A Magic Light Bulb For All Your Bright Ideas

[Uri Shaked]’s lamentation over the breaking of his smart bulb was brief as it was inspiring — now he had a perfectly valid excuse to hack it into a magic light bulb.

The first step was disassembling the bulb and converting it to run on a tiny, 130mAh battery. Inside the bulb’s base, the power supply board, Bluetooth and radio circuits, as well as the LED board didn’t leave much room, but he was able to fit in 3.3V and 12V step-up voltage regulators for the LiPo battery.

[Shaked]’s self-imposed bonus round was to also wedge a charging circuit — which he co-opted from a previous project — into the bulb instead of disassembling it every time it needed more juice. Re-soldering the parts together: easy.  Fitting everything inside a minuscule puzzle-box: hard. Kapton tape proved eminently helpful in preventing shorts in the confined space.

In the interest of safety, [Shaked] also isolated the bulb from its base in case it gets mixed in with some regular light bulbs. He notes that it’s illegal in some countries to mess with bulbs like this unless you are a licensed electrician, since this could easily have a significant failure if plugged(screwed?) into a house’s circuit.

[Shaked] has also managed to tie this project in with a beacon he’s previously built for some cool effects, as well as integrating Bluetooth-based IoT functionality that detects sound, changing the bulb’s colour and brightness appropriately.

If you’re an Apple user, we’ve previously featured one method to get Siri to control a Phillips Hue bulb. Better yet, if one could fuse this with idea with Visible Light Communication, one might be able to control a suite of devices that have a photodiode or other such receivers like a real magic wand — er, bulb.

2 thoughts on “A Magic Light Bulb For All Your Bright Ideas

  1. Many years ago I made a uncle Fester gag light bulb. I went in thru the glass seal in the base. A single AA cell and flashlight bulb inserted thru the end. A tongue actuated strip of metal at the base turned it on. A great gag of The Adams Family, a sitcom of farce and Victorian (steampunk) setting. It also made a OK flashlight.

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