Taking a moon light from grayscale to full color

[Terry Miller] picked up a moon light on the cheap. All it does is light up some white LEDs to simulate moon phases after sensing nightfall via an LDR. He figured he could do better and set out to replace the electronics with a more colorful offering.

He chose to use an ATmega328 because he already had it on hand. The chip drives a series of RGB LEDs in a multiplex arrangement. To protect the I/O pins (and drive the LEDs at their target current) he is using a set of high and low side MOSFETs. Rather than rely on the light sensor to switch on the lamp he decided to add an IR receiver. In the video after the break you can see that this lets him cycle through colors and effects, in addition to switching the lamp on and off with a remote control.

With the enclosure put back together he is still able to reprogram the chip thanks to a serial header included in the design. The device is battery operated and the life estimates are included in his write-up.

Comments

  1. XEPH says:

    Groovy. Nice documentation and nice clean work. Could be cool to use this as a means of delivering content (e.g. temperature, email notifications, etc.).

  2. SMD LEDs are low light or for the batteries last longer?

  3. cde says:

    Nice, but there is an older project for the same moon in your room, that adds automatic moon phase displaying.

  4. gleen close says:

    I have one of these. Seems like it would be an easy enough project to do. I don’t know if there is a bit of confusion, but mine came with the IR remote so you can cycle, turn on/off, etc. Good on the builder for getting the multiplexing figured out :)

  5. terry says:

    @XEPH – yeah i was thinking of how to turn it into a clock, 12 hours from the phases and maybe colours to indicate minutes

    @tdc – smd LEDs are really weak and i wanted it to crank in the daytime as well… it doesn’t really, but its a lot brighter than it was. The pot knob for brightness means you cnan turn it down to conserve power but 16 hours running at full power isnt too bad.

    @gleen – yeah it was pretty simple, the IR remote was included i just stole the receiver from the original board and put it onto my one. What would be really sweet would be getting a PWM shift register set up to extend the I/O on the ATMega so you could control each of the phases’ colours separately. looked around but it needs 18 PWM outputs and even arduino mega & maple native don’t have that

  6. Ernest says:

    My friends and I are going laser tag and we already made our own team. We want to all dress in the same clothes. It is a boy and girl team. What are some good uniform ideas that we can find in our closet?

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