slapyak: tinkering and fidgeting
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Overview of the LED room lighting project

this here is my most recent project. until recently i have been a casual tinkerer. an engineer by trade, i enjoy taking things apart and grew up on legos. a friend at work introduced me to the arduino and after lusting after them for a little while i took the plunge.

starting with only a self-taught and 5-year latent c/html/java programming knowledge the way it all works became apparent pretty quickly. it’s way easier than it seemed and i had feared (if youre thinking about it – go ahead and get one. a boarduino is only $18!).

so anyways – this project started because i love pretty lights and pretty colored lights. call it what you will, but i’ve always wanted a way to make a light whatever color and intensity i feel like. being able to build the whole thing is the extra icing.

THE IDEA/GOAL:
to create an rgb light capable of lighting a room to a decent level for watching tv/hanging out and a way to control it dynamically. it turns out the arduino seems to have been designed for this! those nice pulse width pins.

since i’m starting this blog with the thing mostly finished heres the features i’ve built in:
-dimming from 10% – 100% by PWM so colors dont shift as they dim.
-a programmable series of colors to fade from one to the next. (currently has to be 10 colors, I’d like to make the number of colors adjustable, but have to re-work some code to do it)
-a hold button to stop the color fade from continuing and then to restart it
-a skip button to jump to the next color in the pattern
-a rotary encoder to change the rgb values while in ‘edit’ mode
-the ability to store the edited colors into the pattern and store the pattern to onboard EEPROM for the next time you turn it on.
-other stuff you can see in the code/video.

i’ll be setting up a flikr account to put all these pictures up shortly.

HARDWARE –
arduino($38)/boarduino($18)/freeduino RBBB($11) – any are acceptable, the RBBB is the one built into the wall.
150 leds ($21 from ledshoppe)
rotary encoder($1), tact buttons ($.50), 10k micro-pot($.50) from electronics goldmine
wire/solder/various hardware used for installation(~$8)
lumber (~$15)

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2 Responses to “Overview of the LED room lighting project”

  1. Neat! I’d love to see the instructions. I’d like to do something similar with the arduino- RGB lighting of a small room, but reactive to data other than just control from the user.

    • I’ve been messing with using the wii nunchuck to control RGB led lighting in my basement. It’s pretty wild, though not very functional. 3D control, x is r, y is g, z is b. I’ll put something up once I finish or get it to a usable point.


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