Cause I’m a Rocket Lamp….


This was inspired by a pic, of a screenshot, of a photo sent to a friend of mine. No idea where the original came from. (If it’s you I’d love to give you credit).

I couldn’t resist immediately going out and getting a Saturn V kit after dinner, and finished assembling it at 2am. Next day I started on the wiring and assembly of the base. Completely rushed and I’m not going to impress any actual modellers, but hey.

Rocket Lamp

It’s just under 2m tall.

Lights are Neopixels and a quick sketch to make them flicker and flame.

rocket lamp 2

Edit: There’s been a few people asking for details of construction.

The base is a wood block with steel threaded rod for support. Unfortunately I didn’t have joiners, so had to use two rods and cable tie them together to get the length (Did I mention this was a rush project?)

The cloud material itself is polypropylene pillow stuffing. I went to Kmart and picked up their cheapest pillow that mentioned polypropylene for $5. I have about half left over.

This site here has a much more detailed writeup on making ‘cloud lamps’, which is how I got into this in the first place.

Edit2: Thanks to Reddit user Dschull for this photoshop:

Rocket lamp in space.png


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17 Responses to Cause I’m a Rocket Lamp….

  1. Graham says:



  2. hurfy says:

    Brilliant..have I posted this earlier..doesn’t matter, its still brilliant


  3. David Hamil says:

    Can i buy one from you??


  4. Daz says:

    What scale Saturn did you use and where did you get it? Where in Sydney is this maker space?


  5. wallyware says:

    Indeed! Brilliant!


  6. Amazing stuff.Can’t stop looking at it.Very well done.


  7. deletedump says:

    I have an idea. Not sure how or *if* it’ll work, but I’ll suggest it anyways.

    Is it possible to make the joints where the light/ smoke meets the rocket “flexible”? i.e. – Can you make them so that they can be moved around/ bend & straightened?
    Smaller scale, Flexible joints, it’ll make a cool desk lamp.


  8. The Smiling Pilgrim says:

    Lol that is so neat! No wonder your blog is listed as one of the most popular at this moment 🙂


  9. Jeff Cobb says:

    Is this the rocket lamp that inspired you? If so, here is the original post from the modeler.


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  13. Mike Senese says:

    I’d love to see the neopixel sketch you used for this. The colors are perfect.


    • Hi Mike,

      Darn it, I should have documented my code better, I’m having trouble finding the original sketch. I’m very sure I used this code as a base though:

      He wrote some lovely code to do patterns on 8 pixels, and I modified that to apply it repeatedly to the whole strip.

      Tim’s code is the nicest I’ve found so far for flames. I’ve previously spent ages looking at various libraries for doing it, as well as trying to measure for myself the frequency distribution of light in candles, including sensors to measure light at various wind speeds.

      A friend of mine made this many years ago, so I had the idea of noise spectra cached away:

      So when I came to make the rocket lamp it was a case of “Flames? Oh, this was solved already, “, and I totally forgot to write down which one it was 🙂



      • Mike Senese says:

        I’ve looked at Tim’s project before, but haven’t tried it; will give it a run on my strip.

        One of my favorite flame-effect pieces is this simple three-LED build. It’s pretty convincing, but not sure I’d compare the flicker to a rocket blast.

        Either way, awesome job on this!


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