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Network-Connected Lamps

  • Network-Connected Lamps

Demonstration Video

Instructables Write-Up

ABOUT

As a Christmas present for a long-distance friend, I wanted to build lamps that could “talk” to one another, as in “reflect each other’s color animations when simulated.” This involved a lot of silent screaming into pillows, late night confusion on why the circuit suddenly stopped working, and hours of debugging over hot cups of tea (not to mention weeks and weeks of research). But at long last, I have lamps that communicate through Adafruit IO:

  • In lamp #1, a softpot connected to neopixels controls the pixels’ animations
  • When the softpot is pressed in a specific location, the pixels perform the corresponding animation
  • The arduino connected to the softpot sends this sensor reading to a raspberry pi
  • The raspberry pi is connected to the internet though a wifi dongle, so it can send the sensor reading to a feed in Adafruit IO
  • The raspberry pi of lamp #2 registers the new value in the feed and sends it to its arduino
  • This arduino animates its neopixels based on the value and all is good 🙂

I began as a complete amateur: the farthest I had ever gone with Arduinos were the level 2 built-in sketches, I had never even touched a raspberry pi before, and MATLAB was the only programming language I knew, besides how to print “Hello World” in Python. But as they say, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” It took a few months of gradual work digging through IoT forums and asking for advice from electrical engineering classmates, but both lamps are fully functional!

Skills

Arduino programming (C), Raspberry pi programming (Python), Internet of things (Adafruit IoT), Debugging electronics

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