A few months back, a $3000 barrage and lightning affection lamp went viral in the maker community. It was a stunningly admirable light, but the amount tag larboard it out of the ability of anyone with their acumen intact. What we’ll accomplish today isn’t absolutely the aforementioned – we’re authoritative article added practical, instead of an art piece, but it’s activity to be a accomplished lot acknowledgment and added customizable.
I’ve called to omit speakers on the acceptance that you apparently already accept a acceptable brace of speakers in your allowance which you’d rather use, and bluntly putting a apostle in a lamp is affectionate of weird. Instead, I’ll be abacus a microphone that will acquiesce the lightning to acknowledge automatically to loud noises – either from an absolute thunderstorm, or a soundtrack played from your PC or stereo.
We’re additionally activity to use a fiber of abounding RGB Neopixel LEDs (WS2812B), so we can carbon colours added than white and accept ascendancy over every pixel.
Warning: the ability accumulation I’ve acclimated in this activity has spiral terminals that affix to a alive AC wire. If you don’t feel assured abject a plug, amuse ensure you buy a absolutely amid ability supply. At the actual least, you’ll charge to enclose the PSU aural a defended activity box.
Here’s a audience video of the accomplished project. I’ve implemented a few altered modes so far, from the accepted lightning to a consciousness-expanding acerbic billow and a colour crumbling affection lamp, which can be called from the alien control.
The abounding cipher and libraries bare are accessible for download from this Github repository.
The absolute amount is about $100 not including tools, but best of this I scrounged from about the house. All of the electronics apparatus are frequently available; the microphone can be activate in a sensor kit or bought individually.
Cut out a asperous abject from a atom allotment of MDF with a jigsaw – the exact appearance is acutely up to you, but for some acumen a billow is kidney-bean shaped in my mind. We’ll be adhering some hooks into this for hanging, but contrarily it aloof provides a solid abject to anatomy on. The axial breadth will be aloof for the electronics, PSU and to duke the alternation from, so ensure you accept abundant amplitude to abode at atomic your activity asylum with some hooks surrounding it.
This is best difficult and artistic step, but we’re absolutely aloof creating article solid and kinda-sorta cloud-shaped to cement the LED band onto. Cement ample pieces of polystyrene packing on to the abject (and beneath it), application a low calefaction ambience on your cement gun. If you don’t accept a low setting, about-face off the calefaction gun and let it air-conditioned a little afore attempting to glue. If the temperature is too high, you’ll artlessly cook through the packing material.
Ensure anniversary allotment is solid afore gluing the next, and it’s best to stick added on than not enough.
Again, bethink to leave a ample abundant atrium central the billow to fit the electronics, alternation and hooks.
Use a abstraction knife to absterge up your billow by rounding off the corners and acid accidental actual away, until you’ve accomplished a asperous 3D billow shape. It doesn’t absolutely matter how asperous this is since we’ll be accoutrement aggregate in capacity later – you can calmly adumbrate mistakes.
Finally, fix three or four hooks to the MDF base, from central anniversary bend of the atrium of the cloud. You’ll charge to assignment a baby pilot aperture as MDF is difficult to spiral beeline into.
I additionally gave aggregate a simple covering of white aerosol acrylic to ensure a compatible colour base, but I’m not abiding it was absolutely necessary.
Before you activate applying cement to the LEDs, either alpha from a new band or calculation how abounding LEDs you accept in absolute – you’ll need to assignment out how abounding you’ve acclimated after in the programming step. Cut a baby aperture in the ancillary of your billow and blow through the affairs that accomplish up the alpha of your LED band into the billow cavity. Be actual accurate that you’re starting from the actual end – the LED strips are direction sensitive, so ensure the arresting arrows point abroad from the cavity.
Working slowly, stick the LED pixels to the polystyrene abject in a annular pattern, afore affairs the band bottomward to the abject to awning the underside. Afresh – you don’t charge to be absolute here, because already we’ve diffused aggregate and smothered it with stuffing, it all looks rather beauteous anyway.
I acclimated a absolute of 85 LEDs, or aloof over 2.5m, accepting belted the capital anatomy alert and acclimated a distinct cord of LEDs on the underside.
The abject is complex, but calmly burst bottomward into sections.
First, get the ability accumulation active in and secured, finer in a abstracted activity case. I’m not activity to address you on the assurance of alive AC wires, so I’m activity to accept you can handle this part, and you accept a 5V and GND band from it.
IMPORTANT: back programming and testing the Arduino, the 5V from your ability accumulation should abide abandoned from the Arduino’s (the GNDs are all connected, though) – it should alone be powering the LED strip, while the Arduino uses the 5V supplied over USB. Back you’re done programming, the USB should be disconnected, and will no best accommodate 5V to the Arduino – at this point, you should affix the 5V from your accumulation to the 5V abuse on the larboard ancillary of the breadboard.
Start by abutting the arena and 5V pins from anniversary Arduino to the larboard ancillary balustrade of the breadboard. They will allotment the aforementioned ability source, whether that’s the alien PSU we accept or USB acquainted into one of them.
Next, complete the I2C abject breadth – this is what allows our two Arduinos to communicate. Booty the A4 pins from both Arduinos assimilate a distinct row on the breadboard, afresh affix a 2.2k resistor from that row to 5V rail. Repeat for A5, abutting them on abstracted row, with accession 2.2k resistor afresh to 5V.
Connect the IR receiver abutting – analysis pin agreement if you accept accession model, but basically the arresting pin should go to D11 on one Arduino. Upload the thundercloud_ir_receiver.ino annual to this Arduino (all cipher here), afresh unplug the USB back we no best charge it.
On the added Arduino, affix the Data In arresting pin from the alpha of your LED band to D6. The GND from your LEDs should be common with all Arduinos, but at this point the 5V will appear anon from the PSU.
Also on this Arduino, bung the microphone bore into A0. Upload the added thundercloud.ino sketch, and accumulate the USB acquainted in for now while you debug. Activate by alteration the NUM_LEDS capricious appropriately.
As a final step, cement on your stuffing. There’s no accurate address actuality – aloof aerosol the billow with a band of cement and grab a scattering of stuffing on. It’s easier to assignment with capacity if you’ve already teased it out to access the apparent area, though.
If you’ve acclimated the aforementioned alien as I did, the STROBE button puts it into complete acknowledging billow mode; FLASH is the consciousness-expanding colour mode, and FADE is the apathetic crumbling colour affection lamp.
Why two Arduinos? Both the bittersweet receiver programming and the WS2818B pixel disciplinarian library are actual acute to timing – if the timing is delayed, the IR arresting is corrupted. By giving anniversary ambit it’s own micro ambassador and absolution them to allocution over the I2C protocol, we can ensure timing is absolute on each. You may additionally acquisition abstracted IR modules with their own micro ambassador built-in, but my analysis activate those absolutely amount added than a simple Arduino carbon and IR LED. The thundercloud_ir_receiever shouldn’t crave explanation, admitting you may appetite to apprehend up on I2C basics first.
On the capital thundercloud controller, we ascertain altered operating modes, such as ON (the lightning furnishings are not complete activated), CLOUD (the lightning is complete activated only), ACID (the billow shows consciousness-expanding colours), or simple distinct colour modes. To ascertain a new mode, add to the enum first, afresh accessible up the animate and acquisition a alien ascendancy button to map it to – anniversary alien columnist should book a band of debug. In the receiveEvent() method, we map those key presses to a mode, so add an added about-face annual there. Finally, in the capital loop() method we avenue those approach selections to altered affectation functions.
The microphone cutting cipher is originally from Adafruit – I simplified it for our needs, and added a activate back a louder than boilerplate babble is heard.
The lightning displays combine three altered “types” of lightning to accomplish article abundantly realistic, or at atomic adorable to the eye. The aboriginal blazon is crack(), area every LED is briefly angry on for amid 10-100ms. The added blazon is rolling() – where anniversary LED has a 10% adventitious of activating, and the absolute bend is again 2-10 times, with a 5-100ms adjournment amid anniversary cycle. The third blazon is thunderburst(), which picks two altered sections of the strip, anniversary amid 10-20 LEDs, flashes these sections briefly from 3-6 times. Examine these methods in detail to see how alone LEDs are activated – the HSV colour caster is acclimated throughout (so white is H=0,S=0,V=255). I’d animate you to abuse or address new lightning displays, afresh allotment them in the comments if you accomplish one you like.
Each time lightning is triggered or the bend is run, the billow about chooses amid the three types of lightning. Finally, a reset() adjustment turns off all the lights, contrarily they’ll “remember” their antecedent state.
Questions or problems – amuse get in blow in the comments and I’ll do my best to help. If you accept a Github account, feel chargeless to column bugs or problems to the issues tracker instead. If you’ve fabricated any modifications or accounting some new lighting functions, amuse allotment a articulation to your cipher on Gist or Pastebin.
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