Image collection: Tasmota – Building a World-Map-Lamp

This article actually contains rather a colorful collection of photos originated from the time before At that time, I built a map of the world as a decoration for the then quite bare living room wall.

Unfortunately this is notan expect detailed step-by-step instruction here. Nevertheless, I believe that the information can be helpful in case someone decides to build this lamp.

Attention: If you are planning to recreate this lamp you should read the full article. I have made some (even stupid) mistakes, which made the construction unnecessarily difficult. If I were to build the lamp again, I (and certainly you also) would do something different. 🙂

Hints for our lovely english readers: Basically, many of the articles on are translations from the original german articles. Therefore, it may happen here and there that some illustrations are not available in english and that some translations are weird/strange/full of mistakes or generally totaly wrong. So if you find some obvious (or also not obvious) mistakes don't hesitate to leave us a hint about that in the comment section. 
Also please don't get confused, that instead of a "dot" often a "comma" is used as decimal separator. 🙂

Safety instructions

I know the following hints are always a bit annoying and seem unnecessary. But unfortunately, many people who knew it "better" from carelessness lost their eyes, fingers or other things or hurt themselves. In comparison, a loss of data is almost not worth mentioning, but even these can be really annoying. Therefore, please take five minutes to read the safety instructions. Even the coolest project is worth no injury or other annoyance.


Helpful Articles:
Before you start with this article you should have dealt with the basics of soldering. Information on this can be found 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 tools:

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

Collect the required parts

I think that was the most elaborate part of the whole thing. Because in order to get the desired “patch” style I need all kind of wood in different sizes.

Also many small pieces were helpful, because with it small gaps could be filled up perfectly.

Let’s start the puzzle work

My former (as it should turn out stupid) plan at this time was now to screw all the individual slats into a large “wooden board”, then transfer the contours to this wooden board and then simply cut it out. So let’s start to puzzle.

The first puzzle work was completed quickly. It becomes really challenging later, however, when the resulting gaps have to be filled up.
The first provisionally folded wooden slats should now only – again temporarily – are screwed together.
In order to have as small gaps as possible, it has helped to compress the wooden slats in each case as “packages” with clamps and then screw them to the lateral strip.
Thus, packet by packet with the lateral (even provisional) retaining strip was connected. One screw per wooden slat was sufficient here. 🙂
Since at some point the individual packets of wooden slats became too large for the reach of my clamp clamp, another lath was (again temporarily) screwed on the already connected wooden slats. Then you could hook the clamp clamp to the new wooden slats to connect to the already connected.
After another while puzzle work …
…all wooden slats were connected to the provisional sidebar.
The “front” of the wooden slats was now quite well connected. The other ends of the wooden slats were still very free to move and not very coherent. That’s why they were fixed with a crossbar (provisionally).
This was again with the clamp “package for parcels” contracted and bolted to the wooden strip.
Then every wooden strip was individually screwed to the wooden strip, until …
… this resulted in a neat, coherent “wood panel” of individual wooden slats.
The area of the resulting wood panel should be sufficient in my opinion for the first continent. So it was time to transfer the contours to the wooden plate.

Transfer the contours to the wood surface

To transfer the contours to the wooden plate, I had the plan to simply project a picture of a world map with a small projector on the wooden plate and then trace the contours. Unfortunately, this did not work directly. More infos to that in the course of the pictures…

1st attempt: projecting contours directly onto the wood:

Armed with laptop and projector, it goes to work.

My first problem at this point: I really had no room for all the stuff. At such moments, I envy everyone with a proper workshop with proper space. 🙂
In order to be able to recognize the image of the projector I first …
…darkened the garage a bit.
The projector was then mounted with a (again provisional) bracket under the ceiling to project the image down on the wooden plate.

This has worked out theoretically. Unfortunately, my (admittedly quite simple) projector had no zoom function. In other words, the resulting image section on the wood panel was much too small to be able to transfer the contours in the desired size to it.

Of course you could have removed the wooden plate further from the projector. That was all too impractical for me. That’s why I decided to go the following way.

2nd attempt: first transfer contours to wallpaper to create templates:

From the last move were still a few rolls of wallpaper left over. The new plan was now to transfer the desired contours to wallpaper, then cut out the resulting templates and thus transfer the contours to the wood panel.

For this, I hung the pieces of wallpaper with tape on the wall and then projected the world map on it.
The contours and positions of the lamps could easily be transferred to the wallpaper.
Of course, a strip of wallpaper is not enough for Eurasia and Africa. Therefore, two matching strips were glued together and the contours were transferred to it.
Along the recorded contours the respective continents then just …
… had to cut out.

Fill gaps

The first time the resulting originals were placed, it soon became apparent that the wooden plate screwed together was far too small. That’s why it had to be enlarged. Thats were the puzzle work started again.

Very helpful was then also a table saw with which you could saw the slats to matching the gaps.
Thus, the remaining gaps could be filled even with really unsuitable wooden slats.
In addition to a table saw, a chop saw is really helpful. So you can shorten the wooden slats quickly to the appropriate length.
After another while of puzzle work, the wooden plate was already …
… grown to almost twice the size.

Transfer contours

So now it was time to transfer the contours to the resulting wood panel.

The first contours were initially …
… roughly transferred to the wooden plate.
And at this point, the first or the big mistakes in my blueprint also indicated themselves.
The first isolated slat puzzle pieces had to be screwed individually on the back of the wooden plate. Which, of course, inevitably leads to some cross bracing. At that time I still not noticed the problem about this.
That’s why we went on to hang up with templates …
… and attached it …
… with tape.
After that, the first contours were quickly transferred to the wood panel.

Sawing begins

My plan (until then) was now simply to saw out the continents along the recorded contour. So far so good. If I had not built myself a few pitfalls (which you could already have seen coming).

The first cut was still possible without any problems. Only a few short pieces I had to fix with new screws.
The next “cut”, however, gave me a little shameful light. By the procedure first to connect all wooden slats and then saw out the correct shape, I had completely ignored that the saw possibly cuts “the branch on which one sits”. By sawing out the contours, the individual wooden slats have thus partially lost the connection to each other.
This meant that I had to repeatedly connect individual pieces of wooden slats with the others separately.
In the end it was quite a frisky job, because I had to screw together small parts one by one with the remaining wooden slats.
Of course, one or the other latte broke. : ‘(
Nevertheless, after the first self-made progress, I soon came closer to the desired shape.
On the way there had to be added a few cross connections on the back of the respective continent.
After a few hours, Eurasia and Africa (still without a cut for the Mediterraneansea) were almost finished. The scale and the dimensions are certainly not correct, but you can see what it should represent. 🙂
It continued with North and South America.
This time I wanted to learn from the previous mistakes. That’s why the contours on the front were first mirrored and then …
… drawed correctly on the back.
So I was able to check before sawing the actual contour, which cross struts on the back had to be adjusted.
Especially with the rather “unstable” connection between North and South America, this was practical/necessary, because here on a compact cross brace would later hang relatively much weight.
“South America” with cross struts.
Detailed view.
Detailed view.
Finally, a slightly more stable crossbar was added to give the complete construction a little more rigidity.
This was bolted as possible with each wooden slat.
Further detail.
Further detail.
Further detail.
Now the complete “wood panel” could be turned over and the first contours sawed out.
So that the contours on the front and back are the same, I sawed out only a few places along the contour recorded on the back. This created clear markings on which I create the template on the front and so could apply the congruent contour on the front.
The sawing of the contour was done quickly afterwards. 🙂
Detail view of the first sawed contour “North and South America”.
The rough sawing work was done.
“Florida” had to be fastened individually despite the previous bracing on the back.
After the same principle was then “Australia” drawed and tailored.

Transfer positions of luminaires

As a final rough work, the positions of the lamps on the stencils were transferred to the cut continents.

For this I put the stencils again on the cut continents and pressed with a screw the positions through the template into the wood.
These could then be seen even after removing the template and mark with a lead pencil.
Finally, I drilled through the holes and “deburred” with a countersink.

Sanding for beautiful edges

In order to beautify the rough saw edges and partly also the very rough wooden slats, everything was sanded down again with the delta sash and quite fine sandpaper. In addition, any existing pencil traces can be removed.

detailed view.
The still uncut sawing edge.
Detailed view.
Detailed view.
Detailed view.
Detailed view.
Detailed view.
The ready-cut and abraded “continents”.
“North and South America”
“Eurasia and Africa”

Installation of LED lamps and strips

After the woodwork, it was time for the electronics work. I wanted to install two different lights that could be controlled independently of each other. First, an indirect backlight. On the other hand, the built-in mini-bulbs should also be able to shine. It would be best, of course, if both were still dimmable. 🙂

In addition, I covered the “front” of the wooden slats/plates with copper tape to give it a more beautiful appearance.

Front of “Australia” including inserted mini incandescent lamps.
The back of “Australia” with the attached LED strips for indirect lighting.
Also on “Eurasia” and “Africa” the LED strips were attached and already partially interconnected.
Detail view of the front.
Detail view of the “Mediterranean”-cut-out including veneering with copper tape.
Here are the most LED strips already connected. And the miniature incandescent lamps are about to be connected.
The same happened with the LED strips and miniature incandescent lamps of the American “continents”.
Here again the view of the covered sides.
The first view of the planned construction.

The control electronics

With the control electronics (which can also be seen on the pictures) the miniature incandescent lamps as well as the indirect illumination in the form of the LED strips could each be dimmed with one potentiometer each. There was no on and off switch. To control the LEDs, they would be connected to the 12V supply voltage via a MOSFET. The MOSFETs were driven by a pulse width modulation from an Aruino Nano, which also took care of reading out the current values ​​of the potentiometers. Meanwhile, this circuit is mostly replaced.

At least the potentiometers and the Arduino Nano have been replaced with a WEMOS D1-Mini including Tasmota firmware. I will still insert both schematics and also the firmware of the “Arduino Nano control electronics” here.

The electrical connection between the individual continents was made with four-wire NYM-K cable. Theoretically, three wires would have been enough, because two consumers can be switched if they share a ground wire, but this wire was just in stock. 🙂

It does not just look very messy, it was also very messy. I would not work like this today and also recommend to make it more neat. The board shown was actually part of another project, but was still over and alienated so well for the world map lamp. Nevertheless, you could have just run the laying of the cable and the mounting of the potentiometer and board nicer and tidier than simply stick it with hot glue to the back. 🙂

Schematics and firmware

The circuit diagram for controlling the world map lamp does not have to do much. In principle, it is enough if you can control two outputs with it. You can achieve this with the circuit diagram shown below. In this way, the LED balls and indirect lighting can not only be switched on and off independently of one another, also their brightness is controlled easily.

This is how the circuit diagram for controlling your world map lamp could look like.

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


After of more than 20 hours of construction, the time had come: the lamp was lit for the first time.

First test of the world map lamp.
Only indirect lighting switched on.
The first “sample hanging”.
Detail view in the illuminated state.
Detail view in the illuminated state.
Detail view in the illuminated state.

Before starting up, you should now follow the tips from the article Electronics – Commissioning a new circuit.

I hope everything worked as described. If not or you have any other questions or suggestions, please let me know in the comments. Also, ideas for new projects are always welcome. 🙂


P.S. 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 appreciate it that I share these information with you, I would be happy about a small donation to the coffee box. 🙂

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