Lego Sherlock Holmes figure focuses a light beam on a Lego criminal with a small magnifying glass.

Orthanc Makeover

The Palantir is illuminated by a BlinkM.

Apparently Saruman has been watching home improvement shows on TV, because he hired me to give his home a makeover. Saruman wanted improved lighting in his Tower of Orthanc (set 10237). The original construction came with a red Light Brick installed under his Palantir, which when pressed from the floor below illuminated the Palantir. Saruman wanted his Palantir to be constantly illuminated and of constantly-changing color. So I imbedded a BlinkM (Chapter 10 of “High-Tech LEGO”) under the Palantir, as shown in the photo above. The color smoothly cycles from red to yellow to green. Saruman also wanted to add some excitement to his dungeon. I added LEDs to give a frightening highlight to the creatures deep in the dungeon, as in the photo below. These LEDs are of low power output (5 millicandela), so the light doesn’t overwhelm the scene.

Relax.  Legolas and Gimli are coming to the rescue.

The crowning feature, shown in the video below, is the room where Saruman entertains his guests in wizard battles. Two color-changing LEDs are installed in lamps, along with a mist generator. The mist generator is based on a Grove Water Atomizer, also used in my blog post on “LEGO Aromatherapy.”

This project took a long time, requiring rebuilding most of the structure to hide the wires needed for power connection. As in the photo below, power for lighting is derived from the EV3 Intelligent Brick, taking 5-volts from a sensor connection. I used a breadboard as in my post “Breakout Board” to make connections and insert a current-limiting resistor for the low-power LEDs. The EV3 also controls the mist generator via a Grove Sensor Adapter (also used in Chapter 5 and Chapter 9 of “High-Tech LEGO”).

Power is taken from the EV3 Intelligent Brick.