Image collection: Tasmota - Building a world map lamp

This article is actually more of a colorful collection of photos from the time before Back then, I built a world map lamp to decorate the living room wall, which was still quite bare at the time.

So unfortunately you won't find detailed step-by-step instructions here. Nevertheless, I believe that the information can be helpful if someone decides to build this lamp.

Attention: If you are planning to rebuild this lamp, you should definitely read the whole article. I made some (also stupid) mistakes that made the construction unnecessarily difficult. If I were to build the lamp again, I (and you too, I'm sure) would do a few things differently 🙂

Safety instructions

I know the following notes are always kind of annoying and seem unnecessary. Unfortunately, many people who knew "better" have lost eyes, fingers or other things due to carelessness or injured themselves. Data loss is almost negligible in comparison, but even these can be really annoying. Therefore, please take five minutes to read the safety instructions. Because even the coolest project is not worth injury or other trouble.

Affiliate links/advertising links

The links to online shops listed here are so-called affiliate links. If you click on such an affiliate link and make a purchase via this link, will receive a commission from the relevant online shop or provider. The price does not change for you. If you make your purchases via these links, you support in being able to offer other useful projects in the future. 🙂 


Helpful articles:
Before you start with this article, you should have dealt with the basics of soldering. You can find information about this in the following article.
Electronics - My friend the soldering iron

Required material:

In the following list you will find all the parts you need to implement this article.

Required tool:

In the following list you will find all the tools you need to implement this article.

Collect the necessary parts

I think this was the most time-consuming part of the whole thing. Because to get the desired "patch" style, I need all kinds of Holt in different sizes.

Many small pieces were also helpful because they were perfect for filling in small gaps.

Let the puzzle work begin

My (as it turned out, stupid) plan at the time was to screw all the individual slats together to form a large "wooden board", then transfer the contours to this wooden board and then simply cut them out. So off we went to do the puzzle.

The initial puzzle work was completed quickly. However, it only becomes really challenging later on when the resulting gaps have to be filled.
The wooden slats that have been provisionally put together should now be screwed together - again provisionally.
To keep the gaps as small as possible, it helped to press the wooden slats together as "packets" with clamps and then screw them to the side slats.
So it was connected packet by packet to the side (also temporary) retaining rail. One screw per wooden slat was sufficient here 🙂
As at some point the individual packs of wooden slats became too large for the reach of my clamp, another slat was temporarily screwed onto the already connected wooden slats (again provisionally). The clamp could then be hooked onto this to pull the new wooden slats to be connected onto the already connected ones.
After a little more puzzle work...
...all the wooden slats were then connected to the temporary side rail.
The "front end" of the wooden slats was now already quite neatly joined together. However, the other ends of the wooden slats were still very free to move and not very coherent. For this reason, they were (provisionally) fixed with a crossbar.
To do this, they were again pulled together "packet by packet" with the clamp and screwed to the wooden strip.
Then each wooden strip was screwed to the wooden strip individually until...
... this resulted in a fairly neat, coherent "wooden panel" made of individual wooden slats.
In my opinion, the surface area of the resulting wooden panel should be sufficient for the first continent. So now it was time to transfer the contours to the wooden panel.

Transferring the contours to the wooden surface

To transfer the contours onto the wooden panel, I had planned to simply project an image of a world map onto the wooden panel with a small projector and then trace the contours. Unfortunately, this didn't work straight away. But more on that in the course of the pictures...

1st attempt: Project contours directly onto the wood:

Armed with a laptop and projector, they get to work.

My first problem at this point: I really didn't have room for all the stuff. At times like this, I envy anyone with a proper workshop with plenty of space 🙂
In order to be able to recognize the image of the projector at all, the...
...the garage darkened a little.
The projector was then mounted under the ceiling with a (once again makeshift) bracket to project the image downwards onto the wooden panel.

In theory, this also worked. Unfortunately, my (admittedly quite simple) projector had no zoom function. This meant that the resulting image section on the wooden panel was far too small to be able to transfer the contours to it in the desired size.

Of course, you could have moved the wooden panel further away from the projector. But that was all too impractical for me. So I decided to go down the following route.

2nd attempt: First transfer the contours onto wallpaper to create templates:

There were still a few rolls of wallpaper left over from the last move. The new plan was to transfer the desired contours onto wallpaper, then cut out the resulting templates and use them to transfer the contours onto the wooden panel.

I hung the pieces of wallpaper on the wall with adhesive tape and then projected the world map onto them.
This made it easy to transfer the contours and positions of the lamps to the wallpaper.
Of course, one strip of wallpaper is not enough for Eurasia and Africa. That's why two matching strips were glued together and the contours transferred to them.
The respective continents had to be marked out along the contours ...
...then just need to be cut out.

Filling gaps

When I first laid out the resulting templates, it quickly became apparent that the wooden panel that had been screwed together was far too small. It therefore had to be enlarged. So now the puzzle work started all over again.

A circular table saw was also very helpful for cutting the battens to the right width for the gaps.
In this way, the remaining gaps could be filled with wooden slats that were actually unsuitable.
In addition to a circular table saw, a cross-cut saw is also really helpful. You can use it to quickly cut the wooden slats to the right length.
After a little more puzzle work, the wooden panel was ready...
...has almost doubled in size.

Transfer contours

Now it was time to transfer the contours to the resulting wooden panel.

The first contours were therefore initially...
...roughly transferred to the wooden panel.
And it was at this point that the first, or rather the big mistake in my construction plan became apparent.
The first individual slat puzzle pieces had to be screwed individually to the back of the wooden panel. Which of course inevitably led to some cross bracing. However, I still hadn't noticed the problematic aspect of this at the time.
That's why we first continued with applying stencils...
... and fasten...
...with adhesive tape.
The first contours were then quickly transferred to the wooden panel.

The sawing begins

My plan (until then) was to simply saw out the continents along the outline I had drawn. So far so good. If I hadn't built in a few pitfalls (which I could have seen coming beforehand).

The first cut was still possible without any problems. I only had to reattach a few short pieces with additional screws.
During the next "cut", however, I realized a little shame. By first connecting all the wooden slats and then sawing out the correct shape, I had completely ignored the fact that the saw cuts might cut through "the branch you are sitting on". By sawing out the contours, the individual wooden slats therefore partially lost their connection to each other.
This meant that I always had to connect individual pieces of the wooden slats separately to the others.
In the end, it was quite a messy job because I was constantly having to screw small parts together individually with the remaining wooden slats.
Of course, one or the other latte was broken. :'(
After the first self-complicated progress, I soon got closer to the desired shape.
On the way there, a few cross-connections had to be added on the back of the respective continent.
After a few hours, Eurasia and Africa (still without the cut-out for the Mediterranean) were almost finished in front of me. The scale and dimensions are certainly not correct, but you can see what it's supposed to represent 🙂
We continued with North and South America.
This time I wanted to learn from my previous mistakes. That's why the contours on the front were first mirrored and then ...
... correctly recorded on the back.
This allowed me to check which cross struts needed to be adjusted on the back before sawing out the actual contour.
This was particularly practical/necessary for the rather "unstable" connection between North and South America, because a relatively large amount of weight would later hang from a compact cross strut.
"South America" with cross struts.
Detailed view.
Detailed view.
Finally, a somewhat more stable crossbar was added to give the entire construction a little more rigidity.
This was screwed to each wooden slat if possible.
Another close-up.
Another close-up.
Another close-up.
Now the complete "wooden panel" could be turned over and the first contours sawed out.
To ensure that the contours on the front and back are the same, I first sawed out a few areas along the contour drawn on the back. This created clear markings on which I could place the template on the front and thus also apply the congruent contour on the front.
Sawing out the contour was then done quickly. 🙂
Detailed view of the first cut-out contour "North and South America".
So the rough sawing work was done.
"Florida" still had to be attached individually despite the previous bracing on the back.
Australia" was then recorded and cut according to the same principle.

Transferring the positions of the lights

As a final rough job, the positions of the lamps drawn on the templates were then transferred to the cut-out continents.

To do this, I placed the templates on the cut-out continents again and used a screw to press the positions through the template into the wood.
These could then be recognized even after removing the template and marked with a lead pencil.
In the end, I drilled through the holes and "deburred" them with a countersink.

Sanding work for beautiful edges

To make the rough sawn edges and some of the very rough wooden slats a little more attractive, everything was sanded again with the delta sandpaper and very fine sandpaper. This also allows any pencil marks to be removed.

Detailed view.
The still unsanded saw edge.
Detailed view.
Detailed view.
Detailed view.
Detailed view.
Detailed view.
The finished and sanded "continents".
"North and South America"
"Eurasia and Africa"

Installation of LED lamps and strips

After the woodwork, it was now time for the electronics work. I wanted to install two different lighting systems that could be controlled independently of each other. On the one hand, indirect background lighting. On the other hand, the built-in mini light bulbs should also be able to light up. Of course, it would be best if both could also be dimmed 🙂

I also covered the open "ends" of the wooden slats/panels with copper adhesive tape to give the whole thing a slightly nicer/more valuable look.

Australia" front including inserted mini light bulbs.
The back of "Australia" with the attached LED strips for indirect lighting.
The LED strips were also fitted to "Eurasia" and "Africa" and have already been partially connected to each other.
Detailed view of the front.
Detailed view of the "Mediterranean" section including veneering with copper adhesive tape.
Most of the LED strips are already connected here. And the mini light bulbs are just about to be connected.
The same thing then happened with the LED strips and mini light bulbs of the American "continents".
Here is another view of the end face covered with copper tape.
The first view of the planned superstructure.

The control electronics

With the control electronics of the time (which can also be seen in the pictures), the mini light bulbs and the indirect lighting in the form of the LED strips could each be dimmed with a potentiometer. There was no on/off switch. To control the LEDs, they were connected to the 12V supply voltage via a MOSFET. The MOSFETs were controlled with pulse width modulation from an Aruino Nano, which also read out the current values of the potentiometers. In the meantime, however, this circuit has been largely replaced.

At least the potentiometers and the Arduino Nano have been replaced by a WEMOS D1-Mini including Tasmota firmware. Nevertheless, I will add both circuit diagrams and also the firmware of the "Arduino Nano control electronics" here.

The electrical connection between the individual continents was made with four-core NYM-K cable. Theoretically, three cores would have been sufficient here, because two consumers can be switched if they share an earth line, but this line was just available. 🙂

Not only does it look very untidy, it was also very untidy. I wouldn't work like that today and I recommend everyone to make it tidier. The circuit board shown actually belonged to another project, but was still left over and could therefore be used for the world map lamp. Nevertheless, the routing of the cable and the attachment of the potentiometer and circuit board could have been done more nicely and neatly than simply gluing them to the back with hot glue.

Circuit diagrams and firmware

The circuit diagram for controlling the world map lamp does not need to be very powerful. In principle, it is enough if you can control two outputs with it. You can do this with the circuit diagram shown below. This means that the LED globes and the indirect lighting can not only be switched on and off independently of each other, but their brightness can also be controlled.

The circuit diagram for controlling your world map lamp could look like this.

It is important that if you want to use the Tasmota firmware to control your world map lamp, you must install the SetOption68 to 1 set. This is the only way to control both PWM channels independently of each other.


After a total of more than 20 hours of construction time, the lamp lit up for the first time.

First test of the world map lamp.
Only indirect lighting switched on.
The first "test hang".
Detailed view in illuminated state.
Detailed view in illuminated state.
Detailed view in illuminated state.

Before commissioning, you should now follow the tips from the article Eektronik - Commissioning of a new circuit note.

Have fun with the project

I hope everything worked as described for you. If not or you have questions or suggestions please let me know in the comments. I will then add this to the article if necessary.
Ideas for new projects are always welcome. 🙂

PS Many of these projects - especially the hardware projects - cost a lot of time and money. Of course I do this because I enjoy it, but if you think it's cool that I share the information with you, I would be happy about a small donation to the coffee fund. 🙂

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