There have never been more ways to light up your home. Low power LED strips and lamps are not only cheap, but can be controlled in a variety of amazing ways that will make you feel like a real starship captain, mad scientist or evil villain — depending on your priorities in life.
How about controlling your lights with your voice? But what about the lights that turn on automatically when you come home at night? Is the lighting mood controlled by someone else’s mood? How slowly does the day come with artificial dawn?
In this article, we will cover all of them and a few more. Here you can build almost every project with simple components and basic coding skills and even combine them together.
lend a hand
Let’s start with an old favorite — mallets. Instructables user MertArduino has created a toggle switch that connects to any lamp using a relay module along with a sound sensor module, all powered by an Arduino Uno.
You can use almost any Arduino-compatible board for this project, which will further reduce the size. If you choose to build this, I would perhaps suggest making the case a bit more secure than the one in cardboard!
Perfect to look when you walk into the room, and not so good if you’re likely to get applause.
catch a wave
Science fiction is full of interesting things that happen when a hero snaps his finger. Whether it be futuristic screens with manual control from Minority Report or the ability to shoot media from handheld devices to large screens in The expansion gestures seem to speak louder than words.
Francisco Castro made a stylish lamp out of simple materials — the lampshade itself has a beautiful simple paper design. You can check out the tutorial for this project on the Make website here.
User admarschoonen from Instructables developed this design, creating an updated version of Francisco’s lamp. He included a capacitive touch panel on each corner to change the color of the lamp. This time, the chain is inside an old IKEA glass lamp. You can find a detailed description of this project here.
Give him some color
Ruy Santos created a mood lamp that can be controlled by any browser connected to his home Wi-Fi for less than $10. Check out the tutorial for using the Random Nerd tutorial.
Taking the idea of lighting lighting one step further, User Instructables, fjordcarver has created a «Chameleon Lamp» that changes color based on what he sees on the surface below. The assembly uses a photosensitive resistor as well as red, blue, and green LEDs for color detection and reproduction. See the full briefing — with drawn diagrams no less — for project details.
Give it some rhythm
Another alternative to improve lighting is to make it responsive to what you’re listening to. As nostalgic as the LED light on my kid’s stereo sounds, going from yellow to red can do a lot better.
The above video belongs to Miske Karvonen and you can see how he designed this reactive LED lighting to work with just about any audio system on the Instructables page about the project. It uses individually addressable Neopixels strips (also known as WS2812B).