This project is a modification of my previous Bluetooth-enabled LED matrix display project, which used 8×64 monochromatic LED matrix (total 512 LEDs) for displaying scrolling text message. The original project used Bluetooth for display data transfer from a smartphone, but this one now uses Wifi. The display message is sent through web browser to a ESP8266 module that is configured as a web-server. No Arduino or any other microcontroller is used. ESP8266 alone works as a WiFi server and drives the MAX7219-based LED matrices.
My experimenting actually started with MAX6954. After many failed tries due to SPI issues (Maxim uses a special interpretation of the protocol, I read), I switched to MAX6955.
MAX6955 is the I2C sibling of MAX6954 (which uses SPI). They both have identical LED driving abilities, only the microcontroller interface part of the chips differ. Once, both chips were available in DIP-40 package. Now, MAX6955 only comes in SSOP-36 (MAX6954 is still available in DIP-40). Luckily, the pin configurations for the two chips are compatible, which allows for easy swap. For this reason, I designed a breakout board (shared at oshpark), so I can use the same setup I built for MAX6954.
Hansi (aka “Natural Nerd”) wasn’t content simply controlling his room’s lighting, so he had his control box illuminate along with it!
In order to control lighting intensity, you could hook up a potentiometer directly, but Hansi decided to instead connect four potentiometers to an Arduino Nano to control an external light source. These four inputs are attached to analog pins on the Arduino, which control a strip of RGB LEDs inside of a partially translucent box. When the knobs are turned, the number of LEDs on display increase or decrease, in different colors depending on which it turned. An external light can then be controlled along with the beautiful controller display.
This Instructable will show you how I made a control panel that has three 12 volt power output ports which can be controlled with knobs at the front. I will be connecting the lighting in my basement to the three outputs, so that it can be controlled through the panel.
The panel has a nice and ambient light pulsation when it’s passive, and when you turn the knobs, the internal light indicates how much the knob is turned, with a separate color for each knob.
For a recent column in the Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant, Rolf Hut built a slick longboard with LED strips that respond to speed. If you think that sounds awesome, wait until you see it in action.
As the Maker explains, four magnets and a Hall effect sensor are used to measure the longboard’s speed so the Adafruit NeoPixels can react at the same pace. To achieve this, the magnets are glued to the inside of each wheel, while a Hall sensor counts the number of revolutions and sends that information over to one of two Arduino Micros. The first Arduino translates that into a speed, while the second Micro converts that speed into a signal for the LEDs. Everything is powered by a power bank.
Lights synchronized to music, what’s not to love? YouTuber “Robert Robert” has done just that using 24 acrylic blocks, an Arduino Uno, four 12-pixel WS2812B addressable LED strips, an Adafruit electret microphone amplifier, a 12000mAh external battery pack, and some code.
The blocks are divided into two sets of 12, held together by threaded rods and nuts, with LED strips hot glued to the back. A 60cm x 40cm stainless steel shelf rests underneath to reflect the light back.
The first part of the code is Adafruit’s own mic code which calibrates the sound level so that whether you’re using a big speaker or, as in the video, a tiny iPad speaker, the mic remains sensitive. The second part of the code maps the sound level onto 12 if statements so that when quiet it idles with the NeoPixel library rainbow but then as the sound level gets higher more effects are triggered. Within each if statement I have then included a random() function so that the display stays interesting. You can edit each individual strip pixel to create patterns in an infinite variety of ways and using the random () function you can keep on building so you never get bored. The code works best with music with a wide dynamic range (soft and loud parts).
We spotted this aquarium project on YouTube, and were struck with searing pangs of fishy jealousy; imagine having a 2000-litre slice of the Cayman Islands, complete with the weather as it is right now, in your living room.
aMGee has equipped his (enormous) tropical fish tank, full of corals as well as fish, with an IoT Raspberry Pi weather system. It polls a weather station in the Cayman Islands every two minutes and duplicates that weather in the tank: clouds; wind speed and direction; exact sunset and sunrise times; and moon phase, including the direction the moon travels across the tank.
The setup uses three 100W and 18 20W multi-chip leds, which are controlled separately by an Arduino that lives on top of the lamp. There’s also a web interface, just in case you feel like playing Thor.
DIY LED aquarium lighting project for my reef tank. The 660 watts fixture simulates the weather from Cayman Islands in real time. 3 x 100 watts and 18 x 20 watts multi-chip leds controlled separately by an arduino sitting on the lamp).
If you want to learn more, aMGee answers questions about the build (which, sadly, doesn’t have a how-to attached) at the Reef Central forums.
It’s a beautiful project, considerably less expensive (and more satisfying) than any off-the-shelf equivalent; and a really lovely demonstration of meaningful IoT. Thanks aMGee!