DIY mood lamp looks store-bought

[NeZoomie] built an RGB mood lamp as his first electronics project. He certainly hit it out of the park with this one, ending up with a design so clean it could be a commercial product. The controller is an Arduino board (further proof that this is a fantastic entry-level platform) that interfaces with 8 RGB LEDs. He’s built an enclosure out of thick polypropylene that does a great job of diffusing the light and adding a stylish look. The control system features a rotary potentiometer from SparkFun and what he calls a tilt-potentiometer of his own design after drawing inspiration from Hack a Day.

Blinky things are fun and that’s why we see a lot of mood lamps around here. Take a look at the video after the break and if you’ve got the parts, give this one a try!

Comments

  1. landon says:

    kool project, i really like the look of it.

  2. Skitchin says:

    This looks great! Really does look like a store bought product. Can’t wait to get my own nooby lil RGB Lamp project done, though I went a totally different direction with my own, and at this rate, may never actually “finish” it :P.

  3. Hackius says:

    Looks very cool. I don’t understand what a “tiltable” potentiometer is.

  4. Boobs says:

    Hackius,

    I think it’s just a potentiometer and switch rolled into one. He seems to be pressing on the rim around the dial to engage different colored LEDs.

  5. concino says:

    I don’t think this is the “Bling” she was expecting. ;)
    Very nice work.

  6. Cynyr says:

    the knob rocks up and down at least. Seems like it would be easy enough to build, a couple of small push buttons, and a mount for the pot and knob, maybe some springs. I would be interested to see how he built it.

  7. octel says:

    That “tilt pot” uses a different design than the linked hackaday post. The design used in this project looks like it will put significant stress on the shaft of the pot, which will eventually break and in the meantime cause the carbon track to wear down a lot faster (if it’s turned during a button press).

    Pots REALLY don’t like any kind of force on the shaft besides rotation.

  8. cow_juice says:

    Gah, another Arduino. Not that it’s not a “great entry level platform”. But when the end goal of the project is to light a light, why do we feature it?

    Seriously guys, I have been visiting this blog since entry #10. The next time I see an Arduino powered LED I’m gone, as I am sure many other readers are.

    Make and Instructables have plenty of projects for Arduinophiles, get the fu@k out of my hack blog.

  9. nrp says:

    @cow_juice

    It’s not about the Arduino. The post and project are clearly focused on the control mechanism and the level of fit and finish.

    What’s more, leave. Nobody cares. One less person whining every time someone chooses a convenient development platform.

    • MS3FGX says:

      The problem most people have with Arduino is not that too many projects use it, but that it seems even bad projects get posted simply because they have an Arduino in them.

      Perfect example is the “toy cars used as switch” post from awhile back. If the cars had just been wired to the legs of an LED, it would never have even been considered. But since they were hooked up to an Arduino, all the sudden it is an experiment in “physical computing”.

      This project is well thought out, functional, and it’s obvious that a lot of effort went into it. Could this have been done without an Arduino? Absolutely. But is this project only notable because it HAS an Arduino? No, and that is a very big difference in many people’s minds.

  10. jAMES says:

    @cow_juice
    really? do you promise?

  11. sarsface says:

    @cow_juice
    Please, for the love of god, leave.

  12. Mike Szczys says:

    I’m searching as fast as I can for the first Arduino powered LED project I can come across… standby.

  13. M4CGYV3R says:

    Superbright 7-Color Fading RGB LED from Radio Shack: $2
    Toggle Switch: 50cents
    Voltage Dividing Resistors: 15cents
    Pushbutton Switch: 50cents
    9V Battery Clip: 10cents
    9V Battery: $2

    Total cost? $5.25
    Effect? With a little creative paper cutting/folding, identical results. No arduino, no polypro shaping.

  14. Mark says:

    I agree to some extent it seems that everywhere you look projects are being done with an Arduino. This has nothing to do with Hack-a-day it has more to do with the fact that the Ardunio is open source which everyone here is FOR I am sure and the fact that they are so popular now everyone is using them more. Stop complaining Arduinos, they get the job done and they are convenient and cheap which makes most of these projects more repeatable. Besides since so many new projects feature Ardunios that means if you buy one you can reproduce most of the new projects being featured.

  15. therian says:

    Maybe it time for reality check?
    How come Arduino being cheap ? You can get 3 or 4 32Bit uC for price of single Arduino. And dont even star telling about programmers, google it most of them dont cost more than arduino and a lot better say most uC dont require anything more advance than couple resistor as programmer.
    And in what Arduino is easy ? Same C , most uC dont even need crystal anymore, is power connection so dam hard ?

  16. therian says:

    By the way, Basic Stamp was beginner platform too, and it so limited and much more expensive , but Goggle show so many great project based on BS. I can say most BS project are great and unique, most of them use tricks and logic to overcome limitations of platform.
    And for Arduino Google will trow you mostly led blinkers and piezoelectric buzzers and sometimes servo control. WHY? Arduino is so much powerful, where is great projects?
    So maybe It not “great beginner Platform” but lame excuse for not reading a book ?

  17. riazap says:

    Everyone, it’s just best to ignore the angry misanthropic Randroid that is therian. (I’d bet he’s rabidly anti-Mac too). More Arduino projects, we’ll be the better for it, and maybe he’ll leave since he obviously hates this place so much.

  18. Well therian has a point. I recently bought a STM32 Primer 2 for $60. Color LCD display, touchscreen, can play MP3, sd card read/write, accelerometer, etc etc. It’s just that with arduino, there is a huge community behind it. Behind the primer 2, there is nobody and I can’t do anything with it.

  19. therian says:

    Ok call me hater,(it silly, sound like racist, or some other political correct bull Sh*t)
    I just performed reality check, normal people take it OK. Fans and…, well they not normal. By the way ignoring, fighting back for little imaginary world is sigh of schizophrenia

  20. Haku says:

    You’re all paying way too much for your mood lamps, and making a great big song and dance about it in the process.
    I got a constantly-slow-colour-changing egg for 99p yesterday!

    I’ll get me coat…

  21. strider_mt2k says:

    Did they bitch every time something came out that made it easier for lots of people to create stuff?

    Cool lamp.

  22. Choscura says:

    Further proof that the arduino is an elegant piece of hardware: not only can it be used to make a cool lamp, it can rid any hack site of assholes.

  23. AO says:

    “The problem most people have with Arduino is not that too many projects use it, but that it seems even bad projects get posted simply because they have an Arduino in them.”

    I think there’s some truth to this. Look up Arduino or even just LED on youtube, vimeo, or flickr, and you’re bound to see tons of “projects” which really are nothing more than an Arduino connected to a breadboard with some LEDs. Because Arduino is so convenient to use, there’s a lot more people exploring this type of stuff, even if it means repeating what’s been done before.

    I use Arduinos all the time, b/c they’re really convenient, but aside from the build documentation, I like to focus on the finished product/project; at that level, it doesn’t really matter if it’s an Arudino or a PIC inside.

    In short, nice to see a well-finished project :)

  24. Baghdad_boy says:

    The man! I can’t wait to get my arduino. Hopefully should be here tomorrow morning! :D

    Ima try something like this to start.

    Mega awesome job mate!

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