube. Four CDs shattered during the drilling and filing, but it didn't matter since AOL send me a new one every fortnight. A compact (though still fairly messy) driver circuit takes 5v to 9v DC, and steps it up to the potentials required for the tube. Care was taken so that the tube was easily replaceable without requiring any tools.

See a similar lamp that Jim Watters built. Dmoz have links to other people's pages about AOL disks.

Last modified: 12 January 2004