Wirelessly Powered Tesla Desk Lamp

by macakcat, published

Wirelessly Powered Tesla Desk Lamp by macakcat Feb 22, 2015
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Wirelessly powered desk lamp operating at 6.5MHz. This particular coil is optimized to power a 25W, vintage, Tesla globe-style light bulb.

Nikola Tesla's wireless power transmission was my inspiration for this project.

Designed by David Choi


In order to power this lamp, you will need to construct at least a 30W resonant induction transmitter. My transmitter is powered by a 30VDC supply. In my setup, I chose 6.5MHz and built the transmitter into the underside of the table. The transmitter is tunable as the receiver is not for aesthetic reasons.

Do not rescale! I printed with a 5th Gen Replicator. The resonant frequencies will change depending on the inductor geometry. I printed with 3 shells, 15% in-fill and 0.2mm resolution. The parts fit together fine for me. Some CA glue in certain areas will be necessary.

The receiving spiral inductor is made with ~7.5ft of 1/8" OD copper tubing and has a final form inductance of approximately 14.1uH. The primary inductance coil is a center-tapped 1/4" copper tube of 2 winds and is approximately 0.34uH. An "extra" resonant coil is put into place beneath the table, whose inductance is not important but area is more so, and is tuned to 6.5MHz as well. This 1/4" OD coil improves efficiency. The power is transferred from the secondary resonator to a single copper loop coupling to the resonator which is directly wired to the bulb. Without going into much detail, two important factors must be addressed. In order to power anything efficiently impedance matching must be top priority. In addition, one helpful equation is the ratio of primary to secondary inductance and input and output voltages given by: Vout = Vin*Sqrt[Ls/Lp], where Lp is the primary inductance and Ls is that of the secondary.

If there is interest in the circuit I will disclose it, but that is beyond the interests of this website.

I intentionally chose a vintage Tesla globe-style bulb reconstruction as a commemoration for his work in wireless power transmission. Were I to have chosen an Edison or Marconi bulb, Tesla would be rolling in his ashes. :)

One of the lamp legs is built in two pieces and has a conduit for the bulb wiring. If you can construct a transmitter, I expect construction of the lamp base to be straight forward.

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This is a thing of beauty. Thanks for posting.

Hi David, Great design :)

You mention that we should not "Re-scale" the lamp? I have a Da-Vinci 1.0. http://us.xyzprinting.com/us_en/Product/da-Vinci-1.0

Build volume 20x20x20cm (7.8 x 7.8 x 7.8 inch)

Seems that your stl files are too large for my printer. I need to scale down to 80% before I can print at your scale. What is the size of your printer bed?


The dimensions of my printer are 25.2x19.9x15.0 cm (9.9 x 7.8 x 5.9 in). As long as you can print the base without rescaling you will be okay. Shortening the legs will not change much. I also made a Mini Tesla Desk Lamp will work on your printer. it is much smaller and uses a motorcycle tail light but it works the same.

Im printing one right now for a friend who just linked this to me I like it alot

Is there a schematic for the electronics that go into the transmiter available???

For now use Vladimiro Mazzilli's induction heater circuit which can be found online. I used MRF150 RF transistors, a 0.34uH center-tapped coil, and DPG15I300PA power switching diodes. Make sure your power supply (i used 30VDC) doesn't ramp up and cause latching of the transistors. Use a power switch between the supply and circuit if this occurs.

David, do you think this design could function using conductive 3D printer filament for the coils?

Steven, this is a very good question and am very happy you asked it. I have not had any conductive filament to test with but I can tell you this, the air-core inductors used in this design require a diamagnetic material (copper, silver, etc.) whose magnetic properties are of great importance. As well as this, the conductivity and geometry of the filament is very important since skin effect losses may dominate (the current flows mostly on the surface of the conductor at high frequencies which is why I used 1/8" copper tubing). The third property that conductive filament may exhibit at high frequencies is hysteresis. Although I am not certain for conductive filament, it very well may be unsuccessful. If you have conductive PLA, the first test I would run with limited supplies would be an electromagnet construction. Although this would not prove any high frequency effects, it would be a step in the right direction.

A quick search on conductive ABS has led me to 10,000 Ohms/cm which is much too great of a resistance. :(

That is cool! Can you tell more about the electronic part, please?

Hi! I gave a description under the instructions and also some more advice to Sylinv. Let me know what you need more specifically so I can help you out!

I'm intersted in the circuit if have :)

I've tested multiple oscillator circuits in many different configurations. Many with underwhelming results. I am currently working on a better circuit. But if you would like to build what I have please use Vladimiro Mazzilli's induction heater circuit which can be found online (do a quick search in google). It is simple to construct and is one of the more powerful circuits. I nearly went overkill with MRF150's instead of IRFP250's or equivalent. The fact is that I chose to work with 6.5MHz because it is near the recently set standard of 6.78MHz for wireless power. This initially made things more difficult. Design the circuit around the specs I stated in the instructions and have patience tuning.

Ok thanks for the info ! I'll have a look at that. Just one more question : if I understand well, the lamp is wireless from the table and the bulb is wireless from the lamp ?

The bulb is wireless from the table however it is wired to the outer, single loop coil (there is a place to put the coil in the print). One of the lamp legs is a has a conduit for wiring to the elevated bulb. Due to the relatively "small" size of the receiving spiral coil and the power needed by the bulb, the distance for wireless powering is greatly reduced. Try experimenting with coil rings loaded with LED's to get a feel for the tuning. I recommend at least a 10MHz oscilloscope to help you. The important information is the Vsupply, Lprimary, impedance of load, Vload, and Lsecondary. All of these play crucial parts in the design that's why i stated my values. If you experiment with lower power elements such as LED's, whose properties make them highly efficient in this application, you can power them a couple feet with ease. Depending on the size of the antenna, larger distances can be had. The farthest I've powered was around 12ft.

Ok I now see it in the parts. Thanks.